[J-Pop] Deep River

I’m lazy like hell lately to blog, but I just got to post this one because I’m being overly-sentimental.

You see, yesterday, 19 June 2012, was the 10th anniversary of the release of Utada Hikaru’s third studio album “DEEP RIVER.” For those who do not have an idea what DEEP RIVER is, here’s some info from Wikipedia, as posted in Utada Hikaru Philippines:

Released: 2002.06.19Deep River is the third Japanese studio album released by American-born Japanese J-pop star Hikaru Utada, released in June 19, 2002. It sold just over 2.35 million copies in its first week of release (much like the 2,026,870 units by First Love and 3,002,720 by Distance in their debut sales week), easily debuting at #1 on the weekly, monthly and eventually yearly charts of the Oricon Albums chart. Deep River is Japan’s 5th highest album in debut sales.

The final track, “Hikari”, would be her first single to reach #1 on the Oricon Weekly Singles chart three times, and would be the Japanese version of the theme song for Square Enix’s smash hit RPG video game, Kingdom Hearts. The song has an English version, “Simple and Clean,” that would accompany promotion of “Kingdom Hearts” in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere. That song would give Utada’s voice and music its first major mark of international recognition. The album was Utada’s most acclaimed work to date by fans and critics alike, and earned her the Triple Crown at the 17th Golden Disc Awards. Deep River is the 8th highest selling album in Japan of all time.

According to IFPI the album is listed at #18 on the Top 50 Global Best Selling Albums for 2002.

And here’s my Deep River album with the singles that are also included in the album:
I have known Utada Hikaru since I was in third grade, ever since I heard the song “Can You Keep a Secret?”. For quite sometime it was the only non-anime Japanese song that I know, and “Automatic,” which didn’t really leave an impression on me. So life went on…. Until I heard he song “Hikari” in 2003.
Actually what I watched was “Hikari’s” Kingdom Hearts version PV. And the only word that came out of my mouth after watching the PV was: Magical. And I knew that I will love Utada forever.
After sometime, I saw this other PV in one of our cable TV’s local text chat channels. What I watched actually was the last 1 minute of the song, unfortunately, but I already fell in love with it. In that one minute, I already knew that it was Utada Hikaru. But I had no idea what the title was. It wasn’t shown. It was the year 2003 at that time, YouTube wasn’t really very popular back then.
I then also stumbled upon this video on a local music channel. You see, Utada Hikaru, at that time, was the only Japanese artist who got little exposures like those. Anyhoo, it was “traveling.” I liked the upbeat tempo of the song, but didn’t really strike me as the next song that I discovered, titled “Deep River.”
Watching Deep River’s PV did it for me. It was time to look for more Hikki songs.
A friend then suggested me this J-Pop site, in which I can listen to songs in full online. From there, I only listened to Utada Hikaru. My first priority at that time: To find the song that had its PV featured on our local cable TV’s chat channel. And then I found it. The song was “Final Distance.”
Final Distance instantly became my favorite, alongside Deep River and Hikari. You don’t know how these three songs have affected me. And from there, the rest is history.
Deep River turned my life to a 180-degree turn (the other 180 degrees were from L’Arc~en~Ciel). It became my stepping stone in the J-Pop world, and now, nine years later, I’m still immersed.
If there is a J-Pop album that everybody is compelled to listen to, hands down, it’ll be DEEP RIVER.

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