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Kingdom Hearts: Hikari - Utada Hikaru :: Review by Neo Locke

Kingdom Hearts: Hikari - Utada Hikaru Album Title: Kingdom Hearts: Hikari - Utada Hikaru
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Catalog No.: TOCT-4361
Release Date: March 20, 2002
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


The Kingdom Hearts series is what got me into Utada Hikaru's music in the first place and, in turn, J-Pop in general. Utada was an excellent choice for the vocalist of Kingdom Hearts' main theme, having a strong and solid voice whether singing in Japanese or English. This single of Hikari and its various mixes doesn't contain any of the English versions, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt the quality if it did. The versions that are on here are the original Hikari, the PLANITb Remix, part of which was featured in the game's opening, the light and jazzy Godson Mix, and the Original Karaoke mix which is exactly what it sounds like.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Hikari (Light)

The original starts off this single in all its glory. Hikari has always impressed me for having a very recognizable and easy to manipulate melody despite the fact that the vocals are the only melodic line in the piece — partially due once again to Utada Hikaru's strong and versatile voice. The acoustic guitar combined with the synth in the background creates a pleasant and gentle harmony that helps bring out Utada's voice.

2) Hikari - PLANITb Remix

The PLANITb remix of Hikari is pretty much what you'd expect from a techno remix, complete with a faster version of the original vocals, dance-style synth beats, echoes everywhere, and an intro that drags on for way too long. Yep, pretty standard techno remix. Although, as much as I dislike most techno, I still can appreciate this version for still keeping the synth relatively light, and the echo and distortion of Utada's vocals adds an interesting edge to the whole piece.

3) Hikari - Godson Remix

The Godson mix is more like the original than the PLANITb mix, but it's still different enough to be interesting. It's basically a poppy soul remix of the song, which fits surprisingly well. The instrumentation is slightly lighter, making the vocals more prominent, which is nice. Finally, the random machine sounds in the background certainly don't hurt the piece at all.

4) Hikari - Original Karaoke

Last, and unfortunately least, is the Karaoke version. Being exactly how it describes itself, this version is essentially the original minus Utada's primary vocals. Still, its cool that this was added since Karaoke is such a big thing in Japan. And it is interesting to hear some of the English background vocals you can't really hear in the original.


Normally in my conclusions of these albums I recommend whether or not to pick it up. I can't really give an accurate recommendation for this one, though. It depends on whether you usually enjoy these remix singles or not, and just how big of a Utada fan you are. It's a good enough album, but the four tracks don't really offer enough in terms of diversity to call it more than one track. All the tracks, however, except for maybe the last, are very enjoyable.

Overall Score: 7/10