Passion (Hikaru Utada song)
|Single by Hikaru Utada|
|from the album Ultra Blue|
|Released||December 14, 2005|
|Format||CD single, digital Download|
|Genre||Electronic, ambient, alternative rock, ethereal wave|
|Length||4:44 (Album version)
4:27 (Opening version)
5:58 (After the Battle)
|Producer||Hikaru Utada, Akira Miyake, Teruzane Utada|
|Hikaru Utada singles chronology|
"Passion" is a song by Japanese-American singer-songwriter Utada Hikaru, released as the fourth single from her fourth Japanese studio album Ultra Blue (2006). The song was commenced within the production of Utada's fourth studio album, which she announced she was starting to work with her father Teruzane Utada and enlisted Akira Miyake as an additional producer. The song was written by Hikaru herself, while the song was produced by Utada, Akira Miyake and Hikaru's father Teruzane Utada. The song was released as the fourth single on December 14, 2005 by Toshiba-EMI.
Musically, "Passion" is an electronic song that utilizes musical elements of alternative rock, ethereal wave and pop music. The song was compared to her previous single "Hikari", as Utada herself referred "Hikari" as a "dawn" and "Passion" as the dusk. Lyrically, the song talks about the past, present and future upon someones life. The song was well-received from music critics, who noted the strong production in the song and felt it was one of Utada's best songs to date. The song was even listed on many critic's best song lists for full-featured video games.
"Passion" became the first song on the accompanying album to miss the top spot on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart, placing at number four and resulted as the lowest charting single off the studio album, where "Keep Tryin'" went to two. An accompanying music video was issued for the single as well, directed by Kazuaki Kiriya. The accompanying English version, "Sanctuary" was issued as a single on July 20, 2006 to be part of the Kingdom Hearts franchise of the second video game Kingdom Hearts II released the same year. The English version also received favorable reviews from music critics, who cited it as Utada's best English-language song to date.
- 1 Background and writing
- 2 Composition and song differences
- 3 Reception
- 4 Music video
- 5 Samples and other uses
- 6 Live performances and appearances
- 7 Track listing
- 8 Chart rankings (Passion)
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Background and writing
A year after the international release and promotion of Exodus, Utada moved back to Tokyo and returned to the Japanese music scene. When asked to describe the song, Utada referred to "Passion" as the "22 year old version of "B&C"; a song from her debut album, First Love, which she had written when she was merely 15 years of age. When heard back to back, these two songs show how much Utada has grown since the birth of her career.
According to Utada, she said that she wrote "Sanctuary" before writing "Passion" because she felt the composition was easier to write for "Sanctuary" than the latter song. Utada found it difficult to write Japanese lyrics for the melody. It was used as the theme song for the Disney Interactive Studios/Square Enix game Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in Japan, while an English version also sung by Utada, titled "Sanctuary", was used for the international release of the games. "Passion" was included in the Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack and a CD single was released on December 14, 2005.
The English version, "Sanctuary" is the theme song for the international release of Kingdom Hearts II. It is also the second single from her second English album This Is the One (2009), released only in Japan (both the "Opening" and "Ending" versions), thereby under the name Utada, not Utada Hikaru. However, Sanctuary was not included in the Japanese version of the album (it was on the US as a bonus track [physical release only]). "Sanctuary" was first previewed on MTV.com in early 2006.
Along with "Hikari", Tetsuya Nomuro, creative director of the Kingdom Hearts series, said that he only had Utada in mind to record songs for the soundtrack because he believed she was an iconic singer that could break both foreign and international barries. The announcement for the sequel was announced in July 2005, saying ""When we were creating the original game, there were a lot of factors that were influenced by Utada-san's theme song. That influence will once again be felt in [our development of] Kingdom Hearts II [...]" Nomura chose not to have a different singer perform the second theme song because he believed fans associated Utada with Kingdom Hearts. Utada derived her inspiration from the worlds and characters in Kingdom Hearts and she also received written explanations of the stories from Nomura. Nomura stated that the vocals of the second theme tie in more closely with the game's story than "Hikari"/"Simple and Clean" did with Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Conversely, Nomura commented that Utada's theme songs influenced several factors in creating the games.
In the videogame Kingdom Hearts II, the "Opening version" of the song is played during the opening movie; the more emotional "After the Battle" (titled "Ending" on This Is the One) version is played after defeating the final boss of the game, much like the theme song of the first Kingdom Hearts, "Simple and Clean". The arrangements of the two songs differ in some aspects, much in the same nature as "Simple and Clean" did in comparison to its "Hikari" counterpart.
Composition and song differences
A sample of "Passion". The production and vocal's slightly differ from the English version
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
The song is utilized as an alternative rock song, that incorporates ethereal wave, pop music and electronic productions. According to the music sheet that was published at MusicNotes.com, the song is set in the key of F Major. The song has a tempo of 109 beats per minutes. According to the website, the music has influences of pop, pop rock, Japanese music and Video Game influenced music. The song was published by Walt Disney Music Group. Lyrically, the song talks about the past, present and future upon someones life. In an interview, Utada said, "It's like... as if 'Hikari' was the dawn, and 'Passion' has a concluding or 'dusk' feeling to it. The lyrics of 'Passion' show how phases of the past, present and future of the character in my song relate to each other". In the song, she starts with soft backing vocals and electronic pulses the song rip roars into a mass drum fest – almost verging on pop tribal and it beats out a stomping stadium anthem chorus to Utada’s sublime vocals which are in both Japanese, and if you reverse it, you’ll catch many lines of English too. Then the verses are cited as "edgy" and "rocky" and "the whole sound is a much more mature and darker mood [...] The song then finally reaches up a notch for a climax of guitars, drums, electronics and bleeding vocals to return to its very soft beginnings." The song's theme is very "mellow and sad, shown quite clearly from the opening synthesizer notes and Hikaru's ghostly vocals."
A sample of "Sanctuary (Opening)". The production and vocal's slightly differ from the Japanese version
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
It is worth noting that the version of "Passion" found in this single differs slightly from the version used for Kingdom Hearts II, which is missing the last verse, and also has the added lines, "Hito shirezu/My Heart's a Battleground" (Hidden Away/My Heart's a Battleground). It has been titled the "Opening version" on the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack. Its counterpart, also known as the "After the Battle" version, is a stripped version of the single version, with only piano and vocals, following by the instrumental with piano, drums, guitars and cold electronic foreground synths.
Unlike "Passion", the English version "Sanctuary" has altered production. Utada's background vocals are not present on the English version as it is on the Japanese version. "Sanctuary", like "Passion", includes several instances of reversed lyrics throughout the song; these lyrics are the only official backwards lyrics. Played throughout the song are the lyrics "I need more affection than you know" in the "battleground" stanza, as well as the phrases "So many ups and downs" and "I need true emotions".
Both songs were well-received from music critics. Eli Kleman, a staff member from Sputnikmusic, gave the songs both positive remarks from the parent album. He stated ""Passion" is the albums closer, and easily the second best. Released in the United States for Kingdom Hearts 2 as the English language song"Sanctuary,""Passion" shows Utatda at her most varied. Much quicker in pace and just as passionate as the rest of the tracks, it is a truly interesting song." HigherPlainMusic.com said the song is frankly one of the most captivating vocal songs I have heard in an extremely long time. David Jeffries from Allmusic first discussed about the parent album's riddled with clichés with plenty of "whispers in the dark" and whatnot. He stated that because of this, the epic, emotional "Sanctuary" suite that closes the album has to rely on arrangement and delivery, and Utada nails both, combining the grandness of a Disney song like "A Whole New World" with the angst of, remarkably, Nine Inch Nails.
Bradley Stern from MuuMuse said "The passionate drumming, ambient sounds, and ethereal vocals bring the track to another level, transcending the patterns and limitations of most modern pop. To me, “Passion” is the defining point of Utada’s artistic craft." He concluded saying "Above all, “Passion” is a remembrance of times past. It is a symbol of beautiful memories, nostalgia, and looking toward the future." DirrtyInc.com said "Sanctuary is quite an earthly song, nothing similar compared to the other songs in the TITO album. It’s kinda like a new age track."
The song, both the English and Japanese version, have been notified as one of the best songs on a video game ever. The song was listed at the top spot on AOL Radio's 10 Best Video Game Music Soundtracks. There was a fan poll on Enix Origin, and "Passion/Sanctuary" was placed a number four on their Top 10 Favorite Final Fantasy/Kingdom Heart songs.
"Passion" had peaked at number four on the official Japanese Oricon Singles Chart, selling 49,242 copies in its first week. The song peaked at two on the Daily charts, while it peaked at 91 on the yearly chart. With these first week sales, "Passion" resulted as Utada's lowest selling single since "First Love", with sales off 68,040 in its first week. "Passion" also resulted as the Utada's lowest charting single since her debut single "Automatic/Time Will Tell", which peaked also at four respectively. In total sales served by certification, the sold over 112,345 copies, which eventually made it her lowest selling single in her career until it was reprised by "Heart Station/Stay Gold".
The music video for "Passion" was directed by Kiriya Kazuaki, and filmed at Gung-Ho Films studios in Beijing, China. Throughout the music video, there are many scenes which include CGI-imagery (which was produced by N-Design), and the opening even included an anime-style animation sequence. The anime sequence was produced by Morimoto Koji and his company STUDIO 4°C (the same people who created the Fluximation-style animations for cellphone services using songs from Utada's EXODUS album). In fact, the same character shown at the start of the music video for "Passion" is shown in the Fluximation for Utada's song "Opening".
There was not music video shot for "Sanctuary", however.
Samples and other uses
In 2008, "Passion" was sampled for artist Stevey Jay's EP, The Streets Are Watching, for the song "Kingdom of Hearts". Although it shares the similar name of Kingdom Hearts it is not known to share any relation with the exception of the theme. The song was released under Suburban Entertainment. In 2011, "Sanctuary (Ending)" was sampled by American rapper XV in the song "When We're Done" contained in his Zero Heroes (2010) mixtape. In French Montana's new mixtape Mac & Cheese 3 (2012), there's a song called "Sanctuary" which has Utada's song sample.
Live performances and appearances
During her 2010 international tour, Utada: In the Flesh 2010, Utada combined "Passion" with "Sanctuary", alternating between the Japanese and English versions of the songs. "Passion" was performed during Utada's two date concert series Wild Life in December 2010.
All songs written and composed by Hikaru Utada.
|1.||"Passion (Single version)"||4:44|
|2.||"Passion (After the Battle)"||5:58|
|1.||"Passion (Single version) (music video)"||-:--|
All songs written and composed by Hikaru Utada.
Chart rankings (Passion)
|Oricon Weekly singles||4|
|Oricon yearly singles||91|
|RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100||75|
Certifications and sales (Passion)
|Oricon physical sales||112,000|
|RIAJ physical certification||100,000+|
|RIAJ full-length cellphone downloads||100,000+|
- "女王復活！宇多田ヒカル新記録達成" (in Japanese). Daily Sports. April 19, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2008.[dead link]
- "Hikaru Utada/Passion (CD+DVD)". CD Japan. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- Vore, Bryan (2006-02-24). "Square Enix Reveals KH2 Main Theme In English, Plus Interview With Haley Joel". Game Informer. Archived from the original on April 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Coleman, Stephen (2002-08-22). "Square, Disney and Japanese Pop Star Utada Hikaru Collaborate on Kingdom Hearts". IGN. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
- "Kingdom Hearts II Ultimania - Tetsuya Nomura Interview". Kingdom Hearts Ultimania. Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Studio BentStuff (ed.). "Tetsuya Nomura interview". Kingdom Hearts II Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. ISBN 4-7575-1621-5.
- Niizumi, Hirohiko (2005-07-29). "Kingdom Hearts vocalist returns for sequel". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-06-15.
- Utada's discography.
- "First Love - 宇多田ヒカル／ オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "宇多田ヒカル一時休止前ラスト公演で感涙＆Ust新記録樹立" (in Japanese). Natalie. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
- "Ｐａｓｓｉｏｎ - 宇多田ヒカル／ オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "シングル 年間ランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. December 2006. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
- "レコード協会調べ 2009年05月27日～2009年06月02日 ＜略称：レコ協チャート（「着うたフル(R)」）＞" (in Japanese). RIAJ. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-18. (subscription only)
- "ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2005年12月". RIAJ (in Japanese). 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "レコード協会調べ 4月度有料音楽配信認定 ＜略称：4月度認定＞". RIAJ (in Japanese). 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2010-09-18.