Monday, July 19, 2010
Deep River is Utada Hikaru's Third album. It sold close to 3 million copies and is the eighth best-selling album in Japanese music History.
The first thing I want to say about Deep River is......what's with the cover? Utada doesn't look too good and it has no relation to a River whatsoever. The second thing is that when I listened to this album the first times and the first few times, I just hated it. I thought "Is this an Utada album?" The album sounded too dark and all the tracks sounded alike. But gradually, as I listened to it, it grew more and more on me. Now, it is my second favorite Utada Album (after First Love). So please give this album time and it is sure too become your favorite. That aside, let's look at the tracks.
1.SAKURA DROPS- A original track which mixes the sounds of the music box. The verses are mellow and sound like a ballad and the chorus picks up.Highly recommended and a great way to start this album.
2.travelling- It was not a good idea to place travelling after Sakura drops. travelling is a reasonably good uptempo track is overshadowed by most of the album tracks in this album.
3.Shiawase ni Narou- It started off like a ballad and then became a r&b track. I liked the ballad part more. There is nothing spectacular about this track. It is very average. Not bad for an album track.
4.Deep River- When I close my eyes and listen to the instrumental intro, I feel like I am in the middle of the lake. Maybe that is the reason she named this track Deep River. It is a track with an east-asian feel to it. The song flows like a water body- in one direction and slowly. The tempo never changes and the chorus is not very high or shrieky. A very original song. Utada outdid herself on this.
5.Letters- This track sounds too.....I don't know. I feel something is wrong, that's why I am not able to like it even after many listens.
6.Playball- I didn't like this track at first and used to skip it everytime. But one day I heard it and it stuck in my head. It's atmosphere is like that of Never Lett Go in first love. I feel like I am in a cold place when I head this.
7.Tokyo Nights- This is the only track I liked on my first listen. Many Utada fans site it as their second favorite album track after First Love. It has a mysterious and very urban feel as if standing on a skyscraper in the middle of a city with lights. I am suure you will like this one.
8.ASAP- I call this and the previous three tracks the 'Single Trine' because they arre all awesome tracks and I think they should have all been single tracks. ASAP starts with an intro which includes church bells. The atmosphere is very mysterious and liek the atmosphere during a blizzard when you can feel something is wrong. This song captures feeling very beautifully.
9. Uso Mitai na I love you- I didn't like the instrumental intro AT ALL. The rest of the song is pretty good and everything seems to be going well......until that intro is played again. Seriously, this song should have been arranged better.
10.FINAL DISTANCE- It is a ballad and one of Utada's best. It only has a simple piano instrumental with occassional strings and back-singers but it is very good.
11.Bridge- I have never gotten the point of placing an interlude as the second last track. Isn't it supposed to be an interlude? Bridge is not bad, but it would have been more helpful if it had been somewhere in the middle of the album. Here, it sounds uneeded and I skip it in order to proceed to the last track- Hikari.
12.HIKARI- Is an upbeat pop track and a relatively new genre for Utada. It was used in the Kingdom Hearts game and she even sang an English version of it. The Japanese version is better. Hikari is not an outstanding track. It should not have been a single track.
DEEP RIVER contains Utada's best album tracks to date. Some are better than those on First Love. The single tracks were not as outstanding (with the exception of Sakura Drops). This album is a relief after DISTANCE. After listening to DISTANCE, I was afriad Utada might become another so-so, generic artist. Utada has proved me wrong. She is truly an artist who values quality and deserves her fame.
Excellent album tracks
Mediocre single tracks
Most songs sound alike