Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Exodus, 14. About me

Notes on the final track. The shift to a darker theme in the bridge reminds me of the introduction of foreign sounding material in the bridge for Keep Tryin'. There are probably other examples, but it was the first one to come to mind, and the contrast in Keep Tryin' is very apparent.

Given that she's divorced now, it's hard not to look at this song (and others, like Flavor of Life, YMMWTBAM) in a different light.

* * *

Simple acoustic guitar song, for the most part, with typical light R&B accompaniment (snare/cymbal, some piano, bass drum) in later sections. The guitar section sounds like something that Maaya Sakamoto might do in a quiet, introspective piece.

It's pretty and picturesque, and very honest. I keep thinking that this would be a perfect moment for Hikaru to totally own the listener with the power of her voice, but after some more listening, the accompaniment creates too light of an atmosphere to do some serious vocal work [this doesn't make any sense, really]. I think that the lightness of the moment is good fit with the honest simplicity of her voice and lyrics.

She speaks of her fears of marriage, perhaps. She questions whether either party is ready, whether the relationship has advanced enough, whether either side is open about their thoughts, if the trust is there. She doesn't speak in figurative terms, these are direct questions. And she fears that the image that she puts on is giving the wrong signals.

I suppose she'd have the experience, given her status. I'm sure many people have tried to ask her out.

I'm trying to search for a message hidden in the lyrics, but I'm not really finding any. At best, when she admits to being prone to dishonesty, being crazy, and not being cute, it's like she's telling her crazed fans that she's not who we think she is, that she has a dark side [Devil Inside :D?]. I don't dispute it, there are small pieces during the Budokan concert and Making of Utada Unplugged that capture her in a less than positive mood.

To a new listener, it could be advice to not form any preconceptions based on her music. It's a much weaker proposition, admittedly. I've got nothing.

It's a fitting end to Exodus, a change in many ways from her previous style, musically, lyrically, and culturally.