Utada Hikaru – Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2

12/07/2010 at 6:32 PM | Posted in Utada Hikaru | Leave a comment
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~Album~

Utada Hikaru – Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2

Disc 1

1. Prisoner Of Love

2. Stay Gold

3. HEART STATION

4. Kiss&Cry

5. Beautiful World

6. Flavor Of Life -Ballad Version-

7. Boku wa Kuma

8. This Is Love

9. Keep Tryin’

10. Passion

11. Be My Last

12. Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro

13. Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-

Disc 2

1. Arashi no Megami

2. Show Me Love (Not A Dream)

3. Goodbye Happiness

4. Hymne à l’amour ~Ai no Anthem~

5. Can’t Wait ‘Til Christmas

With her impending hiatus, Utada Hikaru gives us her last release until she returns. Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2 contains all of her singles from Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro released way back in 2004, to Prisoner Of Love released in 2008. Also included is Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix- released in 2009. I couldn’t wait for this album to come in and I’m so excited to review it. In the interest of time, for now at least, I will only review the 5 new tracks included on Disc 2. At a later date, I will update this post with my reviews of all the singles as they are songs I’ve never been able to review.

The new tracks start with “Arashi no Megami” which means “Storm Goddess” in English. It’s a very calm and slow song starting with simple piano. The lyrics and the way Hikaru sings them; it’s like they take you for a ride and your hanging on every word. Eventually, bass and percussion come in and when all the other instruments coalesce together it makes for such a melodious and even slightly haunting sound. I loved the fleeting end the song came to and I thought that this was the perfect track to start out with.

Score – 9.5

“Show Me Love (Not A Dream)” takes you for a ride with it’s multiple sections and some of the best vocals by Hikaru. The song starts with a piano solo, as Hikaru starts singing, synths and some truly great background sounds are added creating a unique and slightly dark atmosphere. This all culminates in a full rock explosion into the chorus, featuring guitar, drums and heavy bass. Her vocals are so flawless here and I especially loved the sheer strength she belts the line “It’s all in my head.”

Score – 10

“Goodbye Happiness” seems to lighten things up however it actually features melancholy lyrics, I enjoyed the contrast. It’s a very upbeat sounding electro-pop like song featuring piano, thumping percussion, and even some 8-bit sound effects if you listen carefully. As soon as the first chorus starts, some great strings come in and continue on through the rest of the song. The background vocals create wonderful harmonies throughout the whole song. I especially loved the bridge which features piano, strings, synth and some vocalizing. The emotions it brings on makes for a truly great experience overall.

Score – 10

And all that jazz! Hikaru’s cover of Édith Piaf’s classic Hymne à l’amour is just that a lounge like, jazz infused instant classic. “Hymne à l’amour ~Ai no Anthem~” features French lyrics followed by Japanese lyrics translated by Hikaru herself. The bridge breaks everything down to claps, flute, and lyrics that just flow so well for this section. The harmonizing background vocals here were nearly orgasmic. Musically, it’s one of the most unique things Hikaru has done.

Score – 9.5

The album closes with “Can’t Wait ‘Til Christmas” which is simply perfect given the impending holiday. I expected the music to sound a bit more Christmas-like but the only thing that gives it away are the Christmas bells featured towards the end of the song. The vocals are so soft backed solely by piano, with the occasional aforementioned bells and some chimes. The backing vocals as always are exceptionally pretty when present. I loved when she ended each chorus with “I’m already ah loving you” and how the song also ended so softly with those words.

Score – 9.5

Final Note

HIKKI CAN’T LEAVE, SHE JUST CAN’T! The new tracks on this album goes to show just how great, amazing, and unique she is. As is usual with all Hikki albums, I absolutely adored every track and I have no complaints, might I say, it’s practically perfect in every way. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, if I love her this much now I can’t imagine how I’ll feel once she comes back. I’ll be counting the days until that time comes.

Overall Rating

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