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宇多田 ヒカル (Utada Hikaru)
okay first review/ recommendation!
Where you might have heard of her before:
•Kingdom Hearts "Sanctuary” & “Simple & Clean”—the English vers. of “Passion” & “光” (hikari) respectively..
•Neon Genesis Evangelion (Rebuild of Evangelion movies..) "Beautiful World"
•oh! and for various commercials.. like "Kiss&Cry" was used for a Nissin Cup Noodle commercial (i'll get to later) and "Keep Tryin'" for a cell phone company, i believe??
•Probably other stuffs too that i'm unaware of.
Some basic info.. She was born Jan. 19th 1983 in New York City.. Yes, actually she's an American (i don't know if she changed her citizenship or anything though.. eh.. ) But I do know when she was 14 or 15, she moved to Japan, and started her musical career shortly after.. Her mom was a famous Enka singer and her dad, a music producer, so pretty much, she was born to be a singer..Oh! & fyi, she’s known by many of her fans as “Hikki”..
I really don’t know how I got into her, I’ve never played “Kingdom Hearts” lol… but, one of my friends had, and I heard “Hikari” and I remember it since.. so I checked her out, and I’m happy I did! She has such a beautiful voice (with the ability to sing high pitched or low) and amazing English (like I said, she is/was American, so not surprising…) She flawlessly sings from English to Japanese, then back..
Genres: pop; r&b; dance; and ethereal wave primarily.. I’m not good w/ assigning genres to music, so I checked out wikipedia..lol She also uses lots of synthesizer and keyboard (that she plays)..
When she first started (late 1990’s) her music tended to be most heavily influenced by r&b, and she was just starting writing lyrics, so you could tell it was all just developing, but she still showed such potential.. I think this was my least favorite time.. I’m not really crazy about the r&b-ness of her early stuffs..
Then, in early to mid-2000’s (specifically 2002-2006) was my favorite time period.. I think in this time period, she showed the most vocal range, and really blew me away w/ her skill.. she also had the most ballad-type songs… -nods-
Currently (late 2000’s) she has moved towards a more experimental feel (Heart Station especially overall). Her music also feels more “dance” than before.. I’m saddened to see her vocal talents not be so fully expressed as before, as it seems to be “squashed” as the need to fit w/ the overall quick beat of the Heart Station album.. I don’t think it’s staying though.. And now, instead of just trying to be commercial and get people to buy her albums, she cares about actually creating music she wants to and experiment.. it’s important! She’s still going to keep creating great music…
Well, she’s is impossibly successful and had 12 #1 hits on the Oricon charts (like our billboard 100 or whatever I guess..) .. There is all these other awards she’s gotten etc.. but I don’t know the specifics..She has also had English specific releases for overseas fans (like me), and she has a new album called “This Is The One”.. I wanna check it out, even though her past American releases have much more r&b-ness to them than I’d like and I actually think her Japanese music is usually better, I wanna give it a look though… (or a hear if you wanna get technical.), I do have TONS of other tunes I NEED ASAP too though.. ugh..><..… Well, anyways..check her out, you won’t be disappointed!
Okay, Here’s a list of some of my favs.! <3 (I’ll eventually get mp3’s up here on the site, but for the time being, I’m just gonna have the youtube video, if it’s available.. and hope to be enough for now!
• This is Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcePv-BAv3Y&feature=related
(This is her performing this live.. there’s no actual pv.. sorry!><) Such a great, lively song! It’s so nice w/ a great beat.. also ,the lyrics are on the screen, & pretty easy to understand too! <3 I love the keyboard and synthesizer (which she uses a lot in all of her music).. It’s real nice when she sings higher pitch, with another layer of her voice that’s lower in the background, or under the main singing..
•Keep Tryin’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCc-RN2fOjQ
FAV. SONG!! YAY! <3 This is my first “real” song of her’s I listened to when I was first actually checking her out.. The song is GREAT! It’s nice and light pop, but with a nice techno-ness to it, which is love. This video is SOO cute (I think one of my fav. videos of all time..lol) and I just realized this video has karaoke lyrics!! (hey!*hint hint*) and if you get the lyrics, they are soo meaningful and like me I’ spose.. It’s soo funny when it’s the chorus when Hikki sings “ I don’t care about anything..” then continues w/ the Japanese.. Because in the Japanese lyrics, she’s really telling the complete opposite.. Not to be too philosophical or anything, but I think these lyrics can be applied greatly to common human behavior. Lots of times, we give off a presence/ act to people ( the English lyrics), but may truly feel very different about things. ( the Japanese lyrics..) than what we show.. it’s interesting!!
“TA-I-MU I-ZU MA-NEE” lol!! I understand Japanese.. hee hee… XDD
This is the Japanese version of “Sanctuary..( I think "Passion" is better) Such a beautiful song and amazing video, it has a celestial quality I really like .. This video is really along the genre of “ethereal wave” if you were wondering earlier..
No video again.. But a real real great song.. “Ultra Blue” was her overall best time period I think.. Following along w/ that album, this song has such amazing vocal talent and the wonderful actual instruments, beside just her keyboard & synthesizer, give it a more “real” feel I guess..
•FINAL DISTANCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u07EGhOoRvY&feature=related
Well, first of all, I think this is the most powerful, heart-wrenching song I’VE EVER heard.. (Kelly refuses to listen to this song and doesn’t like when I listen to it..) I love this song, but I really can’t just “listen” to it, if you know what I mean..It’s not a song you can listen to everyday, it’s too much.. Hikki is always so emotional and expressive in her singing, and this song is really over the top.. It’s really chilling just how this song is.. jeez! This is a rearranged version of her previous song, “DISTANCE” and Hikki wrote it in honor of this 8 year old girl that really loved Hikki and wrote an essay how she wanted to be like her, but was murdered in a school killing.. The whole feeling of this song just engulfs you.. It’s soo beautiful, but soo sad.. especially at the end of the video at like 3:50+..(watch!) The violin and her beautiful expressive vocals,, really kills me.. 。・゜・(*ノД`*)・゜・。 Just watch and listen, take it in... (on a side note, you see the director of the video, Kazuaki Kiriya,(he directed several of her videos) that's Hikki's future ex-husband! O_O;; crazy.. I know..)
•HEART STATION: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RHpb2uRyUg&feature=related
Okay ,this is new.. I love the simplicity of the beat and nice danceable beat.. The beginning keyboard is real nice and when I first heard it.. I had it stuck in my head for WEEKS..lol.. she’s real good at creating memorable music (i.e. music that won’t go away! Hee hee..)
•Kiss & Cry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaK5Vc0cx0Y
This is the real video, I know, it doesn’t seem like it, but the animation is from an actual anime too though I don’t know what one (you guys could play this during intermission!!) Anyway.. I LOVE the beginning trumpet (and that it scattered throughout the song also..) There’s the funky cymbals , drums and beat.. I just ADORE this song, it’s definitely a favorite!!<3 It’s the closest to r&b that I like.. it’s good dashed in, to add “spice” I guess you could call it, but not too much.. Also, the lyrics are real cute and some-what dumpy in parts of it. Like “..Dad’s Layoff, Brother’s internet, Mom’s on diet…” (translated in English) She also sings “Kyou wa NISSIN CUP NOODLE” lol.. Thusly, this was used for a NISSIN CUP NOODLE commercial.. hee hee XDD This reminds me of another song of hers,, but I don’t rember.. oh well.. ><.. but I love when she sings higher pitched and a higher or lower pitch of hers is in the background.. I already mentioned this in “BLUE”, but she uses it a lot..
So, yeah, Check her out already!!
Here's her OHP!: http://www.emimusic.jp/hikki/
More reviews coming!!
What are your thoughts!?!?!? buweah desu... -> http://otakuanime.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2462