Archive for the ‘ Utada Hikaru ’ Category

Distance

Artist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: March 28, 2001
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. Wait & See: Risk
2. Can You Keep a Secret?
3. Distance
4. Sunglasses
5. Drama
6. Eternally
7. Addicted to You (Up-In-Heaven Mix)
8. For You
9. Kettobase!
10. Parody
11. Time Limit
12. Kotoba ni Naranai Kimochi
13. Hayatochi-Remix (Bonus Track)
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I’m totally loving that cover of her’s. The hair is just in motion that it’s just too cool to look at, lol.

I just love of Hikki could really hold those high notes in Wait & See: Risk ! (Since she sings in a lower pitch most of the time.) Pop-element instrumentations but the vocal arrangement made it sound a bit R&B. …Despite that, the song is pretty lenghty.

Can You Keep a Secret? reeks of cool sounding ad-libs and calming vocals accompanied with a nice arrangement. I have to admit that Hikki sounded really strong here but there were times when her vocals could not really hit the higher notes. (This was a first considering on how she was able to sing high in the Ultra Blue era.)

Distance is probably considered one of the best Hikki songs up to date! The verses and chorus are equally awesome and catchy and the vocals were to die for! (I know I’m over exaggerating but I’m pretty dazzled by this song!) But unlike my expression towards the track, the catchy arrangement hides the fact that Distance is actually a sad song.

Sunglasses turns out to be another R&B track with nicely sung verses but then the element that differentiates this from her other R&B songs is that she sings with some sort of emotions that turns out to express the tone of the lyrics. (I think you have to listen to it to know what I’m talking about.)

Drama still isn’t as interesting as her other tracks but I really like the energy that Hikki attempts to put into the song by having the electric guitar to play with her fast paced vocals.

Eternally is probably oen of the prettiest songs on the album. (There really aren’t that many ballads in Distance.) I really love how the piano sounded really elegant and how it really goes in synch with Hikki’s gentle vocals. (Think Younha ballads) I don’t know, I just really like the flow of the arrangement.

In this particular remix, there’s an instrumentation consisting of drums and some kind of wired shaking of a special drum heard. Addicted to You (Up-In-Heaven Mix) really gives you that “Hikki” feeling where the song sounds a little strange but you can’t help but like it. I’m not really sure how the original version sounds like so I can’t really compare the remix with anything…but otherwise, I give this a thumbs up.

For You begins with light instrumentals followed by Hikki’s signature R&B acoustics. She sings in lower register as the pace isn’t as fast as her older R&B oriented music were. Despite the new and different taste is Rhythm and Blues, Hikki definitely made possibly the most addicting A-side of the Distance era!

Kettobase! is another case where Hikki couldn’t sing in high pitch. I like out the verses and chorus contrast from each other regarding pitch and volume. With the verses in medium pitch while the chorus on high register.

Parody starts out really strong with instruments sudden blaring the moment the song starts. But the best thing about this song is that it’s a mixture of different genres like R&B, rock and other genres that we’re used to her singing. The mixture is probably the one reason why this makes it one of the most memorable tracks on the album and that it’s one of my favorite old Hikki songs.

Time Limit starts with powerful R&B elements. The entire arrangement itself doesn’t beat For You’s and I just can’t get myself to be addicted to this song. I thought that any R&B artist could sing this song but I’m pretty sure that it’ll grow on me…

Kotoba ni Naranai Kimochi has powerful instrumentals that would stick in my mind forever and hikki’s vocals are still as good as usual. The verses are pretty slow paced but it goes uptempo during the chorus. Another one of the stronger new tracks on the album.

Hayatochi-Remix (Bonus Track) is a really balanced remix that starts slow and sorrowful but then jumps into a catchy piano that would never make you skip this track. This is definitely worth listening to and is an awesome way to end this epic album.

Personal Rating: 5/5

You make me want to be a Man

You Make me want to be a manArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: October 17, 2005
Label: Universal
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

1. You Make Me Want to Be a Man (Radio Edit)
2. You Make Me Want to Be a Man (Junior Jack Mix)
3. You Make Me Want to Be a Man (Bloodshy & Avant Mix)
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Uh…interesting cover…

The You Make Me Want to Be a Man (Radio Edit) explains Hikki’s difficulties for understanding her husband. (Possibly the song dedicated to her divorce?) Anyways, it’s like her typical R&B oriented song: very repetitve when it comes to the chorus, arrangement and vocal pitch. Pretty much like a monotone song.

I’m also starting to wonder why Hikki changes her label from time to time. It was EMI Music (NOT Japan), Island records and now Universal.

Personal Rating: 3.5/5

Exodus ’04

Exodus '04Artist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: June 21, 2005
Label: Island Records
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. Exodus ’04 (Double J – [Radio Mix])
2. Exodus ’04 (Josh Harris’ Elektrik Radio [JH Elektrik Radio])
3. Exodus ’04 (Josh Harris Vs. The MPC Radio [JH vs. the MPC Radio])
4. Exodus ’04 (Josh Harris’ Exodus Experience [JH Exodus Experience])
5. Exodus ’04 (Double J [Extended Mix])
6. Exodus ’04 (Peter Bailey Dub [Peter Bailey Dub])
7. Exodus ’04 (JJ Flores Dub #1 [JJ Flores Dub 1])
8. Exodus ’04 (Kriya Vs. Velez Progressive [Trance Mix])
9. Exodus ’04 (Kriya Vs. Velez Electro [House Mix])
10. Exodus ’04 (JJ Flores Dub #2 [JJ Flores Dub 2])
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Just like the Devil Inside single, there are still tons and tons of remixes. I’ve always wondered why it took Hikki a really long time to release Ultra Blue. Turns out that she was working with Island records to release her Exodus era singles.

I’m surprised to see why so many people disliked the Exodus era! The singles are actually receiving positive ratings from me and from the links on the blogroll! (ex. Hyperballad, Buce’s reviews, etc.)

Anyways, there isn’t an original version on the single but the Exodus ’04 (Double J – [Radio Mix]) sounds closest to the version on the album. The lyrics sound pretty intersting since it’s about how she had to contribute to the production on her Exodus era. The instrumentals recieve a hands down 10 out of 10 rating and her vocals are still very strong and memorable. The remixes are just as great! (The Exodus ’04 (Double J – [Extended Mix]) gives listeners a long time to enjoy the song!)

Personal Rating: 5/5

Devil Inside

Devil InsideArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: September 14, 2004
Label: Island Records
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Devil Inside (Original Version)
2. Devil Inside (Richard Vission Radio Edit)
3. Devil Inside (The Scumfrog Radio Edit)
4. Devil Inside (The Scumfrog Mix Show Edit)
5. Devil Inside (The Richard Vission Experience)
6. Devil Inside (The Richard Vission Duberience)
7. Devil Inside (The Scumfrog Vocal Mix)
8. Devil Inside (The Scumfrog Dub)
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I was thinking of reviewing the Exodus era that was released in the U.S. even though this is just a review site for J-pop music. I’ll probably review her Come back to me era as well. Since this single is loaded with remixes of the A-side, I’ll probably just review the original track. (I would generally say that the remixes are good, though.)

The Devil Inside (Original Version) is very energetic and very electronica. It has the unique factor with all of the awesomness within the lyrics and arrangement department. Not to mention that Hikki’s voice sounds out of this world! (This time, in low register.)

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Can you Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a SecretArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: February 16, 2001
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Can You Keep a Secret?
2. Kettobase!
3. Can You Keep a Secret? (Original Karaoke)
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Can You Keep a Secret? reeks of cool sounding ad-libs and calming vocals accompanied with a nice arrangement. I have to admit that Hikki sounded really strong here but there were times when her vocals could not really hit the higher notes. (This was a first considering on how she was able to sing high in the Ultra Blue era.)

Kettobase! is another case where Hikki couldn’t sing in high pitch. I like out the verses and chorus contrast from each other regarding pitch and volume. With the verses in medium pitch while the chorus on high register.

Personal Rating: 4/5

For You/Time Limit

For YouArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: June 30, 2000
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. For You
2. Time Limit
3. For You (Instrumental)
4. Time Limit (Instrumental)
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Nice artwork on the cover Hikki!

For You begins with light instrumentals followed by Hikki’s signature R&B acoustics. She sings in lower register as the pace isn’t as fast as her older R&B oriented music were. Despite the new and different taste is Rhythm and Blues, Hikki definitely made possibly the most addicting A-side of the Distance era!

Unlike the first A-side, Time Limit starts with powerful R&B elements. The entire arrangement itself doesn’t beat For You‘s and I just can’t get myself to be addicted to this song. Apparently, this was a second A-side instead of the usual B-side. (But this isn’t really A-side material! D:) I thought that any R&B artist could sing this song but I’m pretty sure that it’ll grow on me…

Personal Rating: 4/5

Wait & See

Wait & SeeArtist: Utada Hikaru
Release Date: April 19, 2000
Label: EMI Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Wait & See: Risk
2. Hayatochiri
3. Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
4. Wait & See: Risk (Baton Girl Mix)
5. Wait & See: Risk (Original Karaoke)
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I just love of Hikki could really hold those high notes in Wait & See: Risk! (Since she sings in a lower pitch most of the time.) Pop-element instrumentations but the vocal arrangement made it sound a bit R&B. …Despite that, the song is pretty lenghty.

Hayatochiri is definitely B-side material as the arrangement and instrumentals itseld does not surpass the ones in Wait & See: Risk. There’s still a little hint of R&B here…looks like Hikki was still trying out different genres when this was released. (Since she’s moved on to electronica lately.)

For those who have listened to Hikki’s Beautiful World single, a more modern version of Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) was used as a B-side. (Even though it didn’t sound any different.) Hikki only sings two verses and the chorus of the original song until she pretty much ad-libs during the remainding two minutes.

Personal Rating: 4/5