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Original Title:
Kiraware Matsuko no issho

Japan 2006


Memories of Matsuko - OST

Review: "Memories of Matsuko" delivers an outstanding and very diverse soundtrack, that is also fun to listen to detached from the movie. The mix of modern pop and return to good old 50s happy-life musical soundtracks is working out astonishingly well. Not only will every listener find his favorite track on this CD, you will even find every song to be appealing and enchanting, no matter what taste you have in music. Moreover, you should also pay attention to the lyrics, as the movie didn't just attach great importance to the music, but also uses this medium to help tell its story. Therefore, for those who got to know and appreaciate the movie, it will be a special pleasure to get this dark fairy tale about the tragic protagonist Matsuko retold through the music.

The soundtrack opens with a rocking pop-song, featuring some guitars and drums, providing a good introduction with its fast beats. It has everything that is needed to become a ear worm with time. "Faker" mixes rock, along with excessively used E-guitar sounds in the background, with a nice beat and a small rap insertion. This is a piece which qualities will become more apparent with every time you listen to it, and which melody soon proves to be addicting.
The next song is "Love is Bubble" by Bonnie Pink. Actually this is absolutely not my style, as there is heavy use of swing elements like the bass and the trumpets, yet for some odd reasons I like this one pretty much, maybe also because it somehow sounds sexy. Anyway, Bonnie Pink surely has her very own original music style, for which fact alone she deserves some extra words of praise.
"Dream Train" is a short piece, sung by a child voice, that somehow reminds us of the score for old cartoons with its upbeat character and cheerful melody carried by wind instruments.

"What is a Life" is arguably the piece that was worked into the movie best. Although R'n'b isn't my favority music genre either, this song is very appealing with its great rhythm. On its own this track might not be as great as it were in the context of the movie, thanks to the impressive music video, but it still is easily one of the CD's highlights, at the latest when Miki Nakatani has her musical entry, and her beautiful clear voice starts with the line "I'm living for the love". Nakatani wasn't a singer before her acting career without a reason as we get to hear.
"Endless" is by far the worst piece of the CD and even gets quite annoying after a while with its repetitive style. "Candy Tree" heads into the same direction as "Dream Train" and takes us into a colorfully drawn cartoon-like feel-good world. "Happy Wednesday" is of a similar kind. The music style once agains reminds us of the film musical scores of the 50s, in which we are taken into a cheerful world of happiness. Miki Nakatani conveys this song with her voice very fittingly, and along with the whistled melody it is just radiating a cheerful mood, while it is also somewhat funny.
Track 9 is one of the film's main themes. Accompanied by a piano a child voice sings this rather sad, melancholic melody, which strongly resembles a lullaby. This is without a doubt one of the most touching pieces of the soundtrack, especially if you see it in conjunction with the second to last track of the CD.

Track 10 is one of those typical Japanese 70s pieces, that sound pretty "funky". One of those songs you wouldn't wonder to come across in one of Quentin Tarantino's movies. "Uso" fits into the same category, even though there is a bit less "funk" to be found here. Instead there is more of an upbeat character. "Uso" is undoubtedly one of the best songs of the soundtrack, especially thanks to the sexy voice of the singer, and despite the extreme use if trumpets and trombones.
Track 12 is a 70s ballad that isn't really outstanding, yet can be quite appealing.
Michael Buble's "Feeling Good" reminds us of a Chicago gang land flick playing in the 30s, with its smoky sounds, yet there is something to it that is very likeable. "Walking on Springtime" by Barbara Borra is a bit more melancholic and dreamy than the rest and fits perfectly into the movies mood, which is also why it is one of the film's main themes. The transition to an alternative version of "Candy Tree" is very fluent and seamless.
"Here, Always" is a ballad, as we got to hear them during the 50/60s. Still it hasn't lost any of its charm and the duet between the two singers is also very enthralling.

"She's what I want to be" is a very neat ballad, that is only mildly melancholic, but delivers a good portion of hope and longing. The warm sounds of the acoustic guitar and especially the lyrics will rehash the pictures of the movie before your eyes.
The penultimate song is once again the lullaby-like piece we already heard in track 9. This time, however, it is sung by Miki Nakatani. Those who have seen the movie will instantly have to fight tears when hearing this song.
The soundtrack gets completed by a medley, in which we can find arguably the best songs of the CD, and which also make for a great symbiosis the way they are arranged with fluent transitions between the different pieces. A very appropriate way to end this very touching soundtrack.
"Memories of Matsuko" is simply a brilliant movie. The soundtrack takes us on a trip into a very special candy-like technicolor fest of a fairy tale, as well as the film did. The songs are of great variety and will arouse different feelings in you, especially if you've watched the movie. "Memories of Matsuko" for most part works because of its charming soundtrack and it shows when listening to this CD. Great stuff!

Copyright © 2007 AsianMovieWeb

Track listing

01. トゥリル トゥリル リカ
      ー / 木村カエラ
02. faker / ch feat.
04. Dream Train / 及川リ
05. What Is A Life / AI &
06. Endless / Joe Himeji
      feat. J.
07. Candy Tree / 及川リン
08. Happy Wednesday / 中
09. まげてのばして / 湯
10. 古い日記 / 和田アキ
11. USO / 阿井莉沙
12. あなたの心に / 中山
13. Feeling Good /
      Michael Buble
14. Walking On
      Springtime / Barbara
15. Candy Tree -
      blossom ver. / 及川リン
16. Here, Always / Tommy
      Snyder & YOSHIKA
17. She's What I Want To
      Be / ch
18. まげてのばして / 中
19. Matsuko Medley /
      Matsuko Singers

Running Time = 54:21

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