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NewUtada Hikaru music has always been met with anticipation and excitement. After 8 years since her last Japanese album (since 2008’s HEART STATION), the feelings usually associated with a Hikki release have been heightened. No one knew if the highly-acclaimed singer would ever return to the music scene, but everyone can rest assured knowing that the singer hasn’t lost her touch over the years she’s been away from the industry. The natural musicality exhibited by the artist is an innate trait that exist within the singer that has not eroded with time. In fact, the release of “Fantôme” justifies the singer’s absence. It allowed her to experience all the hardships and happiness life has to offer, creating a deeply personal album that leaves listeners in awe at the raw emotions put on display and her commanding vocal performance.

In order to understand the album, one needs to know about a major event that happened prior to its release. In 2013, Hikaru’s mother committed suicide. “Fantôme” is the French word for “phantom”, and the death of her mother and her strong emotional response permeates the entire album. The bulk of the album is inspired by something tragic, but Hikaru handles it with poetic grace and beauty.

Released Date: 2016.09.28


 1.Michi (道; Road)
2.Ore no Kanojo (俺の彼女; My Girlfriend)
3.Hanataba wo Kimi ni (花束を君に; A Bouquet for You)
4.Nijikan Dake no Vacance feat. Shiina Ringo (二時間だけのバカンス; A Vacation for Only Two Hours)
5.Ningyo (人魚; Mermaid)
6.Tomodachi with Kobukuro Nariaki (ともだち; Friend)
7.Manatsu no Tooriame (真夏の通り雨; Midsummer Rain Shower)
8.Kouya no Ookami (荒野の狼; Wild Wolf)
9.Boukyaku feat. KOHH (忘却; Oblivion)
10.Jinsei Saikou no Hi (人生最高の日; The Best Day of My Life)
11.Sakura Nagashi (桜流し; Flowing Cherry Blossoms)

5 stars

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