Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009

© Speedstar/Victor

© Speedstar/Victor

More than a decade since breaking the idoru mold in the ’90s with a strong image and an even stronger voice, UA these days seems mellowed by motherhood. Following on the environmental themes of 2007’s Golden Green, Atta is, apparently, named after one of the first utterances a (Japanese) baby makes. The album was created during UA’s recent pregnancy (she was pictured heavily pregnant on last year’s single “2008”) and the birth of her second child. Still, this is musically ambitious stuff, with lush horn and string orchestrations and nods to everything from free jazz to Latin to Gregorian chants. For those put off by UA’s recent jazz tendencies, there is also the ’60s psychedelic flavor of “Reveilles-toi! Mezame Yo” or the clipped funk of “Banmei no Tsuki.” While no longer a million-selling artist, UA has achieved the feat of bringing a substantial audience with her through the progressive stages of adulthood.