Exodus was Utada Hikaru’s 1st English studio album, there was one before that but was released by Cubic U. Utada is the real artist here as it’s used for her American albums, but for category sake we’ll just say Hikki. It was released on September 8, 2004 in Japan and October 5, 2004 in the US. The album reached number 1 on the Oricon Charts with 523,761 copies sold, it would go on to sell over 1,074,000+ copies in Japan, making it very successful for an all English album. Hikki also maintained her record for 500,000+ copies in the first week for all of her albums. On the US charts, the Billboard 200, it reached 160 with virtually no promotion and sold 30,000 copies. Exodus was also the first album released under Island Def Jam, the second is scheduled this year, hopefully. One interesting fact is that a Japanese company created animations to promote the album, they were called Fluximations.
2. Devil Inside
3. Exodus ’04
4. THE WORKOUT
5. Easy Breezy
6. Tippy Toe
7. Hotel Lobby
9. Crossover Interlude
10. Kremlin Dusk
11. You Make Me Want to Be a Man
12. Wonder ‘Bout
13. Let Me Give You My Love
14. About Me
Opening, the crossover. This is the introduction to the album and serves as a story almost. It speaks of Utada not wanting to crossover from this genre that genre. This is also the only song to not have music played at the beginning. The music begins later and starts to build up until Hikki begins singing. The lyrics are simple yet makes so much sense when you think of her changing from Japanese music to English music. The perfect beginning for the new era.
Devil Inside, the darkness inside. This song begins with a thumping sound that changes into a dark rock song. The song talks of people not knowing Hikki’s burn and how there’s a devil inside. The chorus sounds really good, somewhat catchy and propelled with the guitar and a Japanese instrument it seems. You can also here where parts were recorded and where she actually sang, even though she sings both parts. The music here follows that Japanese music vibe with a little synth and a few guitar beats. Before the final chorus you can hear Hikki’s voice distortions that sound so good it’s scary. Then she begins the final chorus, which sounds amazing. Devil Inside was released as a single and reached number 1 on the Dance Charts, mostly because the remixes were club/dance remixes.
Exodus ’04, it’s all in the name. This song is considered a Japanese influenced song as the music has that Japanese feel. It’s not all that upbeat but the song is still good. The music isn’t too fast, it’s more slow paced. The lyrics talk about new music on the radio, saying goodbye to the friends they know, and that it’s their Exodus ’04. Exodus is the movement of one group to another place, Hikki moving to America, and ’04 was the year, so now you know how she got the title, if you all ready didn’t. This was really a great song, especially when you listen to the lyrics. Timbaland also helped co-write this song along with Hikki.
THE WORKOUT, funky beats. This song has the funkiest beat ever. The song…well it’s OK I guess, but I’ve heard better. The lyrics are pretty catchy and are fast paced, I actually like this part of the song. The lyrics keep talking about what a WORKOUT, kinda odd. This isn’t exactly the best song that she’s written for sure.
Easy Breezy, the first single. This song was the first song released as a single, and an upbeat one if that. This song features a synth beat, but not dance or club. Easy Breezy is also the only song to feature Japanese, only two words though, Konnichiwa and Sayōnara. This song also had a PV to go with it, which was shot by Jake Nava. The lyrics talk about how she doesn’t mean anything to a guy and how he’s Easy Breezy and she Japanesy. Quoting Hikki, she said that this is a basic love song with a story behind it. Also the lyrics here are quite humorous at some points, well that’s how Hikki wanted them to be. The chorus here is pretty good and sounds so catchy and the music is fantastic. What a great song, reminiscent of the summer.
Tippy Toe the naughty song. This song’s lyrics are about adultery and how a woman talks about her lover’s life. This is really a new topic for Hikki to cover, and it worked, the song is amazing. The chorus here is filled with that funky music that sounds so great and it’s so catchy. But the best part of this song is that it’s pretty upbeat. When you’re sneaking around you need to be on your Tippy Toes.
Hotel Lobby, the dark synth song. This song is mostly about prostitution in my opinion. The melody in the bridge, i think, is the same for Kiss & Cry as the melody was recycled. The lyrics are pretty simple and yet still are nice. The chorus is the most memorable part about the song as well as the most catchy part. The song tells a story about a girl going out because she needs the extra money and when she meets her “friend” it’s at the Hotel Lobby and when their eyes meet it’s in the mirrors of the Hotel Lobby. Quite the dark song, and yet still so great.
Animato, the strangest songs on the album. This song starts off with some eerie music that plays out through the entire song. The lyrics are the post peculiar part of the song, and talk of needing someone who does the laundry too. The chorus is catchy, and yet still weird. Hikki stated that this was the one song that she translated into Japanese herself as she felt that only she could translate it to what it meant to her. Not the best English work she’s done.
Crossover Interlude, this is the second interlude, or really the first. The same lyrics from Opening were used here. But this song is mixed differently and was shortened. The most notable difference was the clapping sound and snaps. Somewhat redundant for an interlude, but that’s OK.
Kremlin Dusk one word that says it all: Darkness. This song has that dark aurora surrounding it, but that’s okay. The music sounds pretty creepy especially with the keyboard playing in the eerie tone. Hikki also makes references to Edgar Allan Poe, a favorite poet of hers, like searching for Lenore and asking will the Raven come to visit. The chorus doesn’t come until the second half of the song. Towards the middle of the song Hikki starts singing and suddenly the the guitars burst out playing and Hikki begins the best part in my opinion. Towards this point the music is a lot faster and it sounds a lot better. The chorus here sounds amazing and is so catchy and talks about opposite attraction. Then the song begins to soften until that same eerie music ends the song. Without a doubt the best track on the album.
You Make Me Want To Be A Man, the second single. This song was released as a single but didn’t chart to well. This song has some weird music that is synth. Here the lyrics have a lot more meaning to Hikki. In the lyrics Hikki tries to understand her now ex-husband. The chorus is pretty good here and is really catchy. This song also had a PV for it that featured a futuristic theme for part of it, nothing like Traveling. But the PV was all so creepy, not her best PV. Despite that the music was good.
Wonder ‘Bout, remixed by Timbaland. Well being remixed by Timbaland you can hear the American influence. The music of this song is OK, but it’s the lyrics I worry about. I will say that I couldn’t stand this song, it’s just to Americanized. Worst song on the album.
Let Me Give You My Love is another co-written track by Timbaland and Hikki. The music here is so great. The melody sounds so good and the verses are pretty catchy. The chorus here sounds so prefect and are so catchy. The lyrics talk about Hikki and someone from America and how she want to give him her love, and how they should mix genes, naughty stuff. Despite all that the song is really good.
About Me, the final track. Truly a beautiful song. This song is an acoustic based song that features the acoustic guitar. The chorus here sounds so amazing and is so deep. The lyrics talk about how her lover should know something about her. The music here is simply spectacular and it really shows. This was one of the best songs on the album, and surely the perfect way to end this English album.
Overall Review: Exodus was a mind blowing album. The genres were strange in some cases but all of them were superb. I did like how the song contained so many great quality songs. Considering how all these songs were in English it’s fantastic. Some songs could have been better, but most were excellent. I truly thing that this was such a great venture for Hikki, as she was able to be more creative with this album. What a beautiful album.
Final Grade: 100A+