As I wait utterly and extremely patient for the new Kingdom Hearts III game to… well eventually hurry up come out (I will have to occupy my time with the fabulously divine World of Final Fantasy), it looks like the franchise has now re-vamped the previous title with a 2.8 Remix bundle! But wait, there’s more! A new musical release by Utada Hikaru! Well, sorta.
The songstress has revealed the re-release of “Simple & Clean”, which is a remix by DJ Punjee, which will appeared in the 2.8 remix release of the video game. Along with it, you get the Japanese version “Hikari”. Yup I said it everyone, this is a J-pop emergency right now, and with this release, she never fails to impress. The singles’ remix bundle is in near-celebration to the singles 15th anniversary, which originally premiered in Japanese form back on March 28, 2002 (a couple months early is a celebration to me…). Additionally, the cover art uses a conceptual design made by the games creator Tetsuya Nomuro that originated a few years back, where the visual caused huge speculation in the gaming and J-Pop world of Utada’s comeback to the series, superimposing the command bar from the Kingdom Hearts series at the bottom left corner. Uggghhhhh, the nostalgia!
All the remixes, in the way that I could describe it, are midtempo house anthems that utilizes a real ethereal and dream-like sound, very reminiscence to Utada’s earlier electronic work. It almost reminds me of the atmospheric glimmer from the early-2000s Final Fantasy games, with a hint of classic Kingdom Hearts realness of course. But bear in mind, the tracks aren’t necessarily “dance” jams; they’re a bit more experimental and feature a lot of ambient tunes such as overlapping vocals and whispers, water droplets, and very airy synths and electronics. Think of it as a mixture of Deep River and Ultra Blue, but a lot more… well, clubby-fantasy-like (can’t picture it? Then just listen to it yourselves…).
Ever since the singles first debut back in 2002, it was the moment I was shooked and hooked by Square Enix and Disney’s dope games and music (along with the discography of the J-Pop queen herself), and nearly 15 years later, the sound of Utada’s new re-release “Simple & Clean” sounds just as challenging and fresh. It literally feels like a straight-of-the-market hit song, and the composition doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard from before. Gosh, first the fire of Fantome, now this? The gurl has been treating us weeeeelllll! Can’t wait to see watch she cooks up for the third instalment, nuff said.