The beautiful and bilingual Utada released her US debut album Exodus last October. Utada grew up partly in New York and partly in Tokyo. Both of her parents are musicians, and she released her first album when she was 12- which unfortunately did not make it out of the gates because of record company issues. Her proper debut album was "First Love" (1998), which sold an extraordinary 12 million copies in Japan. Her current album Exodus takes her out of Japan and into the US and European markets. Already the lead single "Devil Inside" from the album has rocked up the charts (#1 Billboard Club Hit) with the help of hard hitting remixes from Scumfrog and Richard Vission. But a #1 on Billboard Club in America doesn't necessarily mean a single is getting radio play at the mainstream level. And Utada has got what it takes to be a huge mainstream pop artist. (I heard a radio (NPR) interview with The Scissor Sisters where they said they couldn't get arrested in the US, and so they took refuge in the UK, where they built their initial fan base; which in turn led them to gain major fans in the US).
Since then, Utada has been busy with a global assault setting up her album and preparing for a release in the UK. The second single from her album Exodus is scheduled for release June 21, 2005. With a wide variety of styles, the "Exodus 04" single caters to chill-out, house, trance, electro fans alike. Particularly noticeable is the inclusion of mixes that are radio-friendly right out of the gate. Josh Harris surprises us with a tasty downtempo treat and when he teams up on the MPC radio mix, he nails down an ultrapop sound, showing his diverse talents in the remix field. For this single, all his mixes range the low BPMs. The Double J mix is a chilled house affair. Peter Bailey delivers a trademark muscular house dub. Kriya vs Velez get into some cool blippy techno with their electro remix. Finally, the most slamming remix of the batch has got to be the JJ Flores Dub #2. It will rock the floor. The Josh Harris vs MPC mix will rock the radio if given the chance. The remixes here give a little something for everybody. Utada is definitely an up and comer; she's beautiful, writes good songs with intelligent lyrics, and has a keen electronic sensibility.