Hikaru Utada / Keep Tryin’ / February 22, 2006
Keep Tryin’ / 02. WINGS / 03. Keep Tryin’ (Instrumental)
Somewhere after her second album, Hikaru Utada’s music began morphing into acceptable melody; in other words, her music stopped sucking. When her initial release, First Love came out who knows how many moons ago, I was appalled at the success and acclaim it received. I thought, just who is this cretin putting out horrible psuedo-American hip-hop tunes and sweeping the Japanese island with her awful music videos/CD covers/fashion sense? I hated this woman who was born to famous Japanese musicians and given an opportunity to release her initial debut under the moniker Cubic U in her early teens.
However, when the singles for her third album Deep River began their release, I was pretty surprised; I was really loving a lot of it. From the magical “SAKURA DROPS,” to the funky pop hit “traveling,” I began appreciating what can only be described as ‘art-pop.’.
After a brief respite in her career to continue attending college in America and marry her music video director, Utada began putting out singles again, delving deeper into the world of original, unique sounding music. She even released an English album in the United States, well, except beside three or so songs, the entire album was a complete flop, and much like the early stages of her career, I refuse to regard its existence. However, with a fourth album pending, it’s possible to begin predicting what it will sound like. And suffice to say, it might actually be worthwhile.
In comes her latest single Keep Tryin’. Fresh off the heels of Passion (her second contribution to the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack), the title track remains true to the surreal, misty quality exuding from her latest works. The song begins sounding like a ballad, but the beat jumps in and turns it into more of a subdued pop song. When it first started, I kept imagining other notes that should follow and was surprised to find other chords and notes instead. And is that a sharp note in the chorus I hear? The first couple of listens to this song are a sort of adventure through transitions and bridges that make less sense and more confusion. However, after a few listens to the song I was able to appreciate the song and it began flowing together much better. All in all, it’s an excellent song with very interesting lyrics that both contribute to and defy the sentimental sound of the melody.
“WINGS” is much different in sound. This song seems to regress back to her earlier hip hop days. The song starts off with what could be an interesting piano melody, except, oh snap, is that the Rent original motion picture soundtrack echoing in my ears? Next thing I know, I’m thinking five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred ohmygod turn it the fuck off. This song is like a puddle and at best, it will shrivel in the sunlight and just go away.