Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Exodus, 05. Easy Breezy

Notes on the head-scratcher of a fifth track follow. The second radio single never appeared in North America, as far as I know.

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I'm going to try and write this with a straight face, although I'm already biased, and when I showed the PV to a friend, he went into wtf mode.

The chorus that opens evokes images of summer, and the track has a strong bass beat. The dinky synthesized piano that opens and persists throughout the chorus passages is cute, but it's not endearing, and quickly becomes old. Combined with its insistent rhythm, it gets irritating.

The chorus is in an upper register that is executed in a rather tinny fashion, almost like that synthesized piano. Hikaru has a nice low range here in the verses, but again it has no colour. It sounds dry and airy, and the expressiveness sounds forced.

Speaking of forced, the Konichiwa/Sayonara line sounds pretty forced, like it just *had* to have been put in somewhere to play the Exotic Asian card. The lyrics are bland, and pointless, sometimes superficial, sometimes degrading. Everyone's jumping on this, but it just has to be said again. Japanesey sounds a lot like Japan-easy, which given the subject of the track, makes a lot of sense.

In the coda where she's pseudo-improvising, the ah-ah's that get interjected are clipped and seem to have been added as an afterthought. If they were more fully developed it sounds like a decent addition, but at the moment it strikes me as gimmicky.

Even if it's supposed to be a gag song (or so she claims), it could have been executed with a little more discipline. Parody [the Distance-era song] is, well, a parody of celebrity life, but it was done in a classy and clever way. This is just sort of half-assed.

In the end, it's generic. I can see why it would be released as a single. Play it safe. Given the extremely mixed reactions by fans and some reports of people listening to radio stations, this was a bad move. The next single they release to US radio stations has to do better. They've got 10 choose from (Opening and Interlude are a tad short).