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Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry

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Title Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry
Beautiful World - Kiss & Cry Cover
Album
Genre J-Pop
Release Date Aug 29, 2007
Running Time 5:18

"Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry" is Utada Hikaru's 19th Japanese single (26th single overall). The single was released on August 29, 2007 as her second single for 2007.[1] "Beautiful World" was re-released in 2009 as "Beautiful World (Planitb Acoustica Mix)" for the release of the movie Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.

Beautiful World / Kiss & Cry includes 3 new songs. The title track, "Beautiful World", is being used as the theme song for the first installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, and a new 2007 remix of "Fly Me to the Moon", also included on the single, will be featured in the trailers of the movie. "Kiss & Cry", the second A-side of the single, was featured as the new "Freedom Cup Noodles" commercial tie-in song.[2]

On July 14, 2007 Utada released a preview of "Beautiful World" along with the single's cover. There is now a PV available for public interest for "Kiss & Cry", made up of screenshots of characters from the Freedom Project anime lip-synching to the song. So far, it has received negative reactions from her fans, most likely and reportedly since the PV doesn't feature Utada indefinitely in any fashion. Her Japanese site did publish a magazine schedule that would be posting advertisements promoting this new single throughout August and September on July 30, and a TV schedule of performances on August 1. On August 7, a radio promotion schedule for the single, mainly of prerecorded clips that will air throughout Japan, was also added to her Japanese website.

As a follow-up to "Flavor of Life"'s blog, EMI has created another website with clips of the PVs of "Beautiful World" and "Kiss & Cry" that can be pasted onto blogs. These clips will last until mid-September.[3]

The single debuted at #3 with first week sales of 94,000, making this single a relatively strong success for Hikaru on the Oricon Singles chart. On the World Charts, the single garnered 75,000 points and peaked at position 27.

Beautiful WorldEdit

"Beautiful World" debuted on the radio and was released as a ringtone on July 23, 2007.[4] The song is now available on CD and as a digital download from the Japanese iTunes Store. The song was originally planned to have a June/July release, however, early feedback for it had been quite positive. Sanspo.com describes the song as an "upbeat yet sad song" that fits Eva quite well.[5] Another earlier listener, the writer of the official Eva blog, was also quite impressed with the song. A preview of the song was released on her official webpage.[6] It has had a very positive reaction by most all of her fans, and has an extremely experimental and up-tempo tone in the vein of many tracks from her then-latest Japanese studio release Ultra Blue. "Beautiful World" has been immensely successful in the Japanese download market for ringtones and full songs, reaching #1 on virtually every chart it appeared on, and has also outplaced "Kiss & Cry" on every Airplay chart that either have charted on. It hit #1 on the prestigious MTV Japanese chart and the CDTV Top 100 chart. According to the Best Top Sellers 2007 iTunes Japan, "Beautiful World" was the third most downloaded song in Japan.

The promotional video (PV) for "Beautiful World" is a montage of its Evangelion tie-in. For many, this PV has been a point of contention since Utada does not appear in the PV.[7]

The lyrics of the song offer insight into the female singer's feelings, implied to be Misato Katsuragi but could also fit Rei Ayanami, for protagonist Shinji Ikari over the course of the film. "Beautiful World" is played during the ending credits of the film, preceding the preview for the then-upcoming second Rebuild of Evangelion film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. It also features on preview clips of the first film.

The song was remade in 2009 for the second Rebuild film, as Beautiful World: Planitb Acoustica Mix. It was released as a digital download on June 28, 2009. Utada worked with Russell McNamara, who had previously made remixes of her songs Distance, Traveling, Hikari and Simple and Clean between 2001–2002. The song did well on charts. It reached #8 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100, and #1 on iTunes' Japan Top Songs and at Recochoku.

"Beautiful World Planitb Acoustica Mix" is a remix of "Beautiful World" by Utada Hikaru. In May 2009, Hikaru Utada was announced to return to the series and provide the theme song for the second film in the Rebuild of Evangelion series, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.[8] "Beautiful World" was re-released in 2009 as "Beautiful World: Planitb Acoustica Mix" for the release of the movie after previously being released to be used as the theme song for the first film.[9]

Kiss & CryEdit

The second A-side, "Kiss & Cry", was revealed when the Freedom anime and Nissin Cup Noodle TV commercials featuring it as its theme was released on April 20. The ringtone was released the same day and quickly rose to a top five ranking of Chaku-Uta download charts, and soon the song was downloaded over 300,000 times within the span of a month. It was not until a month later, on May 21, that "Kiss & Cry" debuted on the radio in Japan. "Kiss & Cry" became a digital single on June 30 and her second digital single to be released in Japan. It reached a peak #1 position on iTunes Japan rankings thus far. Photo shooting for the single's promotion began on June 26, 2007, as Utada stated in her blog. The full download version of "Kiss & Cry" went on to be certified Gold by the end of June for at least 100,000+ units downloaded.[10] While it didn't quite achieve substantial sales in comparison with the phenomenal success of "Flavor of Life", "Kiss & Cry", which is her second airplay single (third if the two "Flavor of Life" versions are counted separately) in Japan for 2007, has become a top 20 smash in several Japanese radio airplay rankings, and achieved its highest peak at FM Osaka 851 (#8).[11] Digital sales for the track would rebound its rankings back into the top 10, 5, or 3 of several Japanese online download stores and services with the first week of the physical single release.

"Kiss & Cry" was originally temporarily named 'Dancing Leah' by Hikaru, due to her fascination with the rising songstress, Leah Dizon. "Kiss & Cry" features a strong beat in the verses that melds into synthetic elements in the bridge and chorus. The bridge of the song samples the melody from the verse of "Hotel Lobby", the seventh track off her 2004 English language debut, Exodus.

Airplay for "Kiss & Cry" was strong on a few stations, but failed to chart on many others. Apparently, there was an inability for some stations to air the song because of the mention of Nissin Cup Noodles in the lyrics, which has also limited the television performances of "Kiss & Cry" to one on Music Station August 31.

Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) -2007 MIX-Edit

On June 27 "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) -2007 MIX-" became available for purchase on select digital download outlets such as iTunes Japan. This is also Hikaru's third Japanese digital single. It will not be released for any sort of airplay, except for TV commercial trailers promoting the upcoming first installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. The B-side song, off of Utada's upcoming Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry single, was used during the trailer for the Rebuild of Evangelion film released on September 1, 2007.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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