Heart Station Utada’s follow up to her often brilliant electro synth pop album Ultra Blue feels less like a destination and more like a rest stop on the way to something better. Ironically the problem sounds like her heart just isn’t it.
It would be kind to refer to the beats on Heart Station as familiar when the word I really want to say is recycled –“Kiss & Cry” uses the exact same melody as “Hotel Lobby.” And you’ve heard “Fight the Blues” and “Heart Station” before, but done better. Only “TAKE 5,” doing loop de loops in cyberspace, and the maudlin “Nijiiro Bus” seem to take the sound in new directions.
Since she was basically blessed with the hook of last year with “Flavor of Life” she probably doesn’t need the album to act as much more than a nest for her hit singles. But I gotta ask, was it a creative decision to include the adorable (i love the fuck out of it) but ill-fitting children’s song “Boku ha Kuma” or was it a commercial one?