Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Exodus, 04. The Workout

Notes on the fourth track follow.

* * *

Bizarre, experimental. I use more adjectives below.

Instrumentation is pretty sparse. Mainly percussion during verses. There's a bit of noise distortion, and hissing fades in and out during the chorus. There's also dissonance, almost an atonal background during the chorus, produced by a sustained electronic piano. There's an atmosphere of chaos. It's pretty abstract/avant-garde/modern/minimalist, like Boards of Canada with some semblance of recurring melodic elements. BoC is/can be pretty sinister. The chorus sounds sinister, or carnal.

It sounds like people stamping their feet slightly out of synch, lending to the sense of chaos. It sounds ritualistic, if sex can be considered ritualistic. Maybe it can. There's no doubting the subject matter in the lyrics. It's blatant and smeared all over the place, like SMAP. So much for being coy. Meanwhile, I'll just stick my head in the sand and pretend she's singing about chin-ups or something.

Her voice is strident, bordering on shrill, with matching octave voicing in the chorus. It fits the mood, so I guess it's appropriate. It's original, but I'm thinking that the only reason it would appeal to most is because she's talking in thinly veiled terms about sex, and it's pretty charged. Some speculate it'll be remixed for the (hot and sweaty) club scene. Seems like a no-brainer, although the original would probably do fine as well.