'Fantome': Utada Hikaru Returns from Her Hiatus Heartbroken, But Hopeful (Album Review)

"Only you can show me love, even when you're not around..." There's a presence lingering within the quieter spaces of Fantôme: it's there, floating just beneath the waves of "Ningyo" ("Mermaid"), in the ambient haze of "Boukyaku" ("Forgotten"), and the somber piano melodies of "Manatsu No…


"Lonely, But Not Alone": Walking the Road With Utada Hikaru

"I walk this lonely road, the only one that I have ever known..." It's somewhat of a coincidence that, one decade ago, Utada Hikaru sang those words in a cover of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," just a few years before announcing her extended hiatus away from the music scene. Hikki's…


Going the (Final) Distance with Utada Hikaru

I wanna be with you now... I can't fully explain why I feel as spiritually connected to Utada Hikaru as I do. I don't have the ability to communicate how I can relate so strongly to music that isn't even originally written in my own tongue, nor the desire to convince anyone else to feel the same…


Utada Hikaru Is Finally Back (For Real This Time)

"Baby, come back to me..." It's been six incredibly long, emotionally draining, Kuma-less years since Utada Hikaru first announced she would be taking a break from the music scene. And, aside from a one-off with "Sakura Nagashi" in 2012 for the Evangelion movie, she's made good on her promise to…


Utada Hikaru's "Be My Last", 10 Years Later

I don't do the anniversary-of-a-thing post too often, because I think the whole practice has become quite tired in the age of clickbait nostalgia, GIF listicles and general #content overload. Can you tell by now that the state of the Internet in 2015 absolutely exhausts me? I'm sure you can. That…


Various Artists, 'Utada Hikaru No Uta' (Album Review)

Utada Hikaru hasn't released a studio album in over four years (that's well over 300 years by Japanese pop standards), but her presence in the music industry is still felt. Strongly. Back at the end of 2010, the prolific singer-songwriter announced that she would be taking some time off to live…


The Tracklisting For The 'Utada Hikaru No Uta' Tribute Album Has Been Announced

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. We've known about Utada Hikaru no Uta (宇多田ヒカルのうた) for at least over a month now, including the jaw-dropping roster, but the…


Ayumi Hamasaki, Shiina Ringo And More To Pay Tribute To Utada Hikaru On 'Utada Hikaru no Uta'

Deep breaths... And...okay. Utada Hikaru, my personal spirit animal, has been away for a minute on hiatus — or rather, about two years since the release of "Sakura Nagashi" for Evangelion —  and the world's been a little less beautiful without her around. Luckily, the music industry seems intent…


Utada Hikaru Releases 'In The Flesh 2010', Reveals 15th Anniversary Edition of 'First Love'

Christmas just came early for Hikki fans. To commemorate the album's 15th anniversary, Bilingual Queen of J-Pop Utada Hikaru will re-release her debut album, First Love — otherwise known as the best-selling album in Japanese music history. According to the press release, the Anniversary Edition —…


Utada Hikaru's "Simple & Clean" Featured in 'Kingdom Hearts III' Teaser Trailer, All Is Right In The World

Excuse me for a moment as I stan the fuck out. Kingdom Hearts — the Playstation franchise responsible for propelling Utada Hikaru into mainstream America's consciousness with her masterpiece of a theme song "Simple & Clean" (Japanese: "光"), as well as her Kingdom Hearts II theme song "Sanctuary"…


Utada Hikaru to Start Radio Show in Japan

Late last year, Utada Hikaru made a surprise return from her now 3-year hiatus from the industry (GUH) with a brand new release: "Sakura Nagashi," the theme song to Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Re-Do. But she made it clear from the get-go: She's not returning to music—yet. That being said, she…


Utada Hikaru Returns (Briefly) with Evangelion Theme Song, "Sakura Nagashi"

Although it's only been two years since Utada Hikaru announced a hiatus from music, her absence from the industry has already been made achingly apparent. Mercifully, out of nowhere, she's returned to us--if only for a brief moment.