Utada Hikaru - Ultra Blue
Without being the kickass album of the year, I think that the new Utada Hikaru still deserves a bit of attention. Sure, she's slowed down since First Love and Distance, but is still one of my favourites in Jpop (in fact, most of the regular Japanese pop is like whatever pop in whatever country: unsavory... I'm a snob with everything, like music... I think that it's a personality trait: I like what's precious and with the illusion to be hard to find.
In any case, it's sprinkled with some 2006 or recent 2005 singles (Be My Last, Passion, Keep Tryin'), and some older stuff that I didn't think would appear in any album (COLORS). The first track is really dancy, yet familiar-sounding (it is "pop", after all). I played the album on repeat for most of the day, interrupted only with some German electro required for the productive stretches. Nichiyou no Asa (Sunday Morning) is pretty good too.
Anyways, it was a pleasant surprise to have discovered the news of the new album in the LJ music blog community roll (I don't usually read my communities, on top of it).