Utada Hikaru – HEART STATION / Stay Gold [20th Single]

February 18, 2008 at 9:35 pm (Utada Hikaru) (, )

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Utada Hikaru’s 20th single, HEART STATION / Stay Gold, was released on 02.20.08. The single is another double A-side single (following the release of her last single, Beautiful World / Kiss & Cry). HEART STATION was used as the Recochoku 2008 Download Service CM song while Stay Gold was the 2007 Ascience song.

The first track on the single, HEART STATION, is one of Hikki’s strongest songs ever. The song opens up somewhat similarly to Keep Tryin’ but with an ethereal flavor to it. The whole atmosphere of the song is somewhat sorrowful and plays with the metaphor of a radio station that tunes into the frequencies of the heart (“heart station”).  The verses are wonderful as the vocals are smooth and blend perfectly with the music. The chorus features notes more in the upper register and Hikki hits them perfectly. Her voice hits it really clearly as she draws out the ending notes of “I love you,” “I miss you” and other notes of that nature. Supporting Hikki’s notes is the instrumentation, which directs the song to these notes. Following the first chorus, Hikki speaks in English and is a nice addition to overall feel to the song. The song ends with Hikki repeating “heart station” with great vocals. HEART STATION is definitely one of Hikki’s best and she brought true strength with an ethereal sound.

Stay Gold, the other A-side, is a piano driven ballad. Drawing influence from a Stevie Wonder song of the same name and a Robert Frost poem entitled “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” the song is beautifully written. The opening instrumentation introduces the overall sorrowful atmosphere perfectly and melts straight into the chorus. The chorus is easily the strongest part of the song with beautiful vocals that are somewhat breathy but are powerful enough to work in the context of the song. The verses have Hikki singing in a lower key and the instrumentation makes a rather large change in order to compliment her vocals better. As the verses transition into the chorus, the instrumentation begins to return to its regular glory. The song ends on a lovely note as she breathily sings “my darling.” Stay Gold serves as an excellent contrast to HEART STATION and showcases Hikki’s strengths in terms of vocals and lyrics.

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For this double A-side single, a PV for HEART STATION was created. Hikki hasn’t had a “proper” PV for this album yet so the PV was a very nice surprise. The opening is amazing as the camera goes through what appears to be a vortex until we are able to see it’s Hikki’s eye. The rest of the PV is simple as it consists of Hikki sitting on a train with headphones are. Presumably she is listening to “heart station” as she sings. The camera angles add to the feel of the song with shots from her perspective as well as another’s (unidentified). Having the other passengers turn into silhouettes also shows creativity and true artistic direction.

Single Ranking: A +

Hikki’s 20th single, HEART STATION / Stay Gold, features two very strong tracks. HEART STATION features Hikki’s current ethereal style with great vocals and a clear atmosphere. Stay Gold, a piano ballad, features beautifully written lyrics and breathy but strong vocals. As the lead in for her new album of the same name, HEART STATION is one to be remembered as is Stay Gold.

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2 Comments

  1. Jemmy Sorlury said,

    I realy love Utada…since the firts single until the latest single I realy like to heard..
    Everyday I always turn on utada song in my bedroom..when I weak up in the morning and before I sleep at night…
    utada song very inspired my life..
    her voice made me calm…
    I just want to say to Utada…Please make a concert in Indonesia…I realy want to see u in the live music…
    PLEASE…Utada……
    Thx for your attention…

  2. kristalyn hazel said,

    i’ve listened to utada songs since my elementary days, and I witnessed the evolution of her music…

    i’m a big fan but i don’t have all her albums, i only have her first and third album with me…

    and now that i have a job and earning my own money…it was one of my goals to hunt for al of her past albums and collect them….

    utada is really an inspiration and a big influence for me…

    nice post! XD

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