Monday, July 19, 2010

J-pop Album review- Utada Hikaru First Love

Who hasn't heard of Utada Hikaru and her First Love album? It is the highest selling album in Japan with over 7 million copies sold. So what made this album a bestseller and most importantly, does it deserve its status?

1.AUTOMATIC- It was Utada's debut single. It is an r&b track with a strong beat and a great tune and arrangement. My only complaint was that at some points, Utada's voice is submerged by the strong beats. Still, it's a track you will not get tired of so easily.

2.Movin' on Without You- It is a lot more aggressive that it's predecessor. It is basically an upbeat track too. Utada's vocals are reasonably good.

3.In My Room- This is the first album track. When I heard this song for the first time, I felt- No way! This is definately a single track. The song is undoubtedly a masterpiece. I loved it and no matter how much I listen to it, I still love it. It is a perfect balance between good beats and soothing instrumentals.

4.First Love- If you were surprised that In My Room is an album track, you will die of shock when you realize that First Love is an album track too. It's a good thing it was made into a re-cut single. A song with flawless songwriting (credit to Utada), it is the favorite song of many Utada fans. As for me, I felt Utada's vocals could not keep pace with the song. She takes so many breaths and sounds so airy. I still prefer In My Room over this.

5.Amai Wana ~Paint it Black~- A rock-trance-r&b hybrid. I think this is teh most mediocre track on the album but I am sure many will disagree with me. Well, I guess I love more balanced and mellow songs.

6.time will tell- Another favorite of mine. It sounds as peaceful and chirpy as In My Room. Utada sounds very young and enthusiastic in this track. A very good effort by Utada both vocally and musically.

7.Never Let Go- Many grade this song as mediocre. But I like it. It starts with a godo guitar intro which led me into believing that this song was going to be a r&b ballad. When I listen to this song, I feel liek I am in a hillstation. I wonder why.

8.B&C- This song is so happy! I love the cheerful intro and everything else. Why did she have to make this a B-side? It is as good as any A-side.

9.Another Chance- Okay, I guess Utada was giving us a string of awesome songs so she got tired. Another Chance is pretty mediocre. Still, it is better than many A-sides singers these days produce.

10.Interlude- She should have skipped this. It is pretty bad even for an interlude.
Rating- I prefer not to rate this one

11.Give Me A Reason- The longest track on the album, it starts with a simple acoustic guitar intro and then dives into the soft R&B style we know Utada so well for.

12. Automatic~Johnny Vicious Remix~- Mediocre remix. Shouldn't have included it.

So, is this album deserving of the highest selling album in Japanese music history. You bet it is. Not even a single filler track and I consider that quite a feat. Most albums these days have too many filler tracks. Utada's best vocally and musically. Her voice has become a lot airier since First Love.

Go ahead and buy this album. I bought this two years ago and I still play it. Only the highest selling album in Japanese music history can be so good.

1 comment:

  1. i totally agree that this is the best album ever!!! =)

    if First Love was released as a single, it could've been the highest selling Japanese single ;)