RPGFan


Hikaru Utada - Passion
Catalog Number: TOCT-5003 (limited edition TOCT-5004)
Released On: December 14, 2005
Composed By: Hikaru Utada
Arranged By: Hikaru Utada
Published By: Toshiba-EMI
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD (limited edition includes bonus DVD)
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Passion ~single version~
02 - Passion ~after the battle~
Total Time:
10'41"

Bonus DVD
01 - Passion ~single version~ (Video Clip)
Total Time:
4'37"

Hikaru Utada has been described by fans as a no-nonsense non-Western version of an American pop star. Take Britney Spears, cut out all the weird stuff with that Kevin guy, add decent lyrics, give her the ability to write her own songs, and cut the "slut" factor: you've got Hikaru Utada.

The young lady previously recorded both the English and Japanese versions of the Kingdom Hearts theme song "Hikari" (known in English as "Simple and Clean"). I enjoyed this song (both its original slow version and the pumped up opening remix), but I knew she could do better. I found that "better" song in Passion.

Within the first week of its release, many VGM fans had reported to me that they thought "Passion" to be a mediocre song. In one sense, it is. The chord progression stays the same. The song is stable, constant, repetitive. You get the feeling that the song isn't "going anywhere." I'll accept those complaints.

But (and this is a big but), this song has a feel to it unlike most other pop songs and radio hits. The music here reminds me of the UK vocalist Imogen Heap: the samples, the drum work, and the voice effects are ethereal in a way that is simply beautiful.

Not to mention, the bonus music video is amazing. The clip above doesn't have much of it, but the first minute of this video is done in anime, and then it switches to live-action Utada with blue-men timpani players, then girls dancing in pink, and then at the end some horses run through a field. It's weird all right, but assuming the imagery is a metaphor for Utada breaking out of an illusory world, it fits well with the song (and the lessons learned in Kingdom Hearts II).

The "after the battle" version is used in the ending of Kingdom Hearts II: it's longer, and it makes use of the verses without the drums for the first half of the song. However, it also has a longer instrumental ending. I like the original single version more, though the softness is enjoyable.

I heartily recommend this single to you, unless you purchased the KH2 OST, which happens to have both versions of the song on it. If you don't want the full KH2 OST (which has some repeat tracks from the first game and has received mix reviews), please get this single. I'm passionate about this.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



Back




Twitch Schedule & Status

TBA
Sunday, December 17 • 10am PST/1pm EST

Monster Hunter: World beta
Monday, December 11 • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Vandal Hearts
Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

Final Fantasy VI
Thursdays and Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

Featured Content
Fabula Nova Anniversaris: Celebrating Thirty Years of Final Fantasy
Fabula Nova Anniversaris: Celebrating Thirty Years of Final Fantasy
Special Feature
Retro Encounter 113
Retro Encounter 113
Podcast
Finding Paradise Review
Finding Paradise
Review
.hack//G.U. Last Recode Review
.hack//G.U. Last Recode
Review
Valkyrie Anatomia -The Origin- Soundtrack Review
Valkyrie Anatomia -The Origin- Soundtrack
Review
Summon Night 6 Review
Summon Night 6
Review