Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Exodus, 03. Exodus '04

Notes on the third track follow. The irony of putting the track number beside the song title is not lost on me. I also note that I have this running gag of criticizing her voice, and I even issued a warning in the original entry. Truth is, it's a lot less prominent in anything past the Distance era, with Deep River as kind of a borderline case. Somewhere it's stated that she wants to be more of a producer now, letting the music do the talking as opposed to the vocals.

* * *

Many believe this to be one of the best tracks. I'm not about to disagree.

Hikaru showcases her low range, but the richness has evaporated. As opposed to "fat" tones, they're just tones that any alto might sing. There's no special kick.

I'm not enthralled with the end of the chorus. It's good up to the end, when she just has to append "oh-four", and it sounds hugely out of place, and breaks the flow of the language.

The major selling points of this are lyrics and backgrounds. They're enunciated clearly, and describe the process of leaving behind Japan to start something new, stylistically and physically. It's pretty brave.

The background makes for good accompaniment. The synthesized elements don't really intrude, and it sounds like there is actually a stringed bass to bottom out the chords. The most alluring section is the violin loop and the airy voice, which evokes the Middle East. Along with the minor scale, maybe harmonic minor, to sound more like Middle East styles, this track is pretty impressionable. Anything foreign sounding instantly grabs my attention, but Exodus '04 has yet to lose its novelty.

Single material? Definitely. It trumps Easy Breezy, but I'll get to that.

Clean lines, excellent execution. The only quibble is that Hikaru's voice isn't as magical as it used to be, but that's something you'll hear me complain about for the rest of this.