Utada Hikaru
HEART STATION


3.5
great

Review

by Gyllenhaalic USER (2 Reviews)
July 13th, 2008 | 11 replies | 8,501 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In conclusion there is nothing more to say that HEART STATION is one great pop record. It may lack a bit of innovation and drive, but for the fact that it follows a concept, it works. Fans of GOOD and thoughtful pop music will like it a lot.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Hikaru Utada has been idolised for 10 years now in her home country Japan. The Japanese crowd is devoted to her luscious pop classics ("Automatic", "Addicted To You", "Hikari" - just to name a few) and always rewards her efforts with a #1 spot in the Japanese ORICON single and album charts.

Utada's state can be compared with the stardom of pop star Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera by now. The critics put her into a more specific genre though. Rather known as a 'pop singer/songwriter', she escaped the traditional miming teen pop generation.

HEART STATION is her former sixth studio record and has been named after her third single from this era. The term refers to her more grounded and basic album theme - namely life, love, desperation and also (surprisingly) ... death. The album is a real pop record - a collection of appealing mid-tempo tracks and ballads - with ethereal and minor euro-dance influences.

The record sets off with FIGHT THE BLUES, a light and airy mid-tempo tune which is softly accompanied by Hikaru's distinct vocals. The melody, as usual for Utada's songs, is soothing and memorable. HEART STATION, one of the released singles, has the same ethereal surrounding to it, but a very different tone. A little more unagitated in the verses, but efflorescent in its chorus. Beautifully soft and heartfelt. One of the standout tracks and the most subtle one in its musical presentation.

BEAUTIFUL WORLD, the third track off HS is a very colourful and joyous pop track. On par with FIGHT THE BLUES but a little more subtle and emerging. FLAVOR OF LIFE -BALLAD VERSION- is Hikaru's signature song of this era. The ballad has sold worlwide over 7 millions and is one of the traditional pure pop ballads. Beautiful strings and very fragile vocals... a must-listen for every pop fanatic! STAY GOLD again keeps up with the intense ballady mood, but feels more cosy to listen to. Very sweet and low-key. Could have been a lullaby.

KISS & CRY is the only proper uptempo song on the record. It contains a heavy basslines and some horns and trumpets appearing every now and then. Not exactly a classic, but a light and fun tune to listen to. The chorus is a bit repetitive though. Next follows the GENTLE BEAST INTERLUDE which goes into CELEBRATE, a nice and bouncy chillout song.

PRISONER OF LOVE proves to be a highly dramatic pop anthem. It's easily the most grabbing tune on the record, because Hikaru's vocals are very emotional and she sings the chorus with such effort... really great! There's a likeable dramatic feeling to the song which makes it compareable to FLAVOR OF LIFE in a way.

TAKE 5 is the strangest track off HS as it deals lyrically with death. Nevertheless... it's a rather powerful ethereal sounding pop song. Very likeable overall.

The album ends with BOKU WA KUMA and NIJI-IRO BASU, two songs made for a Children's TV show. They also sound a little cheesy and are definitely a bit out of place. Otherwise the album is another great effort from Utada, Japan's most famous pop singer to date. Some people may have expected too much, because her previous records ULTRA BLUE and DEEP RIVER were definitely much stronger overall. HEART STATION is more basic sounding, but a little more emotional than Utada's latest work.


user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
July 13th 2008



2393 Comments


I would like a little more description in the review, but other than that it is a decent second review.

BallsToTheWall
July 13th 2008



44197 Comments


Agree with shootme, but aren't pop stars supposed to be sexy? She looks pretty primitive to me but I love pop so i'll check it out before judgement.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

PayneTiger777
July 13th 2008



4389 Comments


Just listen to Sanctuary and Simple and Clean from Kingdomhearts and you'll know what shes like. I actually kind of enjoy those songs.

Djnx
July 13th 2008



85 Comments


Ayumi Hamasaki was such a disappointment. I'll listen to this and hopefully, it will be better. You should give Cibo Matto a listen.


Gyllenhaalic
July 14th 2008



26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@BallsToTheWall
Not In Japan though... you know they're kind of.... conservative I guess.

foreverendeared
December 18th 2008



14678 Comments


she looks sexy to me. i think you did an excellent job reviewing this

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
February 7th 2009



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Second best for me, but really a classic pop album. Everything is executed immaculately from top to bottom.


Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
February 7th 2009



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Since it became cool to like what I like.

Which I'm pretty sure hasn't even happened yet.This Message Edited On 02.07.09

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
February 7th 2009



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it is pretty cool, not always a fan of her english-lyric albums though.

natey
March 15th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Beautiful World" makes me orgasm.

Gyllenhaalic
May 31st 2009



26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you so much for the feedbacks! I'm kinda green on writing reviews.



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