Utada Hikaru - SCIENCE FICTION + General Discussion

What a fantastic collection. You could nitpick about what was left off but I think what's here truly highlights why Utada stands as a generational talent, and also just how remarkably consistent their discography is. The newer songs stand side by side with the old material in terms of quality, which... not everyone has that! Electricity is another stunning addition and the new mixes are mostly all good to excellent.

The only miss for me was the Addicted To You re-recording which just... doesn't really flatter their current vocal tone and ends up sounding a bit karaoke. It's interesting, their voice has actually gotten higher with age, so I was sort of missing the low notes of the original. By contrast, the traveling re-recording works a lot better precisely because the original was a lot higher to begin with. Not to mention Taku did such a fantastic job re-interpreting the production! The Hikari re-recording is similarly excellent as well because they totally flipped it and turned it into something that could fit onto one of their more recent albums.

Anyway, this album is going to keep me fed for quite a while as I discover more little details in the new versions. This really should be the standard for greatest hits albums in this day and age. Give the long-term fans something to chew on.
The only miss for me was the Addicted To You re-recording which just... doesn't really flatter their current vocal tone and ends up sounding a bit karaoke.
I am trying to be grateful that we got its inclusion at all, as much as I think a 2024 mix of the original or the Underwater Version would've probably slapped more. I had this initial worry about it when the tracklist was announced just given that they haven't performed it live in quite a while and it's quite vocally ambitious, now the upcoming NHK Music Special has been revealed and they unsurprisingly performed the other two re-records and Electricity.
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Yeah this is just an immaculate compilation. Sakura Drops and traveling being my two of my absolute favourite Hikki songs ever and they actually managed to improve upon them. The songs from the first two albums which I was honestly never that high on, sound fantastic in their re-recorded/remixed forms and I have grown to love them. This is how you do a Greatest Hits.
when is Kuu releasing HISTORICAL FICTION or something sksksksks?

I want a full concept of 2 albums and nothing less from Koda Kumi: [NON-FICTION] explores what's real in the world and shows a harder side of Koda Kumi. [FICTION] is about dreams and gives Koda Kumi a chance to show her softer side.

Her 19th(!) album will be released next week though, it's called 'Unicorn'. That's 9 albums more than Utada has (not counting 'Precious') and Koda Kumi even started 3 years later. Let's not talk about the quality.

I think we'll have to wait a few years before getting a new album by Utada. I do hope they'll compose a new song for Kingdom Hearts IV, which is also set to appear in the next few years.
"Time" remains one of the most astounding songs I've heard ever. Such drama (that middle 8! that outro!), and a spotless flair for futuristic R&B. Were Mariah to go the experimental pop route, she would kill something like this - I believe she was almost there with Caution.
The way it’s always been amazing and yet has continued to unveil itself over time, fully a work of art! I’ve been a stan since Deep River, and yet I think BAD Mode is their best album at this stage.
My copy of SCIENCE FICTION arrived one day earlier and I've listened to both discs.

Some thoughts:
- The packaging is beautiful.
- The re-recordings and new mixes fit right in with the Fantôme/Hatsukoi/BAD Mode songs and the 3 new songs.
- Hikari, Goodbye Happiness, Traveling and Beautiful World have the best new mixes.
- BAD Mode and Somewhere Near Marseilles, while amazing, feel slightly less essential and I would've put Keep Tryin' and Passion in their place.
- I would've also added 4 songs from Exodus and This Is The One, so you'd have 30 songs and every album represented properly.