The Japanese Mega-star’s First Album in Eight Years May be a Highly Anticipated Release but Fantôme Doesn’t Sound Like an Album Forged Under Pressure; In Fact, it Sends the 33 Year Old Soaring to New Heights.
In the three years I’ve spent blogging about music I’ve devoted a fair few words to the music of Utada Hikaru. Despite being one of my favourite pop stars every review has been tinged with the thought that each album failed to live up to the potential of its best tracks. Exodus is my favourite of all her albums and even that release’s bold experimentation and lyrical curve balls were undercut by some seriously middling RnB at the album’s end. To me Utada always sounded like a hugely talented artist that was always second guessing herself. Utada’s hiatus may have been painful for fans but it’s clearly done wonders for her. Fantôme never sounds like the work of anyone other than Utada and that is its greatest asset. It may not match her previous efforts for hit potential or experimentation but it’s her most cohesive and immersive album to date. Continue reading