Right after Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry, Utada releases another double A-side single called HEART STATION/Stay Gold. The latter was used in Kao's Asience shampoo CM starring Kumiko Goto and Jun Ji-Hyun, while HEART STATION was featured in Recochoku ringtone Download Service commercial and will also be the title track of her upcoming album, HEART STATION.
For its mysterious yet beautiful title, Stay Gold might be the coolest song's name of Utada ever. This calming and soothing ballad-like R&B sounds really, probably the best adjective to describe how well this song is produced, ...rich. It's got this sense of purity and delicacy, but somehow is so sexy that it sounds like Utada says 'Let's make love in the bath tub.' to her lover. What's really outstanding about this song is its highly perfectly-done composition and arrangement, to be more specifically, the vocal and music layering. There's so much to offer, from the appropriate use of Utada's crescendo and seductive whisper to the astounding background piano which goes really well with her signature etheral synth. However, no matter how flawless this song is, there's almost no doubt that it can't be a proper lead A-side, as the message it delivers isn't quite strong enough to make an alone cut and its repetitive melodies make it sound more boring every time it's got played. So there's nothing else that suits this song more than a second A-side. To tell you the truth, this is by far my favorite second A-side of hers.
As far as this song has to go all complex, grandiose, and epic sounding as her fans earlier expected, once again Utada proves that she never ceases to be unpredictable. HEART STATION turns out to be her simpliest single since her DEEP RIVER era: a mid-tempo pop song all produced in synth and keyboard with unbelievably plain arrangement. Despite its style of return to the root, this song somehow works thanks to its good-natured sense of music that's, from the first listen, gonna hit your heart right away and make you love it for what it is. The lyrics about tuning frequencies to the heart station to secretly talk to your lover may sound too drama or cheesy, still they're creative and clever in a way that, along with the dreamy background music, are able to capture 'A Lonely Girl in the Celluloid World' theme effectively. Another impressive factor is the catchy and addictive melodies which is considered a huge step forward of Utada from her former work that got mediocre melodies but were saved by their stunning musical content. As a single that currently plays many major roles in Utada's career, for me, HEART STATION has done its magic.
These two tracks do go along with each other really well as both of them express more feeling of smoothness, peace, and warmth. Considering how her highly-anticipated studio album turn out to be, my guess is that it's most likely to explore much lighter, brighter, and happier sound than her previous work.