Today, Utada Hikaru, English version:
If you couldn’t make it to the end of that video, I don’t blame you.
Imagine this, if you will: you’re attached to Island Records, one of the larger music distributors in the US at this point. You’re put into talks with what is, at the time, the single highest selling Japanese pop musician today, Utada Hikaru, and she confesses to you that she absolutely wants to release a US album. You come to an agreement, and after she tells you that she writes all of her own songs, you’re ecstatic. Here’s the top Japanese pop artist, possibly ever, and not only does she speak English because she was born in the US, not only does she have exposure to the US music scene because she released music in the US while living in New York, but she write her own material.
Then she hands you the above track and says, “Here. This is what I wrote.”
If you say, “Perfect, yes. Do a lot of this,” congratulations, you’re qualified to run Island Records.
Real talk: I love Utada as a singer, and her J-Pop has an awesome sound to it, but this music, right here? This is the drizzling shits, and the whole record is like this. I found this in a used CD store for three dollars, didn’t even know it had come out, and still felt like I’d overpaid, that’s how bad it is. Her second record, Come Back to Me, was at least something approaching listenable, but even then, her lyrics were the big killer for that record, and I’m almost certainly not the only person who thinks so, because both her US releases combined sold 71,000 copies. Considering that her second English language record outsold that total amount in its first week in Japan, where they wouldn’t grasp the lyrics nearly as well, that says something, especially when a song about having a giant butt can make a record multi-Platinum.