Music that Doesn’t Suck: Utada’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI”

Okay, so Utada’s 2004 English only album Exodus didn’t do so great. Besides a brief club hit for her first single Devil Inside, the album reminded people more of Bjork than of the mega-popstar sound that people expect from her string of Japanese albums — Utada herself called Exodus experimental electronica in a recent audio interview she did with the Gossip Girls.

But all that’s about to change — in theory, since we know how hard it is from anyone Asian to break out in US Radio — with her upcoming album This Is The One, to be released in March. Gone are the Easy Breezy videos where she’s dolled up in a bikini and a see-through tarp in a rainstorm, to be replaced with a Great Gatsby-esque video for her lead-in single, Come Back to Me.

While the song itself is kinda lackluster for me — me and mid-tempo ballads have never gotten along — you’ll want to check out her iLike page, where there is an audio track of another single, the weirdly titled Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI. If the intro of the song sounds familiar, it’s because it samples Watergate’s Heart of Asia, also known as “that fucking song you danced to until 9am when you went to that underground rave in 2001.” If you told me my favorite J-Pop artist would come out with a mainstream song that samples a trance anthem that still gives me Ecstasy flashbacks to this day, I would have hid under a desk and cried. But the single is actually really, really good — enough for me to make the whole album a definite download when it comes out in a couple of weeks.

(Hat tip: Slant Eye for the Round Eye)

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog,, for seven years.
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