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Hikari / Simple & Clean (Kingdom Hearts, 2002)
"Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel" - a wonderfully innocent line from Utada Hikaru's introductory song from Kingdom Hearts on PS2. The song was originally called 'Hikari' on its Japanese release (and actually got to number one in the Japanese charts as a proper single), but the English language version fits the game perfectly on these shores. Musically, the up-tempo mix used in the game is a dance track with Chemical Bros-like synth swells, while the female vocals and compressed bass kicks work well in an All Saints' Black Coffee kind of way.
But while that's definitely worthy of the list, during our research for this feature we stumbled upon a live version, sung in English at Hikaru's original intended tempo... and it's simply beautiful. The proof of a good song is that it works acoustically - and this, despite a few slight imperfections, struck us as being something rather special. Watch and enjoy.
Above: "Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all / nothing's like before..."
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