Hikaru Utada – Take On Me (LIVE)

28 08 2009

I somehow stumbled upon this performance by Hikki of the classic 80’s song Take On Me by Norwegian group A-ha on Youtube. She performed this track way back in 2000 and you can see how young she looks. I just love her version of the song. Check it out.

Hikki vs BoA – Who Won The Best English Album Battle?

18 03 2009

With both singers’ English albums now out I had a chance to listen to them over the past couple of days so which one was better? Hikki or BoA?


First off let’s start with Hikki’s This Is The One which is what I listened to first. The obvious difference from her usual Japanese output was plain to see – she’d gone back to her r’n’b roots that she started her career off. After listening to the album for the first time from start to finish I was of the impression that I really liked it but upon listening to it again I got tired of it fairly quickly. I’ve got to say I’m fairly disappointed now in this album. Many tracks are repetitive in nature. I was frankly surprised at the sexual undertones in a couple of songs, I had to pinch myself at times that it was really Hikki singing those lines although I understand it is very tongue in cheek! This Is The One isn’t all bad though – there are a couple of good songs like Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – FYI, Apple and Cinnamon, On and On and Dirty Desire. So the final verdict is it could have been better. Was it better than her previous English album Exodus? I don’t think it is.

Boa English album

A couple of days later I listened to BoA’s debut English album and what a difference this one is compared to Hikki’s. It’s just magnificent and way better. I can’t fault any of the songs – it is just solid from the opening track I Did It For Love right through to the final one Hypnotic Dancefloor. It’s full of catchy upbeat tunes. I really really loved it. I’m hoping this does well for BoA because she deserves it for releasing such a brilliant album. Don’t miss out on it!

At the end of the day BoA’s album easily won this battle. I expected better from Hikki but she’ll come back strong with her next Japanese album I’m sure of it.

Hikaru Utada – Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – FYI

11 03 2009

There’s a couple of songs from Hikki’s new English album This Is The One floating around the internet at the moment and one tune I’m particularly enjoying is Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence – FYI. Come Back To Me was OK in my opinion, not the best song by Hikki but this one is far better. I’m baffled by the Star Trek reference in the song in which she mentions Captain Picard! I’ve yet to hear one of the other songs being previewed which is Dirty Desire but if the 2 songs I’ve listened to so far are an indication of what we can expect from her album then it’s going to be brilliant. I just hope it does well in the US. There was nothing wrong with her previous English album Exodus, in fact I thought it was excellent so we’ll see how this one fares this time round.

I’ve heard rumours that This Is The One will be delayed now until May. Is this true or not as I’ve yet to hear an official announcement. It’s supposed to come out this coming Saturday – March 14th.

Notable 2009 1st Quarter Single/Album Releases

20 02 2009

In this post I’ll give you the release dates of notable singles/albums of artists that you might be interested in purchasing/downloading right up to the middle of April:

25th February:
Ayumi Hamasaki’s double A-side single Rule/Sparkle comes out next week which is sure to be a big seller and go straight to No.1. On the same day the excellent Ami Suzuki releases her new single Reincarnation, Ai Otsuka with Bye Bye and misono who’s inconsistent at best with her songs releases her latest one Kyuukon. On the album side Tomoke Kawase releases 2 best of CD’s for her alter egos Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6 named Strawberry Cream Soda Pop “Daydream” and Gothic Melting Ice Cream’s Darkness “Nightmare”. Quite a mouthful aren’t they!!

4th March:
The underrated Chinese female soloist alan finally releases her debut album called Voice of EARTH. I’m really looking forward to this one. I’ve no idea why she’s overlooked by Japanese music fans. Also coming out will be the first collaboration between siblings Koda Kumi and misono with their song It’s All Love plus AKB48 release 10 Nen Sakura. Hope that does as well as their last song Oogoe Diamond.

9th March:
AKB48 sub-unit No Sleeves release their 2nd single Tane.

14th March:
Hikaru Utada’s 2nd English album called This Is The One comes out. It’ll be interesting to see how this one fares in the US as Exodus bombed big style over there. I like her song Come Back To Me. I’m expecting good things from this album just as long as she doesn’t abandon the style that made Heart Station such a success.

18th March:
Plenty of good music coming out on this date including BoA’s Best&USA album plus another album simply called BoA. I think this is released on the 17th. An artist that I’ve started to get into lately Saori@destiny brings out her mini-album WOW WAR TECHNO. Morning Musume’s album Platinum 9 Disc also comes out. On the single side of things the highly anticipated new single by Namie Amuro called Wild/Dr will be released. I really like Namie so I can’t wait for this single from her.

25th March:
The big release for me this week is Perfume’s 14th single One Room Disco. I’m waiting in anticipation for the preview and PV to this song. Gackt’s latest song which is also the OP for tokusatsu TV show Kamen Rider Decade called Journey Through The Decade also comes out plus Ayumi Hamasaki’s 12th album NEXT LEVEL. That should be great. One of my favorites from old skool Morning Musume – Mari Yaguchi releases her single which I mentioned sometime ago called Seishun Boku. In addition to the above, Koda Kumi gives us a double whammy with 2 CD’s – one’s a remix album called Koda Kumi’s Driving Hits and the other is a compilation called Out Work & Collaborations Best. My wallet is going to be hit hard on this date!!!

April 8th:
alan comes out with yet another new single Kuon na Kawa

April 15th
The brilliant Girl Next Door after a busy end to 2008 with 4 singles and an album release their newest single Seeds of Dream. I really enjoyed their debut album.