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Utada Hikaru’s new single: “Come back to me”

February 11, 2009

utada-come-back-to-me-thumbIt’s almost time for Utada Hikaru’s new American release! With her new single out, what can we expect from the new album? 
So Utada Hikaru’s new American album is coming next month (March 14 in Japan and March 24 in America), but before that we can enjoy her single first! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the song here).

 For people who don’t know her, she’s one of Japan’s top artists with 3 of her Japanese albums in the Top 10 best-selling albums in Japan (#1, #4 and #8). I can actually go on forever about how amazing she is, but I don’t think that’s why you’re here for, so just Google the rest, there’s enough info out there on the net.

So her new single is called “Come back to me”, from her 2nd (technically 3rd) American release called “This is the one”. As I’m writing, the video is still in production, so all I can show you now is the album cover.

utada-come-back-to-me

 

So…what’s the song like? Well, it sure is different from her current Japanese work, which has a very unique and distinct style. It’smuch more reminiscent of her older albums (especially “First Love”, 1998), yet different. It’s very Pop/R&B like, and maybe a bit simple, but despite that, the song is very catchy. Even though it’s sounds very commercial it does have it’s charm. Some fans on the internet have complained that she’s become a sell-out (yet again) but I have to disagree, and I’ll explain why. Her first (well…technically her 2nd, her first was in January 1998 with an album called “Precious”, which a lot of people never heard of, even her some of her fans) attempt to break into the American market, she also used a very simple, commercial Pop sounding single called “Easy Breezy”, but most of her album (“Exodus”, 2004) had a completely different sound to it. It’s understandable because the American market is just different, and they promoted her as a completely different person than she is in Japan. So probably fans were a bit shocked by that…well, I know I was.

Too bad her attempt to get the Americans’ attention didn’t work out and the album didn’t sell very well, which is a shame because the album contained so many amazing songs that didn’t differ to much from her Japanese style in my eyes. Songs like “Kremlin Dusk”, “About me” and “Animato” are amazing to listen to and really show her skill as a songwriter if you listen to the lyrics well and get the hints towards her personal idols or multi-layered lyrics. And I personally really enjoy lyrics that have subtle hints, referring to things you probably won’t get the first few times you listen to them, like “Kremlin Dusk”. But I just love the way the song is also catchy without understanding the full meaning of the lyrics, or in her words:

“Both things are just as important to me—to be catchy, so when you hear a song on the radio it sticks out, and also to have that depth.” – Taken from an interview on her Myspace page

So, what can we expect from her new album? I do think it will be much more like her Japanese albums, which have a very distinct style and “Come back to me” is just to receive airplay. And apparently, it’s working, according to MediaBase US Airplay Reporting, the single is getting a pretty large listening audience, especially compared to her English songs released in 2004. I have high hopes for this album, and even though it may not sell as well as her Japanese ones, I do think the songs on the album are going to be amazing, just like “Exodus”, because she never failed to amaze me with a new album release. 

People who worked on the album are Stargate (confirmed for “Me Muero” and “Apple & Cinnamon”) and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, but to be honest, I don’t really care about them, but I’m sure the people who know them do. Another confirmed track is “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI” referring to the movie “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” and also includes a sample from Ryuichi Sakamoto, the one who also wrote the musical score and vocal theme “Forbidden Colours”. I YouTubed the guy, and his stuff is pretty cool. Even though piano solo’s aren’t my cup of tea, if it’s incorporated into a Hikki song, I’m sure it’s going to be pretty cool. And apparently she wrote at least 10 of the songs herself on this album, that’s gotta be a whole lot more than some artists have written in their lifetime.

So, what else is there to say? Let’s hope the album is going to be a hit, and give it a listen when it’s out in March! 😛

Rating: star1star1star1star1blankstar1

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