Friday, July 23, 2010

Utada Hikaru- Ultra Blue

ULTRA BLUE is Utada Hikaru's fourth original studio album. It reached #1 on the oricon. To date it is her lowest selling album though it has sold over 9,00,000 copies.

1. This is Love- A very energetic track which starts with synthetic sounding instruments and piano intro. Utada sounds strained in the high notes. Her voice sounds tired and airy throughout. Though the track was good, Utada's voice lacks the energy and power to carry it off perfectly.

2.Keep Tryin- The song is very nice and optimistic like the previous track. But a wintry feel has been added to it. Like the previous track, Utada's voice is too airy and unclear.

3.BLUE- For the title track, this track is very weak. It is very electronic and lacks any direction in respect to flow. Utada's voice sounds very airy and the high notes he hits in the beginning sound as if she just managed to somehow force them.

4.Nichiyou no asa- At last! A good track. It is a very mysterious track with lots of piano and synth. Utada's airy voice actually adds to the mysterious effect and makes the song shine.

5. Making love- A mediocre track.
Rating- 3

6.Dareka no negai ga kanau koro- A very powerful ballad with beautiful lyrics and powerful emotion. The arrangement could have been more interesting but....well.

7.COLORS- Clearly the best track on this album. It is a japanese sounding electronic track. Very good arrangement and Utada's sings it pretty well.

8.One night magic- This song is TERRIBLE! They have no coordination, the melody is below average and the arrangement is just unbeareable. I expected more from Utada's first duet.

9.Kairo- A fairly good track with good use of strings. Calming.

10. Wings- The b-side of keep tryin'. I didn't like it at all. It was too simple.

11.Be my last- Utada tries to hit ambitious notes in this song but it sounds pretty good. Utada's voice is not as airy as in the other songs.

12.Eclipse- I still don't understand why Utada places interludes at the end. They have no meaning now.

13.Passion- A very unique track with grand instrumentals which sound like they are from an ancient magical kingdom. Very good.

Overall, this album was a huge step down from Deep River. Utada's vocals have become airier and unclear. Even the good tracks in this album fail to stand out due to average vocals. What happened to her voice?

The songs were also pretty average, with only a few good tracks.No ownder this her lowest selling album. It is nowhere as compared to her earlier albums.

Good cover art
Ballads are good

Vocals are not whole-hearted
Many album tracks are not good
Arrangements are similar sounding

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