Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Utada Hikaru - Kiss & Cry

Kiss and Cry PV
Lyrics translation and DDL, if it's still up.

I don't suppose the PV was included in that promo package sent out, because it has leaked as well. See jpopsuki. The PV itself is pure footage from the Freedom OVA, which is partly an advertisement for Nissin. The only modification to the animated scenes were split mirroring and applying component R/G/B filters. It appears that quite a bit of effort was put into synchronizing the mouth flaps with the lyrics.

As for the song, it's a throwback to Hikki's Automatic and Distance days. The opening, with its brass fanfare, muted and old (as in analog old), is reminiscent of the bold days of experimental remixing. It didn't quite matter if the spliced in material was at odds with the main body of music, it was the point. Ditto the bridge, which contains the chorus material from Hotel Lobby.

Kiss & Cry sounds early 90's. It just has that classy, glamorous and bold feel of rappers and R&B singers living it up and "featuring" on each other's work. The brass fanfare and interjections help, as does the shiny synthesizers and strong, if minimal, rhythm support.

Looking at both A-sides, Kiss & Cry tops Beautiful World as the better written and produced track. Hikki is very much in her element with the former; she even sounds stronger. Kiss & Cry also benefits from being much less ethereal. It's brash, it's in your face, it's got attitude.

Still, this being almost a period work, I'm not too big a fan of Kiss & Cry just like I tend to prefer ULTRA BLUE/Deep River Hikki to Distance/Automatic Hikki. I'm enamored by the fact that it's well written, but that doesn't necessarily endear me to it. I still have my electronica leanings.

For me, the single is shaping up to be a bit inconsistent, but at least it'll have something for the experimental/electronica fan, the R&B/Hip-hop fan, and the Evangelion fan.

I can't really comment on Fly me to the moon. It's been done to death, and Hikki's R&B cover of it is a radical departure from the original as well as the Evangelion version. The ballad style introduction is fine, if standard, and the jump to the R&B part is somewhat sudden.