single review: hitomi “IS IT YOU?”

Second up in hitomi’s ‘huma-rhythm’ set is the single “IS IT YOU?“, released in the last half of 2001.

Containing three songs, hitomi begs us the age-old question of whether who we’re looking for is you, wants us to keep an open mind, and then asks a new question: why? Continuing with the inspirational and orchestral pop-rock sound she now is putting into full force, hitomi aims to answer the many questions the single has.

So this begs the question: are you, the listener, the one? Is it you? Is she what you’re looking for? Let’s see!

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single review: hitomi “INNER CHILD”

I’ll be doing another series following my ‘BAD Mode’ set, and this time, I’ll be focusing on a singer that most people may only know through an anime series known as InuYasha: hitomi. I previously did a review on the single attached to it here (known as “I am / innocence”), but today, I’ll be focusing on another single!

The first of four singles released for her critically-acclaimed and well-sold album, ‘huma-rhythm’, hitomi’s single “INNER CHILD” shows the makings of new themes and styles that she had been experimenting with in prior albums like ‘thermo plastic’ and ‘LOVE LIFE’.

As the first of the four, is this single able to take its listener to their childhood within them, or is the door shut on that inner child? We’ll have to see!

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album review: Utada Hikaru “BAD Mode”

At last, we have reached the album!

Released January 19, 2022, as a gift to their fans on their own birthday, “BAD Mode” is Utada Hikaru’s (or Hikki’s, as their fans devotedly call them) eighth studio album, featuring singles that trace back to the beginning of 2019. In the three year span, Hikki would go on to display a more subdued sound, collaborating with producers such as A. G. Cook and Obukuro Nariaki, and every song would have a tie-in to a Japanese-made property.

“BAD Mode” is one of the hotly anticipated releases of early 2022, but is “BAD Mode” all it’s chalked up to be? Is it the bad mode you wish to feel, or are you just on a ‘good’ mode instead? Or is the release just… bad? Let’s take a look into the album onward.

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Kimi ni Muchuu”

The final single in the series is “Kimi ni Muchuu“, serving as another tie-in (Hikki and these tie-in’s…). This time, “Kimi ni Muchuu” is attached as a theme song to the J-drama ‘Saiai’, and the track sees Hikki pairing up one more time with well-known PC Music producer A.G. Cook (best known for his collaborations with Charli XCX, and previously working with Hikki for “One More Kiss”).

Opting for another more subdued tone, “Kimi ni Muchuu” is the lead single for ‘BAD Mode’, but will you be crazy for this lead-in song, or is Hikki crazy to think they could keep up with this new generation of sound? Let’s check it out!

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single review: Utada Hikaru “PINK BLOOD”

Fourth up would originally be “One Last Kiss” in the ‘BAD Mode’ review series… however! I have already reviewed it here, so enjoy!

With that established, the next review up on the list is for a single released in 2021, and yes, it has another tie-in. This time, Hikki’s “PINK BLOOD” serves as the opening theme song for the anime series To Your Eternity, being the second anime tie-in for Hikki of the year.

Now, is “PINK BLOOD” actually pink, my favorite color, or is it just a regular red, meaning it might not be what I’d like? We’d have to take a look, so read on!

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Dare ni mo Iwanai”

Third up in the set is “Dare ni mo Iwanai“, otherwise translated to ‘I Won’t Tell Anyone’, which also has a tie-in. This time, Hikki is paired up with Suntory Water, selecting the song as the theme track for the commercial, which also stars Hikki themself. Released literally days following “Time”, “Dare ni mo Iwanai” has Hikki also participating with the same producer of “Time”.

Now, is this song worth keeping a secret, or is it a track that will have Hikki asking if you can keep a secret? Whatever the case may be, we’ll have to tell everyone how I feel about this song, so read on below!

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Time”

Second up in the “BAD Mode” review set is “Time“, released more than a year after “Face My Fears”. This single was released as a digital single in 2020, mere months following the onset of the pandemic, and it has Hikki exploring uncharted territory by offering a theme song for a drama aired on NTV in Japan (the drama being “Bishoku Tantei Akechi Goro”).

With all the time in between releases, was this single crafted with care and precision, using all that time wisely, or did Hikki waste time for everyone, from those involved to the listener? Let’s look at the sole song onward.

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single review: Utada Hikaru “Face My Fears”

I’m back for a new review set, and this time, I will be taking a look at several Utada Hikaru releases. For this review set, I will tackle the recent releases leading up to their new album “BAD Mode”, which is set to be released on January 19.

The first single of the bunch, having actually been released three years prior (gee, that is a while!), is “Face My Fears“, which is the much-anticipated tie-in release to the video game Kingdom Hearts 3. Having offered several theme songs to the game series with “Hikari/Simple and Clean” (“Hikari”, which I reviewed here) and “Passion/Sanctuary”, “Face My Fears” shows Hikki taking on two songs for the game.

With this single, were they successful in facing those fears, or did they have to think twice contrary to what their song says… read on!

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mini-album review: Kep1er “FIRST IMPACT”

Where are all my Girls Planet 999 fans at?

If you recall previously at the tail end of 2021, Mnet unleashed a new survival reality TV series known as Girls Planet 999, which is just a Produce 101 program with a fresh coat of paint (to hide all the drama of 2019). After several episodes, the girl group Kep1er was formed, with a lineup that had everyone talking.

After a bump in the release schedule thanks to COVID’s evolving forms, Kep1er finally makes their debut in the new year with “FIRST IMPACT“, a mini-album that might have you wa-da-da-ing with your mvsk off… but is the mini-album going to make you see the light on Kep1er? Let’s take a look…

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