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Hai Fidelity - Hikaru Utada: Heart Station


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Deacon Blues



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 164
Location: Niagara Falls, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:52 pm Reply with quote
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In case you didn't know that “Kiss & Cry” was the commercial song for Nissin Cup Noodles, the song will not-so-gently remind you in the lyrics. This song is so confusing. It talks about loving the bass drum and cymbals but then buries those sounds under a keyboard synthesizer. There are some random lines about some typical family problems and the product placement. Meanwhile, the rest of the lyrics talk about wanting to be emotionally closer to someone. The beat would be nice if the rest of the song wasn't trying too hard to be something to everyone. It's a shame since it is a rather catchy tune.


The song is suppose to represent the fact that someones life has a balance between chaos and peace, kind of like the kissing and the crying. It's her way of saying you can't worry too much about what's going to happen, that it's all going to end, so you just have to enjoy the moment for what it is. In a sense, kiss now and cry later.

Quote:
Finally, the last song on the album, “Niji-iro Basu” (“Rainbow Colored Bus”), shows us that Hikki can, in fact, sing more than just ballads. It's not quite as “perky” as typical pop songs are but it is more upbeat than the rest of the album. The lyrics of the song could be interpreted a couple of different ways. They could be talking about how, at some point in their life, everyone thinks that if they took a bus ‘to a place beyond the rainbow,’ they will actually find happiness. Another interpretation is that everyone works as hard as they can to get through their difficult lives but their outlook on life changes completely when they see a happy rainbow in the blue sky. Either way, this was a great way to end the album.


The song actually has a sad connotation to it. It's referring to the fact that it's the same thing over and over again and that it's a dog eat dog kind of world and that she wants to be taken to a place where no one exists... I don't think the interpretation that you were seeing with this was particularly correct.

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Another song with a hip-hop sort of beat, “Prisoner of Love” tells the story of someone who opened their heart to another person and was rewarded with a truly pure love. Unfortunately, the vocals here are rather bland. There are a couple of decent lines in the chorus but the verses are simply boring. Perhaps this is supposed to convey the feeling of being trapped. Sadly, that emotion doesn't come through very well.


I think you forgot to notice that this was actually utilized for a drama series called "Last Friends" in which the vocals (albiet a new quiet version in the series outside of the opening) fit quite well. I don't know where you see that the vocals are bland because the song comes across quite well in my opinion.
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JnxCsc



Joined: 10 Mar 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Out in the black.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:49 am Reply with quote
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Another song with a hip-hop sort of beat, “Prisoner of Love” tells the story of someone who opened their heart to another person and was rewarded with a truly pure love. Unfortunately, the vocals here are rather bland. There are a couple of decent lines in the chorus but the verses are simply boring. Perhaps this is supposed to convey the feeling of being trapped. Sadly, that emotion doesn't come through very well.


I completely agree with you. Which is why I bought the ballad, or "Quiet", version of Prisoner of Love. The emotions that try to come through in the song do so much better in a slower setting. Listen for yourself.

Prisoner of Love Original Version
http://youtube.com/​watch?​v=​_rL6Mp3EbcY

Prisoner of Love Quiet Version
http://youtube.com/​watch?​v=​ukqowp2J9WU

Maybe it's just me but I think that the Quiet Version got the emotion of the song across much better.
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Beruda



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:47 am Reply with quote
This album has grown on me and the more I listen to it the more I like it. It's certainly more mellow that I was expecting but like Ayu, Hikki has gone through some challenging times of late. I have to say I like bear song and I agree that she should record a children's album. I would also like to see her compose music for a film, a real music score not just a group of songs strung together. Overall I like Heart Station and as always I look forward to more of her music.

B.
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tasukidaisuki



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 11
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Great review again!

I have to agree about Prisoner of Love - as soon as I heard it I thought it was just some generic Koda Kumi ballad. Hikki usually completely owns her songs in a way that it's hard to think that someone else could sing them - but this song was one of her weakest on the album. Howevr, I think the largest criticism of this album has been that she grouped the majority of the singles near the beginning, and it didn't flow as well as her other albums when listening through
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Cassandra



Joined: 13 May 2002
Posts: 1356
Location: Birdsboro, PA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:03 pm Reply with quote
JnxCsc wrote:
Quote:
Another song with a hip-hop sort of beat, “Prisoner of Love” tells the story of someone who opened their heart to another person and was rewarded with a truly pure love. Unfortunately, the vocals here are rather bland. There are a couple of decent lines in the chorus but the verses are simply boring. Perhaps this is supposed to convey the feeling of being trapped. Sadly, that emotion doesn't come through very well.


I completely agree with you. Which is why I bought the ballad, or "Quiet", version of Prisoner of Love. The emotions that try to come through in the song do so much better in a slower setting. Listen for yourself.

Prisoner of Love Original Version
http://youtube.com/​watch?​v=​_rL6Mp3EbcY

Prisoner of Love Quiet Version
http://youtube.com/​watch?​v=​ukqowp2J9WU

Maybe it's just me but I think that the Quiet Version got the emotion of the song across much better.


Thank you so much for linking this! I didn't know there was a Quiet version of this song. That was so much better than the album version. I really wish the Quiet Version was one put on the album instead. It's definitely the better of the two.
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ToastChan



Joined: 05 Jan 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:34 pm Reply with quote
Interesting review. C: As stated earlier though, "Prisoner of Love" was released with the drama "Last Friends" and I think it seemed really meaningful after watching the drama... it's actually my favorite song on the album.
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Cassandra



Joined: 13 May 2002
Posts: 1356
Location: Birdsboro, PA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:23 pm Reply with quote
ToastChan wrote:
Interesting review. C: As stated earlier though, "Prisoner of Love" was released with the drama "Last Friends" and I think it seemed really meaningful after watching the drama... it's actually my favorite song on the album.


Yeah, but if you haven't watched the drama (which I haven't and I imagine a lot of people haven't), it's not a particularly good song in the album version. I might have appreciated it more if the album included both versions of the song like they did with "Flavor Of Life," which was from the Hana Yori Dango 2 drama.
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City Hunter



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Toronto Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:25 am Reply with quote
Ever since I got first love ....back in 1999 (it's been that long!) I liked her style and sound. Then she released Distance back in 01, and that was my all time favorite CD that she has released. I haven't like the past albums, but loved the singles. Now I have to say "Heart Station" is one of my favorite CD so far. if you like "Prisoner Of Love -Quiet Version-" I know it is on the single, that was released after the album.

Now I am not sure, but a lot of my friend in Japan have said this is best album she done since her divorce.
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suishouryuu



Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:31 am Reply with quote
I'm not someone to blindly follow a musical artist, only a handful of artists in my lifetime have gotten that distinction, but everytime a new album comes out from Hikki, I'm all over it like white on rice. (Yes, I liked Exodus and still listen to it.)

Ultra Blue was a fantastic album, and this one is a great follow up. It seems to touch on some real raw emotions. "Prisoner of love" is a great song, and in parts of it, you can hear her heart breaking. "Kiss and Cry" picks up on the carefree spirit of someone trying to overcome all the little everyday problems that hold us all down.

"Take 5" is far and away the best song on the album. It's a beautiful song, and one that she herself describes as being about the last day of life. In fact, the whole reason it cuts off abruptly is because we never know the exact moment of our passing until it happens - we keep going along normally and then...

Fantastic song. Fantastic album, even tho I think I prefer Ultra Blue a little more.
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Isikari



Joined: 23 Feb 2007
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:42 am Reply with quote
I've heard a couple songs from this, and I find Ultra Blue to be the better album (Simply because it has the most songs I enjoy) although this is nice.

On a completely unrelated note, I liked her with longer hair.
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LauraOrganaSolo



Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:02 am Reply with quote
To anyone who might read this who is unfamiliar with Hikki, let me both sum up and re-write this review for you:

tl;dr
Get Ultra Blue instead. You won't be sorry.

(I did read the review, I just have a hard time caring)
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Full_Metal1923



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 312
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:13 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I found Heart Station to be the superior album when compared to Ultra Blue. I feel that there is more consistancy. None of the songs on Heart Station rubbed me the wrong way. That includes "Prisoner of Love", I don't see much fault in the lyrics. I think the thing that sort of drags it down is the beat, it's not very different however that doesn't mean it isn't a great song (I actually liked the harder hitting beat). I do enjoy both versions of the song equally though. It should also be noted that in past albums, Utada has never really had several slow ballads like a "First Love", "Final Distance". and the ballad version of "Flavor of Life" fills that spot, of course we all know Utada could easily perform, and show off her amazing vocals with a really nice, soft ballad but then the couple songs in each album that is like that just wouldn't be as special as they are.

Regarding "stay Gold", I do agree that there isn't much to the piano backing, however its still really great, and has almost a haunting tone to it. The album as a whole is one of my all-time favourites. I loved it from beginning to end, "Fight the Blues", is a great song, and establishes the '80s inspired music for many of the songs. It's an okay review but its definitely a great album.

And, between Ultra Blue, and Heart Station I pick Heart Station, but suggest both.
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zanarkand princess



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Posts: 1484

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:16 pm Reply with quote
What? I love this album and especially prisoner of love. I am watching last friends and I love it even more. Personally take 5 grew on me after listening to it. I was completely in love with beautiful world when I heard it in a Evangelion promotion. As a matter of fact I like the whole album. Then again Hikki is one of my favorite singers whether it be english or japanese.

Oh and I'm not ashamed either I like exodus....even easy breezy.
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JnxCsc



Joined: 10 Mar 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Out in the black.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Cassandra wrote:

Thank you so much for linking this! I didn't know there was a Quiet version of this song. That was so much better than the album version. I really wish the Quiet Version was one put on the album instead. It's definitely the better of the two.


I know it sucks when they don't include the full album for overseas releases. It does happen quite frequently though. Example. One of my favorite songs on Leona Lewis's new album is only avalible on the overseas release of her album.

So I would recomend getting an Japan itunes account. I did and I've never regreted it and never looked back.
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hanachan01



Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:31 am Reply with quote
I actually loved Heart Station. It was very similar to Ultra Blue, but I love that album as well. I thought "Prisoner of Love" was catchy and fun, though I think it is the second weakest song on the album. That said, I really liked it. The only track I disliked was the non-ballad version of "Flavor of Life." It was boring, and lacked the ballad version's emotion. My favorite tracks would be "Heart Station," because of it's simplicity and emotion, and "Beautiful World," for it's complexity and ethreal quality. That's kinda a contradiction...xD Anyways, I'd suggest Ultra Blue if you're new to Hikki, but I love Heart Station.
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