Utada Hikaru - This is the one

Utada is legendary in Japan, having three of her albums sitting in their top 10 selling albums of all time at numbers 1, 4, and 8. But despite two earlier attempts to break into western pop culture via Previous (1998) and Exodus (2004) [note: the songs in these two albums are English, not Japanese], she has only managed a niche following in the US. Understandably so; I have Exodus and I also was very disappointed with it. It was nothing like her Japanese albums at all, and contained little of what caught the attention of my ears when I first discovered her music while touring Asia about a decade ago.

Back to the topic. Her newest album, titled "This is the One", is significantly different from any of her previous works released on either side of the Pacific. While there are some hip-hop and club type songs included in it, the main highlights of this album for me are the ones infused with the R&B styling of contemporary American artists. Personally, I think the results are awesome:

Set for a physical release next week on May 12th, 2009 (the album was digitally released here last week), I hope it goes well for her.

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