Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Exodus, 12. Wonder 'Bout

Washing dishes, Watching baseball matches. Are these references to the Deep River era songs Hikari (specifically the PV) and Play Ball? If so, this is a lot more tongue and cheek than I had previously thought, with Parody vibes.

Fans of the Distance era should have had a blast. This is one track where the lyrics flow well, and she really sounds true to Distance form.

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Wonder 'Bout is another typical R&B/hip-hop (I'm no good at distinguishing) track, about, well, wondering about what an ex-boyfriend is doing. Nothing shocking, except where she says, I don't give a damn about you, or I don't f***king give a damn, in the second chorus. It took me a while to catch this, even though it
was pointed out in a forum thread called, Sailor mouth (hah).

It's got the usual instrumentation, including the wah wah muted trumpet, except it's sampled; electronic E piano (the soft sounding piano mode for those old Yamaha Clavinova electronic keyboards); the bop hollow percussion (name escapes me) [maybe they were just wood blocks]; and sampled clarinet (at least I think it's clarinet…I should know since I played it, but eh). The setting evoked is late 80's/early 90's, very old school.

I've heard one person call this track absolute crap, without giving any reason why. It's pretty generic, but it's fun a track. It has a jazzy slant, laid back and cool, as in restrained, cool jazz styles. Hikaru flips the rapid fire lyrics over with ease, with slight blue note rises/leans at phrase openings. She really sounds like a different kind of singer. If that's her intention, to play a jazz vocalist for one track, she's done an excellent job.

I think this is the one situation where her lack of richness becomes an asset, because you have to dispense with sonority and replace that with snappiness for this kind of music.

Generic, nothing special/spectacular, but well done. Fans of retro hip-hop will like this one.