Utada Hikaru - BAD Mode | Page 128 | The Popjustice Forum

Utada Hikaru - BAD Mode

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Osiris, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. How did this chart on Oricon? Or did it not because it's digital only? Will it make #1 when physicals hit? Somebody please tell me!

    The streaming numbers are super strong from this project, compared to Fantome and particularly Hatsukoi. I feel like One Last Kiss really introduced them to a wider audience on streaming and I love that for them. Hikki deserves so much recognition.
    mi|kshake likes this.
  2. It was #1 on the Digital Chart at debut and #2 in its second week. On the combined album chart it debut at #3 this week. It’ll definitely get a boost when the physical launches at the end of the month.
  3. Ashamed to say, I haven’t heard of Utada before, but heard Somewhere Near Marseilles the other day and was completely blown away. Will definitely seek out the album, and their discography in general (recommendations on next steps are very welcome)
  4. This is my personal recommendation, it might differ from others. Finish BAD Mode, then try ULTRA BLUE and Heart Station. You also MUST give Exodus a listen--it's their best English album and shares a lot of DNA with BAD Mode.

    From there, dive in wherever you feel like. A lot of people adore Distance.* Maybe save Hatsukoi for later; it's a lovely set, but it's less adventurous sonically.

    I meant to say DEEP RIVER here nn.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2022
  5. ULTRA BLUE and the girls will say HEART STATION but fuck them, do DEEP RIVER.
    Trinu 3.0, Sabrettes and mi|kshake like this.
  6. I always tend to work my way backwards through an artist's discography so I would listen to Hatsukoi after Bad Mode. Some of their stand out albums imo are Deep River, Ultra Blue and Exodus. Fantome and Hatsukoi the 2 albums preceding Bad Mode are up there too!
    Sabrettes likes this.
  7. Somewhere Near Marseilles is very unique in her discography.

    I'd say start with her latest album, BAD Mode, then the holy trinity Deep River, Ultra Blue and Heart Station.

    Then Exodus, Fantôme and Hatsukoi.

    And finally This Is the One, Distance and First Love.
    Sabrettes and mi|kshake like this.
  8. Deep River, forever and always.
    mi|kshake likes this.
  9. I hate that this is not on streaming in Germany.

    Kyliéyoncé likes this.
  10. P-fork put Somewhere Near Marseilles in their weekly Selects playlist batch today, possibly signaling some more incoming coverage.


    If they're mean to mom I'm gonna pop a hernia.

    And while I'm here I just want to mention that BAD mode producer and electronic/symphonic genius Sam Shepherd's (aka Floating Points) own catalogue is well worth a look.

    Slappers. Slapping is what they do. I assume he helped out with BAD mode and Marseilles just jamming out to the degrees they do.
  11. I'm loving this album. Totally smitten.
  12. Heart Station is their easiest to get into. And their best work. Facts!
    Timbo likes this.
  13. Start with Bad Mode, and then if the electronic sounds are what you're most into then explore Heart Station, Ultra Blue, and/or Exodus.

    Below is my breakdown of each album in terms of what you can expect.
    (I started to bold my favorites, but then realized I had bolded the majority of albums)

    First Love - The best selling album in Japan, but isn't indicative of their entire discography simply because they were so young (15?). This is a great listen if you want a unique take on 90s r&b/teen pop in the same vein as Brandy, Monica, and hints of New Jack Swing.

    Distance - This is an excellent followup to First Love as there is an expansion of sounds and leap in vocal performance. You get more R&B trends from 2000 and hints of rock, ballads, and jazz. However in the year 2022 this album can get lost because it doesn't hold the same level of nostalgia as the very first album, and it's very transitional/middling to the entire discography.

    Deep River - This is a classic album and essential listening in terms of understanding Hikaru Utada's discography. This album has all the nostalgia that fans love, but it was also a coming of age album where they came into their personal sound and created some fantastic videos as well. It's the first album where it's difficult to describe the genre, as the genre is simply Hikaru Utada.

    Exodus - Their "first" English album that I would describe as their mad scientist era. The sound is very eclectic, and the songs range from messy, dated, and half baked to bold, daring, ethereal, unique all time career highlights.

    Ultra Blue - This album has some absolute career highs but can be a bit disjointed as a listen from start to finish. This album incubated for quite some time, so you have pieces that sound like a continuation of Deep River but then you have songs that feel very post Exodus but with more refinement.

    Heart Station - This album used to get a bad wrap from international fans because the rollout, production, videos, and overall mood were more relaxed, introspective, and reserved. But it's truly one of the most cohesive listens from start to finish. Lots of beautiful soaring vocals, synths, and fun bleeps and bloops.

    This Is the One - Their second English album that feels more like a contractual obligation and burnout central. While Exodus was their mad scientist phase, this album was "I don't want to produce, I will just write to these demos and practice being safer and more commercially viable". This might be their worst album because it's all so derivative and/or devoid from the magic of their usual songs.

    Fantome - This was their comeback album after a 6 year hiatus. You can hear the personal growth and life experience supercharging this album with new and expansive soundscapes while still feeling nostalgic. The album really feels like greeting an old friend you haven't spoken to in years but you immediately feel connected in a new way. I love the seeds of their classic sound here but with live instrumentation and new song structures.

    Hatsukoi - At the time of release, this album felt a little bit like Fantome part 2. As in "These are the songs I didn't finish and here they are now". With that said it's a lovely companion album to Fantome, but I have to be in a particular mood to really listen and appreciate it.

    Bad Mode - Their newest album and easily one of my top favorites. After 20+ years it's so exciting to see that they are still filled with creative breakthroughs. The album has all my favorite things from them: Luscious production! Beautiful world building through the music, melodies, vocal arrangements, and lyrics! Atypical and fun song structures but not just experimental for the sake of being weird! Each listen I hear a new detail! And there is a level ease and confidence, even down to not compartmentalizing their Japanese versus English.

    The main problem with the album is if you have kept up with all the singles/prereleases then there are only a few new songs, and one of the songs (Face My Fears) feels so dated. But other than that I would 100% recommend to anyone new to their music.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2022
    Crisp X, 3Xs, masahiro and 5 others like this.
  14. Had never listened to them before, checked out BAD Mode and I love it. Going to spend some more time with this album but I'm excited to delve deeper into their discography.
  15. Truly so envious of everyone discovering them for the first time. I have no doubts you'll all be stanning soon enough.
  16. @odyism I love your review of This Is The One - it's spot on!!
    odyism and backstreetjoe like this.
  17. I still love This Is the One nn
    RUNAWAY, eyeline and YourLeadSinger like this.
  18. Like Captain Picard, I'm chillin' and flossin'.
    aaronhansome likes this.
  19. Not being much of a PC Music girl, I almost ignored the A. G. Cook remix of Face My Fears tucked away at the bottom of the tracklist - wow. He elevated the song so much, I switched it out with the original and now that sixteen minute run of the remix into Somewhere Near Marseilles is pure heaven.
    Crisp X and backstreetjoe like this.
  20. Finally got around to listening to this album and it's beautiful so far. Is there only one vinyl variant?
    Mr Blonde likes this.
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