J-pop icon Utada Hikaru’s latest album Fantôme, the first one in 8 and a half years, is a hit. Are we surprised? Not really. But the ever-so-humble singer-songwriter is.
The highly anticipated, 11-track album was officially released two days ago, on September 28, and has already received acclaim from fans all around the world. According to Arama Japan, at the time of their post, the album was charting at #1 for 6 countries, and had even gone to #3 in the United States–charting even better than her English albums ever did. Currently, the ranking has gone down, but the achievement is still undoubtedly impressive considering her album is entirely in Japanese and is not being promoted outside of East Asia. Fantôme currently remains #1 at 5 countries, and is in the top 10 for 9 countries.
The mega-star’s tweets for the past few days have echoed her confusion at how well the album was charting outside of Asia–especially as her U.S. ranking climbed to #3.
— 宇多田ヒカル (@utadahikaru) September 28, 2016
(translation: What does this mean?)
(translation: yeah yeah )
What the hell’s going on? lol https://t.co/fTnHKkk8ka
— 宇多田ヒカル (@utadahikaru) September 29, 2016
Previously, her English-language albums have not been met with as much success in their intended markets. In 2004, EXODUS was extremely successful in Japan, breaking records for having the highest sales for a foreign album in its first week. It charted in in Japan for 20 weeks and ended up as the #6 album of the year. However, in the U.S., the album only reached #160 on the U.S. charts. Her next English album, This is the One, was released in 2009 managed to reach #69 on the US Billboard.
You can check out and download the album Fantôme on iTunes here! Have you given it a listen?