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  •  Forsaken
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
UtadaNet Newbie
Joined: 2007/5/25
Posts: 7

ThePassportRadio wrote:
I am usually lurking around this website, but I saw this thread and figured I had to share my opinion, lol! so I made an account. :) Hullo all. Please read this. It took a lot more time than I expected -sob-...

I think DEEP RIVER, musically, is easily the best album of Utada's. It's such a wonderful mix of RnB/pop, with this oriental, experimental, enchanted-forest like vibe. And then on top of all that is the emotion, grace, and dedication that Utada puts into all her efforts. It's beautiful, really. (:

But I don't own that album, and I don't think I should judge it based on the fact I've listened to all the songs on youtube. I think it's very different listening to the tracks all one after another on an album, because it creates a mood, and all of the songs are relative to each other.

I have First Love, Exodus, Ultra Blue, Heart Station and TITO, and I believe I'm not the first when I say that it was hard choosing between Ultra Blue and Heart Station. Heart Station has this sober, mature feel throughout the entire album, whereas Ultra Blue is like this colourful world of both shades and rainbows.

I think I'd have to say Ultra Blue though. It's so full of this enormous nostalgia... and that's an emotion I hold with me every day.
Each of Ultra Blue's songs have these beautiful synth or instrumental melodies that flow throughout the entire song, and they add so much for me. I only dislike 'This is Love' and 'Kairo'... both of which depend on my mood.

Anyway. Enough of my rambling.

1. Hotel Lobby - This is art. It's so dark and cold during the verses with that weird rumbling sound in the background (its almost like a muffled roar), that distances you from the song. And then the chorus starts, and this beautiful cascade of vocals sweeps down, and it just feels so inviting. But when you listen to the lyrics, it feels a lot less homely. It's about this woman craving for an escape from this lonely, enclosed reality; I think it's just so true to Utada. And when the outro arrives, it's finally warm and accepting, and almost hopeful. :) I love it.

2. Final Distance - I will always have a soft spot for this song. It's so touching and beautiful, and the string arrangement is phenomenal. It's Utada's most emotional song... I think we've all felt that distance sometime in our life. It makes you feel, so much.

3. Niji-iro Basu - I think every single person in the world can relate to the last couple of words in the song..

Daremo inai sekai e, watashi wo tsuretiette - Take me to a world where there is no one. Everybody feels the same!

And you can interpret those lyrics in whichever way you want; the song is ambiguous enough to let you do so. I often feel, when all the world is colliding in front of me, I just want to escape our reality and be transported to a world where everything is right, where I'm alone to be free and be myself. The way the song builds into that... its incredible.

4. Heart Station - I'm a BIG BIG BIG fan of ambiance and synth, so this song is a must in my top 10. It's such a pop melody, pop feel... but it doesn't quite fit into modern pop, and neither the pop of the 80s or beyond. It's very much like a dreamy crossover between the two. It feels so warm... and there are such subtle changes throughout the song that I love to hear. The ending especially with her radio-like vocals is just beautiful. :)

5. First Love - ... Self-explanatory aha. There is no time of day when this song isn''t perfect. I used to be all, ZOMG RNB, POP, EWWWWW, but I grew up a bit and realized its such a wonderful song. I'm 16... why can't I make music like this. :(

6. Passion/Sanctuary ~Closing/After the Battle~ - I used to absolutely adore Passion/Sanctuary, but for some reason I haven't listened to it in awhile. I still love the songs though... but the after the battle/closing versions are absolutely out of this world. They have Utada's absolute best vocals, and it might be even more emotive than Final Distance. It makes me feel so hurt, yet so hopeful. It's easily Utada's most graceful song.

7. Making Love - Am I really the only one who thinks this is an ABSOLUTELY underrated song? I've never gotten over the fact that the awesome drum beat in the beginning of the song is never repeated, and therefore serves almost no purpose within the song. However, the rest of the song and its progress is absolutely beautiful. It's like a story... a distanced couple in love, fighting for it... a lonely woman who wishes desperately to keep the relationship together... then she can't help but move on when there's no hope for this relationship. It's so melancholic, as its wrapped around the idea of a doomed relationship. And some have expressed confusion as to why 'Dareka No Negai Ga Kanau Koro' is played directly after... I think it's like a flash back within the narrative of the album; she mentions that she can remember the distant piano in the background, but she has to wake up from this dream. And then the piano comes in suddenly, after a small crash in the song. It's very artsy and I like artsy.

8. Kremlin Dusk - Such a wonderfully dark song. The world has analyzed this song too many times for me to add another. But man the lyrics to this song is the best Utada has ever written.

9. Letters - Has always been a favourite of mine. Sometimes I get tired of it, but I always end up listening to it again sooner or later. I love the lyrics and her vocals.

10. Arashi No Megami - New favourite of mine. I love the key changes she adds, it's so different from any of her other songs, and she experiments with it a lot more. It
definitely shows her growth as a musician, and demonstrates her knowledge of how music works. It's very pop-rockish and yet maintains Utada's grace and skill.

Honourary mention goes to: Give me a Reason, on the first love album. It's such a well crafted song. I love it. :)
Does nobody else agree? D:

AND THERE. That's my list. Thanks for reading. :)

I haven't posted here in 4 years, but the ThePassportRadio's comments really deserve a reply. Hello to you too!

I agree with almost everything you've said, the exception being that Kairo is one of my favourite songs of all time. Making Love is another, so I also think it's such an underrated song. Though how Take 5 isn't on your list is shocking for someone with such great taste in music! Maybe it slipped your mind?? I find that my top ten changes all the time, so there's really no point making lists.
You're only 16!? Your descriptions of Utada's music are far more eloquent than most adult's I've read over the years. You should really post more
Posted on: 2011/5/26 17:10
  •  ThePassportRadio
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
UtadaNet Newbie
Joined: 2011/5/16
Posts: 9
Oh no...
I truly have no idea why I forgot Teiku 5, Forsaken. That's like in the top 5. You don't even need to understand the lyrics to truly feel the peace and calm this song radiates. It sounds like a song Lady Gaga would make - before she even started releasing music. But it would be an injustice to even begin to compare this song to the work of Lady Gaga. Take 5 just has SO much more emotion, it's so much more delicate yet raw, and it is so atmospheric and free. I want to embrace death like this song does, I want to be as clear as the sky. Utada says so much with this song.
I'm upset with myself, cause I totally forgot Take 5. Hopefully its just because I haven't listened to it in awhile. Thank you for reminding me Forsaken! And thank you so much for reading my 'essay'! I thought nobody read it because it was so long. It makes me happy that we share similar thoughts about music!

It's always been a tricky one for me with Kairo. There are so many great ideas in the song: I love the sweeping melody of her vocals, and the string progression in the beginning of the song.... but I've always felt that the song is just so... random! I can't find the focus. It goes to one part, and another part, and then another part. And then it repeats, but adds a lot more instruments and change.

But then I don't know. I'm listening to it now, and I feel like I'm on a boat, speeding through the oceans, wind in my hair, and large snow tipped mountains in the background.
I wish it was longer, and I understood the lyrics. I think there's more to this song than I give it credit for... maybe it's because I'm the type of person who requires stability and repeating ideas in songs (and I guess in life too xD)

Aw, thank you about the writing comment. I just might post more. :)

Thanks for making my day Forsaken! :) (sorry for the long reply)
Posted on: 2011/5/26 20:19
  •  Forsaken
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
UtadaNet Newbie
Joined: 2007/5/25
Posts: 7
When I first heard Teiku 5 I was just stunned. I knew Utada was capable of creating moving melodies and atmosphere in her music but this was...breathtaking. I love the scratchiness on top of the percussion which carries the synth along. The haunting effect on her vocals is so ghostly yet bittersweet.

As for Kairo, well...I find it difficult to put into words. You describe the feeling of being on a boat speeding through the ocean and being blown by the wind. That is exactly the same feeling I always had...strange? But it kind of makes sense when you look at the lyrics, which are fascinating in my opinion. Here's a translation in case you're interested (try listening to the song while reading, the repitition makes more sense this way).


The word Kairo means "Sea route", and the first line of the song describes a ship making waves. I suppose that is the feeling that carries throughout the song despite the repeated references to Hide and Seek. I find the shortness and randomness of the song refreshing in a genre full of generic structures. You don't know where it's going, and I like that.

I hope people don't mind this elaboration being kind of off topic. Thanks for the reply ThePassportRadio, very glad discuss Utada's genius with a likeminded individual
Posted on: 2011/5/27 18:00
  •  LilMissPocket-Size
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
Addicted to Hikki
Joined: 2010/9/17
Posts: 44
2.Simple And Clean/Hikari
4.Final Distance
5.Be My Last
6.Making Love
9.Stay Gold
10.Arashi No Megami

Man...that was hard lol
Posted on: 2011/9/26 20:58
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
Addicted to Hikki
Joined: 2008/8/1
Posts: 41
Album: Deep River....

Top ten songs? difficult, but here goes.

No order of preference

1)Goodbye happiness
2)Be my last
3)Deep river
4)Prisoner of Love
6)Nichiyo asa
8)First love

OMG the song part was hard.

EDIT: i HAD to take out Deep River Keep tryin, Bonnie & Clyde, Letters..... so become really really really honourable mentions.

others: Give me a reason. Travelling. Colors.
Posted on: 2011/10/12 6:07
  •  Unregistered
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
1) Beautiful World
2) Hikari / Simple & Clean
3) Take 5
4) Blue
5) Play Ball
6) Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence FYI
7) Passion / Sanctuary
8) Kremlin Dusk
9) Animato
10) Nichiyo No Asa
That was the toughest Top 10 ever. Theres at least another ten that deserve a place on the list. I find it interesting that everyones top 10 lists are so different. Just shows how diverse and brilliant Hikki's music is.
Best album: all of them.
Posted on: 2011/10/12 11:12
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
UtadaNet Regular
Joined: 2011/7/30
A/S/L 16/Male/Brazil
Posts: 21
How to start ....
I heard all of her albums and I liked all the songs but of course we have those we dislike so much, here's a list of my favorites.
I like it a lot, but my favorites are these:

1 - Teiku 5 = This song makes me cry sometimes because I remember her and how she sang so well and love to see her presentation at the Wild Life singing this song;

2 - Arashi No Megami = This song I usually do not hear much but just remember it I get tears because I liked that song a lot but when I saw the Wild Life Disc 2 I cried.

3 - Making Love = This song marked a lot because I became addicted to it and now I hear it directly.

4 - Nichiyou No Asa = She's awesome!

5 - Nijiiro Basu = I like this song because I love her presentation at the Wild Life and I'm wondering how far would the clip of the song.

6 - Kairo = When I heard this song I immediately thought "Oh my God, I bet that if Utada did this clip, it would be about the end of the world!" I do not know because the more I thought about it and I love to hear it.

7 - Keep Tryin'= One of the first songs I heard it and fell in love with her.

8 - Hotel Lobby = No words.

9 - Exodus '04 = The presentation of her singing this song on Music Station was awesome!

10 - Tokyo Nights = One of the best of it.

This list was hard to remember but I love these too: Fight The Blues, Celebrate, Kiss & Cry, Passion, Traveling, Darek No Negai Ga Kanau Koro, Goodbye Happiness, among other wonderful songs.

That's it!
Samuel Queiroz
Posted on: 2011/10/13 15:34
  •  Kawashima
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
Addicted to Hikki
Joined: 2011/5/29
A/S/L 16/F/Poland
Posts: 80
It isn't simple to choose top ten, it changes from time to time, because songs I used to dislike grow on me and eventually become my fauvorite... Same goes for albums. I listened to them in reversed order: Heart Station & This is the One, then Ultra Blue, Exodus & Deep River, and at last, her earliest LPs. Each of them brings different emotions. I'm not going to write much about every LP, there is a thread about it after all, I just wanted to explain why it's hard to pick the best album. Deep River, Ultra Blue and Heart Station are equal for me, true masterpieces, gems of j-pop. I still can't believe that just one person ws able to write so many so beautiful and memorable songs. I'm not very sentimental person if it's about life, but I'm very sensitive if it's about music. That's why my final decision is obvious: Heart Station. Every song is bittersweet: upbeat music with emotional and meaninful lyric. Just like Hikki was trying to cheer us up while she needed cheering herself up. After all, it's the first album by Utada I listened, so Heart Station is special for me.

Now, let's rant about songs:

1. Show me Love (Not a Dream) - It's amazing, the way she mixed my two fauvorite instruments: piano and guitar. Slow ballad appears to be powerful rock song. Nice lyrics, despair, hope, chasing after dreams, being weak but realizing there's nothing wrong about it, such a deep song. Utada is so flexible in writing songs! Whole Single Collection vol.2 was a big suprise: pop, rock and even jazz. SML beats everything.

2. Take 5 - I don't understand people who complain about abrupt end. it makes song 10 times better, and fits text. "Today is the best day, I want to become transparent like the sky". Another successful experiment.

3. Passion - who doesn't love this song?! pure poetry hiding in lyrics, melody seems to be taken right out of fairytale. Reversed lines showing up here and ther, giving "Passion" even more ethereal feeling .A Perfect to close your eyes and dream.

4. Deep River - Such a shame it wasn't a single. Much better than "traveling" or even "Hikari". At first I thought: "calm, a bit boring". But something in this track made me play it once again. And again, and again... Japanese people love comparing life to a river, don't they? In Kalafina's "Mune no Yukue" and Mikuni Shimokawa's "KOHAKU" similar metaphor is used. However, Utada's comparision wins. "Deep river" is underrated.

5. Beautiful World - Memories! If this song didn't exist I doubt I'd ever get to know about Utada Hikaru. This is the reason why I'm here. Addicting, upbeat but in fact pretty sad song. I remember that I was listening to nothing else but only this song for, like, a month. 7.08.2010, the day when I became Hikki's fan. "Beautiful World" just had to appear in this countdown.

6.Kremlin Dusk - Utada United 2006 performance . Explains everything, doesn't it? I love the way this song gets faster and faster. "By the door, you said you had to go, couldn't help me any-anymore". That part "any-anymore" owns. Definetely the best moment of EXODUS.

7. Play Ball - again, underrated song is underrated. Simple but not letting go one. Reminds me of summer. And another weird association: fighting with my own shyness. Though utada seems to be self-confident in this song. When I hear that song I want to become a bit stronger as well.

8. Kettobase! - I love the "Screw-the-rest-It'll-be-fine-so-don't-give-up-and-forget-about-sadness" feeling it brings. Energy of this song always wakes me up. I guess it's the most memorable song from DISTANCE era.

9. Kairo - Find me one person in the world who can write so weird, yet so beautiful things. I only regret it was never performed live. This song deserves much more attention, especially because you have to listen to it a few times to really appreciate "Kairo".

10. Keep tryin' - and finally 10th place. Funny PV, catchy melody, great lyrics... I can't help but smile whenever I hear this song.
Posted on: 2012/4/24 1:27
  •  utada_loves_me
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
UtadaNet Regular
Joined: 2010/2/23
A/S/L 24 / M / La Mirada, CA
Posts: 28
In no particular order:

- Blue
- Devil Inside
- Final Distance
- Heart Station
- Kettobase
- Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence FYI
- Passion
- Show Me Love (Not A Dream)
- Teiku 5
- Traveling

It looks like I play mostly Heart Station songs according to my Ipod so I guess my favorite album is Heart Station XD

This was difficult and I didn't even rank my top 10! =O
Posted on: 2012/4/25 20:52
  •  hikaruomega
Re: top 10 Utada songs of all time and favorite album
Hikki Obsessed
Joined: 2009/3/30
A/S/L 21/M/Still Here
Posts: 209
Album: First Love
I love R&B, ballads, etc. It's not the first album I've heard of her, but it's the one that I find extremely nostalgic of the 90s. I loved the slow, steady, easy listening 90s era. The most number of my favorite songs below come from this album.

1. Simple and Clean: It is the first song of hers that I heard, and it will be my favorite for a long time. Its position will probably NEVER change. I may have an occasional interest in another song, but this will always be number 1.

2-5 change positions very often but they are:
Kremlin Dusk: I don't really know if anyone has discovered the song's meaning yet, I won't definitely try. Musically it is one of my favorites, incorporating a slow ballad intro into an uptempo rock-influenced climax.
Show Me Love (Not a Dream): This song reminds me of Kremlin Dusk quite a bit. I love the dark aura that the song musically radiates. I tend to like power ballads more than regular ballads.
Final Distance: This is the most-played Utada Hikaru song in my iTunes library, with 1295 plays and counting. It, to me, is a very sad record because of its background. I especially love the ending "echo."
Movin' On Without You: The fastest song in my top 5. In fact, it is the fastest song in my entire top 10. I started to like this song because of UU2006 and I loved the dance-club beat they added into the performance. I like dance songs as well, but not as much as ballads.

6-10 change positions as well, though they probably never will go above 6 and below 10.
time will tell: I didn't really listen to this song before her WILD LIFE performance. After that performance, I really began to appreciate it.
: One would thing that for a song that sounds like Simple and Clean, would place higher. It probably did not because of the difference in language and how she sings it.
First Love:The song and the album in the top 10? Preposterous. Not really, because I love this song. Once again, ballads have the power. I listen to the English covers as well, but I don't like them as much as I do the original one.
Sunglasses: The intro reminds me of the music in my earlier childhood. I used to always listen to R&B when I was a child, and my tastes reflect on this very R&B song.
COLORS: Hey, it's that song that was bundled with Simple and Clean! But in all seriousness, this song is very Oriental-sounding, and it sounds extremely different from the sounds in ULTRA BLUE which is my next favorite album.

Heart Station isn't very well represented here, but my favorite song from that album is:
テイク 5: This ethereal-sounding song about death is extremely entrancing. I appreciate the abrupt end to the song because making it fade to black would make its meaning less... meaningful. I would place it at 10-15.
This Is the One isn't on this as well (barring the re-release of Simple and Clean), but I do have a favorite on that album:
This One (Crying Like a Child): This song is the most played song from This Is the One in my iTunes library at 412 plays. I simply liked the song because of its R&B vibe + ballad slowness. This would go under 10-15 as well, but I would like to think that it's number 11.
Posted on: 2012/4/26 21:58
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