AZN invasion (of American music of course)

March 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm 4 comments

If there’s any J-pop fan out there who still doesn’t know that Utada Hikaru (or just Utada) and BoA are preparing for their English-language album release, I have to ask – why have you been?!


But that’s not really the important part – what’s really important here is how will they fare? Or how will they fare against each other? With one release being March 14 and the other March 17, are they asking for a competition? Seriously, why are the release dates so close together?

I think these three are what it essentially break down into:
1. Promotion
2. Production / Content
3. Existing fanbase

1. Promotion
To be honest, I hardly listen to the radio anymore, so any playtime will be totally lost on me. But all the same, I have to say BoA wins this hands down.

Did I mention that I saw BoA LIVE?? Well, I did. She performed at the L.A. Kollaboration a couple of weeks ago, and she will be performing again at Universal Boardwalk (I think? something like that) on March 21 for free. not sure what time, though. And she has done a couple of other performances, too. As far as I know, Utada’s not having any performances promoting the new album.

And BoA’s American website is eons better than Utada’s. Utada doesn’t even get multiple pages! Myspaces are both pretty much the same, though BoA’s looks a little better.

It seems like Utada’s company is just releasing the album, but not trying to make it a success. Maybe it’s because BoA’s English debut is under the US version of her Korean label that she’s actually getting some decent promotion. Maybe Utada’s company doesn’t want to invest too much money in her because of her previous failure, who knows? But I’m just glad to see some Asian faces in the American market. Still, without much promotion, it’s like setting her up for failure. It doesn’t matter how good the music is or how slick the production is if no one knows about it.

2. Production / Content

BoA’s take on American hip-hop in Eat You Up is very danceable, very slick, and very catchy (at least the chorus is). I’m not the biggest hip-hop fan, but I actually kind of like it. Her English could use some work, though, because it sounds it sounds really stilted in the verses. Maybe that’s what they’re going for though.

The American version of the music video is not bad, but not that great either. BoA’s dancing is really good (did I mention that I was really impressed by her at Kollaboration?). The fadeout effects look kind of cheap and I’m not sure what that super long intro is supposed to accomplish. The shots over the city look pretty nice, though.

The intro to Utada’s Come Back to Me is gorgeous. (oh piano, how I love you so.) It’s similar to some of her recent works, but it has a definite ‘American’ quality to it that’s kind of hard to place. I really love the verses, but the first time I heard the chorus I was so disappointed, because it was just so plain and I just didn’t like it at all. Now that I’ve listened to it more and more, I’ve come to like it more.

The MV is actually really beautiful with gorgeous costumes and elaborate sets. Nothing much happens, though, it’s just nice to look at.

What I would really love to see on Utada’s album is material like her HEART STATION album…like an English version of Prisoner of Love?? That would be really interesting.

3. Existing fanbase

It’s hard to say…BoA had that one Inuyasha theme song and Utada had theme song for Kingdom Hearts. Between those two, Utada would have to win since video games are more widespread than anime. But BoA is big in the Japanese and Korean industry while Utada’s only big in the Japanese industry. However, Utada may have more of an existing fanbase because of her previous English album.

Actually, I’m not much a BoA fan so I’ll probably only pick up Utada’s album. They’ll probably both do pretty poorly in the states, but I’m sure the Japanese/Korean releases will chart and sell amazingly. I hope I’m wrong, though, it’d be cool to see them succeed in the American market.

Now for the next American debut: YUI! and Olivia Lufkin! I wish….but it would be epic!


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Ai Otsuka – LOVE LETTER Thank you my teens

4 Comments Add your own

  • […] [Blogs] deep winter sleep Compares Effectiveness of BoA and Utada Promotion AZN invasion (of American music of course) […]

  • 2. strawberrie  |  March 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Well I got an e-mail yesterday from Amazon saying Utada’s album is move back to early May. I have forgotten the release date at the moment due to Organic chem is currently swimming around my brain at the moments and its all I can think about it LOL (damn college!). But I love Utada’s music video, it was nice seeing her in different outfits. I saw a preview of Boa’s new single I Did It For Love and I must say this video is a major step-up from Daine’s work (screwup).

  • 3. Arisa  |  March 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Thanks a ton for the link exchange!

    I’ve actually never heard of this competition with Utada and BoA before….last time it was Utada and Ayumi Hamasaki…This might be interersting 😀

  • 4. NyNy  |  August 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Both albums are great.

    Favourite songs are:
    BoA – Eat You Up, I Did it For Love, Look Who’s Talking, Energetic, Touched, Dress Off and Hypnotic Dancefloor.

    Utada – Come Back to Me, Apple & Cinnamon, Merry Christmas F.Y.I, Dirty Desire and On & On.

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