First Love:

First Love - Hikaru Utada is the undisputed princess, queen and goddess of Japanese pop music

When it comes to Japanese pop music, there’s no one I admire more than Hikaru Utada. When she released “First Love” in 1999, only a few people could foresee the…
First Love

Hikaru Utada is the undisputed princess, queen and goddess of Japanese pop music

When it comes to Japanese pop music, there’s no one I admire more than Hikaru Utada. When she released “First Love” in 1999, only a few people could foresee the success and impact she would have in the world of then very euro techno based J-pop. The early 2000s were Hikaru’s playground. Her albums “Distance” and “Deep River” became the most played ones on my iPod, with songs like “Wait & See (Risk)”, “Hikari” and “Sakura Drops” on repeat. While other bands and artists came and disappeared on my radar often in the same year, Hikaru always stayed in my musical focus. I just never got tired of listening to her.

Sure, Hikaru’s English language studio albums “Precious”, “Exodus” and “This Is the One” take a little getting used to. For fans, those are the most bland, petty and dull records in her discography. But some say “Devil Inside”, “Kremlin Dusk” and also “Easy Breezy” have their charm. But, of course, her Japanese albums are the musical bibles that survived all of the moods, fashions and trends I got through. “First Love” is the center of my sometimes even obsessive love for Japanese pop music – and it’ll probably stay that way until I die.

Even if Hikaru outgrew her youthful lightness after her mothers’ suicide, her two divorces and the birth or her first child, her two most recent albums “Fantôme” and “Hatsukoi” still are powerful monuments in the ever-changing world of Japanese pop music. Songs like “Forevermore”, “Two Hour Only Vacation” and “Road” are mature, emotional journeys through the thoughts of a woman that changed not only her home country but also the lives of countless people around the world. I can’t wait to see and hear Hikaru’s next musical adventures where she shows us, once again, the mysterious beauty of light and darkness.

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