The Japan Times: Will Hikaru Utada’s new album ‘Fantome’ change the rules of modern J-pop?

The last time we truly heard from singer-songwriter and J-pop megastar Hikaru Utada was at a concert on Dec. 9, 2010, at Yokohama Arena. Captured on the home-video release “Wild Life,” the glorious two days of concerts concluded with a performance of “Time Will Tell,” the companion track to her 1998 debut single, “Automatic.”

“Time will tell / We’ll understand when time passes,” the then-27-year-old sang to a sold-out arena crowd. In contrast to the studio version of the song that featured a 15-year-old Utada, the “Wild Life” performance seemed more refined and world-weary. “You don’t have to hurry,” she sings in the chorus. It was as if she was singing it to herself; Utada began her self-imposed, indefinite hiatus and exile from the music industry the following year.

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