A cover album of Hikaru Utada songs is due in December and it features Ayumi Hamasaki

Utada Hikaru no uta | Random J Pop

Hikaru Utada bowed out of music 3 years ago, but that's not stopped her record label trying to find ways to cash in on her. Earlier this year we had the 10th anniversary re-release of her debut album First love and now comes an album of Hikaru Utada covers. I would like to think that Universal music Japan had asked Hikaru Utada personally who she would like to contribute to this album. But Ayumi Hamasaki's name is on the list so this probably wasn't the case.

Utada Hikaru no uta will be released on December 5 and will feature covers of Hikaru's songs from a roster which includes AI, Trio Ohashi, Miliyah Kato, Yasuyuki Okamura, Bonnie Pink, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Peabo Bryson, Sheena Ringo and Ayumi Hamasaki. Yes, you read correctly. Ayumi Hamasaki will be covering a Hikaru Utada song. This woman is playing with fire. If she fucks up her cover, the H-squad will come for her and drag for miles. Hikaru Utada's ghost and Namie Amuro have been playing volleyball with Ayumi Hamasaki's career for the past 2 years. Being given the chance to be tied to a Hikaru Utada project must feel like a lifeline for her. Ayu was not able to beat Hikaru even in the wake of her hiatus, so I guess she figured she'd join her.

In parallel to the music, artists and illustrators had been asked to create artwork, showing their visual representation of Hikaru Utada, and the one contributor that has gotten folk talking is Tetsuya Nomura of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and buckle 'n' belts obsession fame. Could this also be part of a courtship to woo Hikaru into recording a theme song for Kingdom Hearts III?

Utada Hikaru no uta | Random J Pop

Whilst there have been talks of disputes of money (not paying her enough) concerning Hikaru recording a new song for the series, I wouldn't take this as it meaning that Hikaru will never record a new song for the series. Things change, minds change and a lot of time has passed since money became an issue. If Square Enix knew what was good for them, they would reconsider, throw Hikaru a sack of Yen and a platinum diamond encrusted key to the door to the real Kingdom Hearts to get her on board to record the theme song. Hikaru doesn't seem like the kind of artist who would be petty enough to not record the song over such squabbles (unless the piss was seriously being taken concerning how much she would be paid) and I'd imagine she would feel an obligation to contribute a song, given that she is so synonymous with the Kindgom Hearts series.

A micro site has been launched for the project. Check it out for a full list of who's involved: Utada Hikaru no uta