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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Virgin Suicides

Air

2000

Virgin Suicides
Album Summary

The Virgin Suicides is a score composed by French electronic music duo Air for the 1999 film of the same name by Sofia Coppola. It was released on 23 February 2000 by Virgin Records. The album was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the 2001 Brit Awards. The French edition of Rolling Stone magazine placed The Virgin Suicides at number 49 on their list of the 100 essential French rock albums. In 2014, NME placed the album at number 11 on their "61 of the Greatest Film Soundtracks Ever" list. In 2019, Pitchfork placed the album at number four on their "Top 50 Best Movie Scores of All Time" list.On 3 June 2010, Air performed the full score with the band Hot Rats (with members of Supergrass) at the Cité de la Musique in Paris.To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the film The Virgin Suicides, a deluxe edition of the album was released in June 2015 as a two-disc set and a super deluxe box set. The former contains two studio outtakes on disc one and a bonus disc of previously unreleased live recordings, while the latter includes the album on 180-gram red vinyl, an exclusive picture disc featuring previously unreleased live recordings, the "Playground Love" EP on 180-gram red vinyl, the two-disc deluxe edition of The Virgin Suicides on CD, a 16-page booklet featuring an unpublished Air interview, a film poster, a replica VIP laminate pass and a download card.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.24

Votes

11732

Genres

  • Pop
  • Electronica

Reviews

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Wed Feb 10 2021
3

This is the first soundtrack I encountered on the list, a "genre" that I didn't even consider finding here. I wonder when I will get my first country album? Anyway, I never saw The Virgin Suicides, and I suspect I would have liked this album more if I did. I also suspect that these songs actually made a pretty great soundtrack for the movie. However, I did not see the movie, and I am judging this as everything else on the list: a music album, listened to in one sitting. And with that method, well, this didn't blow my hair back. Air is a French electronic band I had never heard of. The songs were mostly instrumental, with some spoken word vocals from the movie toward the end. The music itself was fine. There were some good drum and bass grooves. One song really sounded like one track from the Final Fantasy X soundtrack. Basically, this was good music to have in the background. Which as a soundtrack makes it a resounding success? I guess I question why this is on the list? 1001 albums sounds like a lot, but there are quite a few bands with 3 or more albums on the list. What's going to happen is by the end of this there are going to be some omissions that I take issue with, and I suspect this album will be one of the first I would take off the list to make room for those. My personal enjoyment: 3/5 Did it belong on this list: 2/5

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Oh man I loved this movie. This is a wild album that is definitely bringing images from the movie into my head, but is still a really solid fascinating album all on it's own.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

If there was ever to be a Mt. Rushmore of my musical tastes; a monument to the records that shaped me as an obsessive music enthusiast, Air’s soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides would certainly occupy a spot. This was the first Air record I bought, at cd shop in Cape Cod, MA on vacation with an ex-girlfriend in 2002. It was the one of the very first vinyl records I *had* to own, imported from Europe with a hefty shipping cost that same year. It is the record that began my obsession with analog synthesizers and was on of the catalysts for a massive shift in my musical taste. If you were to take all of the superlatives that normal people assign to Radiohead records: innovative, game changers, etc, etc, ad nauseam…that is what Air is to me. Air, at least on their first few records, is my Radiohead. They helped shift my perception of what a rock band could be. Some twenty years later, The Virgin Suicides still ranks among my absolute favorite records of all time. Taking a page from the soundtrack work of Goblin and Pink Floyd (at least to my ears), Air’s soundtrack to the Virgin Suicides is a harrowing musical retelling of the bleak, yet engrossing, Sofia Coppola film. If you were unfamiliar with the film or the name of the record, you might mistake portions of Air’s score for the soundtrack of a 70’s Italian zombie gorefest. Take the choral synths, propulsive bass and drums of “Dead Bodies”, as an example. It’s the stuff of horror films - which is exactly what The Virgin Suicides is: a film about domestic horror. In truth, I never bothered to watch the film until just this past year. Air had painted such a vivid picture of what this film could be in my mind’s eye, that I didn’t want to unintentionally tarnish the soundtrack in the event I didn’t enjoy the film. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Watching the film only increased my love of this record. Air captured the atmosphere of the film so well: the horror and desperation, but also the moments of fleeting beauty. The film is made greater by the music and the music is made greater by the film. It’s a kind of symbiosis, and that is exactly what a great film score should do.

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Sun Feb 14 2021
5

Loved it. Mysterious and slightly weird and cinematic. Takes you for a ride

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

"Obviously, doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl." This album is a mood. They used to use some of these tracks on This American Life a lot. That may have been why I bought the CD originally but I can't really recall now. I don't remember much about the movie other than thinking that it captured the 70s better than most movies set but not made in that decade. It was nice to listen to the whole album again. There's a sound on one of the tracks (maybe Dirty Trip?) that sounds like The Bionic Woman jumping. I like the album a lot, especially the last track with narration from the movie. That's some beautiful writing there. "Everyone dated the demise of our neighborhood from the suicides of the Lisbon girls. People saw their clairvoyance in the wiped-out elms and harsh sunlight. Some thought the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them: so full of flaws. But the only thing we are certain of after all these years is the insufficiency of explanation."

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Wed May 19 2021
2

I was pretty excited for this one after Moon Safari, until I realized it was a score and not even a soundtrack. The problem, as an album, is that you end up with snippets of music (with recurring melodies on different tracks, just on different instruments and in different keys) rather than traditional songs. And the music is typically whimsical and easy to listen to but honestly it's a lot of the same orchestral tones, with just a different instruments underneath. Many of the drum parts are fantastic, though. "Dead Bodies" and "The Word Hurricane" stand out. "Dirty Trip" is the least enjoyable track, but also somehow the longest. In all, the way it plays as a score, the redundancies, lack of lyrics aside from a bit of spoken word, and a lack of context from the film are detriments. I can't fault Air for this one and the music isn't "bad" but it just doesn't play well as an album.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
1

The Virgin Suicides (Score) by Air (2000) ‘Scores’ for motion pictures generally do not make for good albums. This one (for the Sofia Coppola film The Virgin Suicides [1999]) is no exception. While the title of this random collection of background tracks (“The Virgin Suicides”) offers some help in discerning its dreary meaning, the listener would be required to enter into the creative world of the film itself to understand the concept, and to evaluate how well the music accomplishes its purpose. The lengthy, poorly written, poorly performed, poorly recorded spoken word explanation in the final track “Suicide Underground” is a mere coda to the music, a promo piece for the movie more than a synthesis of the album. The serious listener should be advised that there is a separate “soundtrack” album for this film (The Virgin Suicides Original Soundtrack [2000, Emperor Norton 1977276]), featuring real recording artists like Todd Rundgren, Heart, The Hollies, Al Green, 10cc, and Styx, that is not bad as far as soundtrack albums go. As for this album: well, simple minor-key electronic dissonance, aged synthesizer gimmicks, eerie hums and buzzes, all laid over slow and steady beats and bass lines characterize most of the tracks. And the endings of the tracks almost all feel like the writer simply put down his pencil, saying, “That’s enough for this one”. While there are many sounds on this record that one might connect with the feelings of five suicidal teenage sisters from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the almost entirely instrumental compositions lack internal coherence, narrative, and direction. One is reminded of the (mostly unused) score to Michael Radford’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by Eurythmics. It just doesn’t work as an album. It’s mere mood ‘music’. The result here is a nausea-inducing nightmare of depressive sounds without the redeeming value of good gothic horror. I can’t think of any redemptive reason to recommend this album to anybody. 1/5

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

i’ve watched the virgin suicides before but i never really paid attention to the music. god, i wish i had. this was brilliant

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

This album is fantastic. It really blew me away with its insanely chill vibes. The darkness of the story transcends the largely lyricless album, but hits hard in the beautifully written final track. What a piece of art.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
1

This was not a good album. I feel like even if it's so perfect for the movie, that does not make it a good album on its own (as you said Kix). Lame!

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Thu May 13 2021
5

An eerie feel to the album. Amazing unique sound. Sounds like Brian Wilson meets Horror flicks. Catchy tunes.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

I listened to this album fairly often when it came out. Really loved it then but kind of haven’t listened to it in the last 15 years. Let’s see how it holds up… This is one moody album. I immediately felt taken back to the movie as “Playground Love” opened. I immediately wanted to go back an re-watch the film. The song is really impressive. The lyrics and sound create a powerful combination. “Clouds Up” starts to build the tension, and this is when the album really starts to feel like something you might hear in a church. The choir voices, droning organ… I had never noticed how this whole thing feels almost like attending a very non traditional mass of some kind. “The Word Hurricane” comes in and I am realizing that there are very strong connections between Air and a lot of the instrumentals of The Alan Parsons Project. Funny that I never made that connection before, but there’s a lot of strong similarities. The instructional interlude with the breaths below then lead to a transformed chaotic, trippy ending. “Clouds Up” amps up the tension again - really liking this. “Dirty Trip” brings in the main theme music again, reworking it well. And is that an autoharp I’m hearing? Air knows how to build these instrumentals as the songs progress to keep things very interesting. The piano-based “High School Lover” is another interesting variation on the theme. The strong bass and arrangement again is quite evocative of some of Alan Parson’s arrangements. No wonder I like this so much. “Ghost Song” and “Empty House” heightens the ominous feel of the album no doubt in response to the tension in the movie, whose plot I cannot remember for the life of me. I really loved the piano and drums of “Dead Bodies”. Really stands out while totally fitting in. “Suicide Underground” adds dialogue from the movie over a nearly religious instrumental track. I am starting to remember the movies plot now. I’m not sure if listening to this while traveling on a bus across the stark Icelandic landscape is influencing my rating, but this is a spectacular soundtrack that I am glad to have rediscovered and will no doubt enjoy again soon.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

I saw this movie in the theater when it came out, and the thing that I remember most about it was that I was blown away by the music and I immediately looked for the soundtrack. However, there were two albums available, the "score" and the "soundtrack" and I think I got overwhelmed trying to pick (why didn't I get both? I don't know) so I just (slowly) downloaded "Playground Love" on dial-up Napster. (Why isn't the "soundtrack" available anymore? I particularly remember "I'm Not in Love" being very effectively used in the film.) Anyhoo, I am still blown away by this music and I'm so mad that I didn't buy it (and the soundtrack) in 2000. It creates such a setting and such a mood and feels as striking now as it did 20 years ago. Besides the theme, which has never left my playlist, I can't quite elevate one track above another as they each have their own complementary sound to the album as a whole.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Air implies a promise, one they keep - that they will take you away to unique sonic landscapes. Sometimes frightening, sometimes pristine, disturbing, or epic. But no matter what, always interesting.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

A breathtaking soundtrack. An obvious 70s Italian and French soul/funk influence exists throughout the album. The combination of everything from the sound palette to the chord progressions and mixing of the drums will make you do a double take at the release date of the album. The opening track, Playground Love, as well as Highschool Lover both sound like something out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; they have a very romantic, cozy, and melancholic sound–an undefeatable combination. The production on these two tracks manages to sound indie and mainstream at the same time.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

This is by far and away the best album produced by Air that I have heard. Listening to it is like watching a movie-- so cinematic and dreamlike in its dialogues. I've heard it a thousand times and briefly entered a period of my life when I listened to it repeatedly. Air has other great albums as well, so if you are a newcomer to their sound, I definitely encourage exploration!

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Thu May 06 2021
4

So calm and cool. Great to listen to when hanging out with my baby boy.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
3

Ok it's kinda soft indie rock, but I'm ok with that right now. Mostly instrumentals? It's like if Radiohead wasn't fucking awful. 3/5.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
3

I like the atmosphere. I can see why it's a movie soundtrack. Not something I would listen to specifically though.

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Sat Mar 06 2021
3

Unlike Moon Safari, this Air album doesn't evoke daydreams where Christian Louboutins are the perfect cherry on nubile limbs. Shockingly, I gave Virgin Suicides the same rating as Moon Safari.  I must have rounded down when I rated Moon Saf. 

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Tue Oct 19 2021
3

Unlike the squishy warmth of Air's debut album 'Moon Safari', 'The Virgin Suicides' leaves me cold like the corpses of the 5 Lisbon sisters from the movie also called 'The Virgin Suicides'

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Tue Jan 24 2023
3

Perfectly acceptable soundtrack to an above average movie. As standalone music it is average at best. I hear a lot of early Pink Floyd, a bit of Beatles. The late 60s, early 70s elements are there, and it is a pleasant soundscape. My bar to be on this list is higher than that.

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Mon May 22 2023
3

This is fine, but nothing to write home about. It captures the 70s vibe that would be appropriate for the movie. I'm really not sure why it's on this list. There's nothing particularly interesting about it. Standard 70s sounding album that's been done, and done better, a million times before.

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Fri Apr 26 2024
3

The music is very good, but it falls into the same traps as most other soundtracks do: it doesn't feel like I'm listening to an album, it feels like I'm listening to a soundtrack for a movie I haven't watched. That said, this does at least make an attempt to put the tracks into an album format, so there is some value to this project.

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Mon Oct 12 2020
2

definitely sets a tone and mood, never saw the film, nice ambiance but don't really see the hype without connection to the film

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Sun Jan 24 2021
2

I mean it was fine. I didn’t dislike it. It just doesn’t bring anything that stands out and doesn’t have replay value.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
2

This album is like being stuck on a french exchange trip where the host school puts on a drama show and you're sat cross legged wishing you were on the coach home

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Thu Oct 13 2022
2

2.9 + Having loved "Moon Safari", I was excited by this project for an intriguing film with a catchy title. Unfortunately, after "Playground Love" this record takes a sharp nosedive. Much of the rest is variations on that theme using various synthesized instruments. I imagine it's effective enough as a soundtrack but certainly not interesting as a standalone record.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
1

aucun intéret du mauvais pink floyd

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Wed Mar 24 2021
1

I usually don't mind Air (I own Moon Safari) but I found this tedious. Maybe it helps to see the film...

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Fri Oct 01 2021
1

Is this an album for white noises and ASMR aficionados? I didn't get it, absolutely.

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Fri Nov 06 2020
5

I like it, Air is a great band

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Fri May 21 2021
5

Great cover design, very nice vibe!

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

familiar sound of the early 00s - perfect soundtrack music

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

This Album is great, it has some of my favorite Songs in it. Playground Love is one of my all-time favorites.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Magnificent soundscapes. Builds tension without being unbearable. Great use of sound and flow.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
5

Really enjoyed this interesting soundtrack album/score. Every song was varied but impressive from front to back. Loved the drums in The Word Hurricane reminiscent of Daft Punk's RAM. Will definitely return to this.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

Super relaxed album. Geweldig om ‘s avonds te luisteren. Top.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

Een van mijn favoriete albums. Geweldig unieke muziek! Zwaar relaxt met zeer unieke geluidjes zoals we gewend zijn van Air. De film ook gezien destijds waardoor de beleving natuurlijk weer iets groter wordt. Bekendste nummer is natuurlijk "Highschool Lover" maar nummers als "Dirty Trip" vertellen zonder tekst ook een verhaal. Dit is zoals goede muziek moet zijn. Misschien is "Empty House" nog wel mijn persoonlijke favoriet. Begint als soort van chip-music waar later een soort Ennio sausje overheen komt. Owja, en "Dead Bodies" is ook wel een heel vet nummer. Een lekkere up-tempo smaakmaker naar het einde toe. *****

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Fri Aug 27 2021
5

A soundtrack of superb quality… light as air and biting as the first winter breeze in late fall.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

Total sucker for pretty much anything Air / Lamb / Zero7, so this one had me at the get-go. Sad story, groovy tunes.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

The soundtrack of one of my favourite films. An enjoyable listen.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

Loved it, have not heard of this band but definitely will be listening more, very beautiful and emotive instrumental soundscapes.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Very chilled out vibes- I didn't realize these were related to the movie until I explored the songs more on YouTube.

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

Two Air albums in three days! What luck! I’ve not seen this film, but the album is excellent. I heart Air

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

What a great discovery! Great Pink Floyd influenced psychedelic rock! Will definitely listen again!!

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Fri Mar 04 2022
5

This album alone makes me glad I am trying this 1000 albums thing

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

a hidden gem! Excellent, reminded me of Pink Floyd.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Very intense feels like a film watching

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Tue May 17 2022
5

Bloody ell I love this I read the book when I was about 16 and though I've never seen the movie, I imagine this fits it perfectly, and listening to this makes me want to watch the movie

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Surprisingly good. I liked it enough to listen to it twice over!

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

WOW!! Quite a discovery! I purchased th CD!

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Phenomenal electronic soundtrack. Almost flawless.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

Super chill, with a slant toward the depressive side. This album is as depressing as the movie, but I'm a child of the '90s and pathetic grunge kid at heart.

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

Criss c'est bon! Je me souviens aucunement que ça jouait dans le film, mais cest excellent! Ça m'a donné envie d'écouter plus de Air.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

Stand-outs: "Ghost Song," "Empty House," "Dead Bodies"

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

Interesting, first one I hear of this genre. Refreshing.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

Yeah, I forgot how awesome this is.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

Great album, maybe Air's best?

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Mon Feb 06 2023
5

wow. wow wow wow. i put on this album without knowing it was a film score and only realized it a couple songs in. it’s hauntingly beautiful. i can’t wait to watch the movie now. this album will stay with me.

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

Not only matches the movie perfectly, but serves as a standalone masterpiece

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Wed Feb 15 2023
5

This is catnip to me. Gloomy piano, some eerie synth, yum yum.

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Tue Feb 28 2023
5

Wow this was good. Goosebumps the whole time.

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

this was brilliant. the production is incredible and the pacing is great, even considering that it’s a soundtrack! standout tracks are The Word Hurricane, Dirty Trip, Playground Love, Highschool Lover, Bathroom Girl, Ghost Song, Empty House, Dead Bodies & Suicide Underground

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

One of my favorite soundtracks. My entry point for the band, I had heard of Moon Safari, but in the pre-streaming days, not heard it yet (when I did, I also fell in love with it). The album works as a perfect soundtrack to Euginedes book. I've actually never seen the movie, but have to believe it works. It is simpler than Moon Safari, but no less outstanding.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

Really enjoyed this album will def listen again

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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

I like this sort of thing: rock, but also with a shimmering coating of noise, synth, and pedals, and intense mixing. This would definitely make a great film soundtrack, now I want to see the film.

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Wed Mar 22 2023
5

Thankful for this album, for showing me that there is good electronica out there! Much of this genre is cold, manufactured, and repetitive, but Virgin Suicides feels organic, mysterious, calming, dark, and fascinatingly compelling. I love that it's ambient but never fades into background music territory, that it's a soundtrack but still works as a standalone album. On its own, I wouldn't necessarily give this a five. But because it's a record I genuinely enjoyed from a genre that I will never fully get into, I say why not? Standout tracks are Playground Love, Dirty Trip, Highschool Lover, and Ghost Song. Now to find a copy of this movie.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

First time listening to this album and it is a masterclass in electronic jazz. Will add to my collection.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Hm Air, sounds familiar. I like the album art. Vocals just started. I thought it would be a female singer. It's not. I like it! Suits my mood today. Yeah really digging this actually! Cemetary Party (interesting spelling) is cool! It sounds cinematic to me. Like it could be the background for some movie scene. I love the eeriness of Dark Messages. Highschool Lover sounds like a song I've heard before but with lyrics. I liked that one. Yeah I think this one's getting 5 stars! oooh Empty House is catchy. Apparently this album was named after the movie by the same name. And the very last track Suicide Underground, seems to have excerpts from the movie? Just found out that movie was directed by Sofia Coppola, daughter of the great Francis Ford Coppola!

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Thu Apr 27 2023
5

Absolutely love this. Hypnotic, spectral with traces of Meddle-era Pink Floyd in places. Having never heard Air I am definitely going to check out more of their stuff

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Mon May 01 2023
5

Wow, incredibly moody and dark, I need to check out the movie. The consistency throughout with the musical themes at play while still changing enough track to track to elicit a new energy is exciting, and I particularly liked rolling into Highschool Lover to find a toned down instrumental of Playground Lover. The final track as a distorted voice retelling the plot is an interesting bow on this album. Poetic and somber reminiscence that really retroactively fills in the edges of the album.

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Wed May 10 2023
5

Great soundtrack for a pretty good movie

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

Easy 5. Classic movie, classic soundtrack. Haunting, intriguing listen.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
5

Never heard of this movie somehow. Absolutely LOVE this. It makes me want to watch the movie now. A mix of shoegaze/dreampop, psychedelic rock, some funky electro in there. Really, really cool.

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Sun Sep 24 2023
5

10/10 one of the coolest movie soundtracks of all time My personal favorite movie soundtracks are Fantastic Planet (1973) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959), but I still think this album is fantastic

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