Hikaru Utada to release 1st album in 8 1/2 years


Singer/songwriter Utada Hikaru, 33, has revealed the title of her upcoming album scheduled for release on Sept 28: “Fantôme” (meaning “apparition” or “a presence” in French). It will be her first album in 8 1/2 years.

Aside from the previously released tracks “Hanataba wo Kimi ni”, “Manatsu no Tooriame” and “Sakura Nagashi,” the new album will feature a total of eight new songs making it an 11-track CD.

Furthermore, the album cover and artist photos have also been released to the public. Both promotional images have been shot by French photographer Julien Mignot. Praised for his avant-garde photos that possess a unique atmosphere, Mignot is known for his photos of worldwide celebrities.

Utada is also a fan of Mignot’s work and personally offered him the job as her photographer for the upcoming album. Mignot has since commented, “I am very happy to have been in charge of the jacket cover for this album. Although the photo shoot ended up finishing late at night, thanks to everyone's wonderful support, we were able to have a great shoot.”

Since 2010, Utada had been on a hiatus. In 2014, she surprised many fans by announcing her marriage to an Italian man eight years her junior. In 2015, the Japanese pop star announced the birth of her first child, a baby boy.

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She's been washed up for a while. Not many loyal fans left. After 8.5 yrs, you just can't turn it back on again.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Oh I bet she can. Her new album will be a best seller.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

)No longer MIA. Welcome back Strangerland.) seems like Utada being married w/ a kid, and all, she won't be able to really focus on her music. Besides, she's only really made a couple hits. "Automatic" is the only 1 I can think of and that was just so-so.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

She can't be serious. . . she just needs some quick dough. Then, after this "new" cd, won't hear of her until another 4-5 yrs later.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

She can't be serious. . . she just needs some quick dough. Then, after this "new" cd, won't hear of her until another 4-5 yrs later.

I think someone who takes their time and releases a project every 5-10 years, maybe takes their craft more seriously than someone who churns something out every 1 or 2 years.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In French, "fantôme" means "ghost", mostly. So pretty bad translation up there. You can understand the translations "apparition" and "presence" only in that supernatural context.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Wc626 is either misinformed or his/her comments are just written for a response. Hikaru Utada is far from washed up. The two singles she digitally released in April have been downloaded 750k+ times. Also, she certainly is not doing it for the money as she’s worth close to $100 mil.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Such a simple and not so artistically done, makes me wonder why it took late into the night to essentially shoot a common selfie.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

HIKKI'S BACK!!!! YAY! Can't wait! Don't know what the haters above are talking about..she's awesome! I'm really looking forward to hearing what she has to offer us all...and I KNOW i 'm not the only one!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hikaru-chan !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll give it a listen, as I used to respect her quite a bit, but I doubt I'll buy it unless it's surprisingly good. I'm really not a fan of the whole "make a big fuss over retirement", then make a big fuss over the coming out of retirement when the money's dried up a bit. Good luck to her all the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Responding to smithinjapan...

Utada never retired... She took a hiatus. Even announced (back in 2010, I believe) that it would last anywhere from 2 to 5 years.

And where does it mention anywhere that her "...money's dried up..."?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

palsunstar: If that's the case, then I have no qualms admitting it's my bad. I don't remember her saying hiatus, I remember her saying she was retiring, and it was hard to do so. So many 'tarento' and artists, as well as athletes, "retire" only to start working again after a very short time when they realise not being in the limelight is not quite the same as being in it, and if they want more fame and fortune.

I doubt in her case the 'money has dried up', which is why I was referring to artists who come out of 'retirement' in general, not specifically her in that respect.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@smithinjapan - She never retired and clearly stated it would be a hiatus. Please understand recording artists are under contract and cannot just walk away. Otherwise she would most likely have to return the $10 mil signing bonus she got on her last contract with EMI. I read a few years ago she still had an album or two remaining on the EMI contract. which is now Universal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's with the idea that an artist has to be constantly producing work to be worthwhile? I think they should release things at whatever pace they like and are capable of.

In Utada's case, while she was on hiatus she had to deal with the very traumatic death of her mother, and also got married and gave birth to a baby. If she didn't want or couldn't put together something to release during that time, so be it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Her voice just never did it for me. Sorry.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Can't wait! Been a fan for a very long time... I still have two or three of her "vinyls"!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The title is wrong, it should be either first original or full album, because her last physical release with new content was released in 2010 (SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2), that without counting the tribute album released about 2 years ago. Anyways, I'm really happy for her comeback, after many years of "silence" she is still relevant to the music industry, and I'm pretty sure her public will be more than satisfied with her newest work, why am I so sure? Because she always does! Japan's finest singer-songwriter is back and stronger than ever!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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