In the absence of the actual Utada Hikaru herself, a collection of some of the world’s most talented artists paying tribute to Hikki’s back catalogue will have to suffice.
Legendary J-Pop Queen Ayumi Hamasaki is doing “Movin’ On Without You,” which, if Google Translate and my limited knowledge of Japanese are correct, has been rearranged by RedOne based on her note on the official website. (WHAT? I’m shaking and crying already.) Shina Riingo covered “Letters,” which already sounds perfect. And, oh, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Peabo Bryson are doing “Sanctuary.”
To clarify, the producers of Janet Jackson‘s Control (among a million other classics) are putting their own spin on my personal favorite Utada song. Are you fucking kidding me?
“Upon studying ‘Sanctuary’ we were struck by the haunting aspect of the original recording and knew we wanted to keep that element on the new version while adding different dynamic instrumentation. Because of the importance of space and silence crafted in ‘Sanctuary’ we felt the trademark vocals of the legendary Peabo Bryson would be a perfect fit to add a soaring vocal component to complete the musical journey. Always keeping in mind that pleasing Hikaru was our main objective, we along with our creative team of production partner ‘the great’ John Jackson and Peabo Bryson set about crafting the perfect balance.”
The album is out on December 9, however I am already dead.
Also, there are already a bunch of previews up on Utada’s YouTube, including AI’s “FINAL DISTANCE” and Shina’s “Letters,” which you can listen to below.
Utada Hikaru no Uta tracklist
1. SAKURAドロップス – Yōsui Inoue
2. Letters – Shina Riingo
3. Automatic – Yasuyuki Okamura
4. Movin’ on without you – Ayumi Hamasaki
5. Flavor of Life – hanaregumi
6. FINAL DISTANCE – AI
7. Be My Last – Yoshii Kazuya
8. 光 – LOVE PSYCHEDELICO
9. For You – Kato Miliyah
10. Stay Gold – Ohashi Trio
11. time will tell – tofubeats with BONNIE PINK
12. Keep Tryin’ – KIRINJI
13. Sanctuary – Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis feat. Peabo Bryson
‘Utada Hikaru no Uta’ will be released on December 9. (iTunes Japan)