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This Is The One by Utada Hikaru
Released: Mar 2009
Label: Island Records
This Is the One, indeed. Utada Hikaru's 2009 album represents a quantum leap for the Japanese-American singer-songwriter. She's always had the smarts to appeal to Japanese and Western audiences, depending on the idiom, but here she proves herself as capable as Beyonce of rendering modern heartbreak in a four-minute pop song. The first four tracks on the album make a solid case for her as an emerging, if unlikely, R&B diva; when she tries on the Sasha Fierce costume later in the release, however, she loses the plot. Still, we can forgive a singer this talented for having a few clunkers.
Sarah Bardeen
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