Face My Fears – Why Do I Listen on Repeat?

Performed by Utada Hikaru as the opening song for Kingdom Hearts III – not my favorite video game – but, Face My Fears haunted me for months. I kept finding myself listening to it on repeat…


I’ve been trying to figure this out ever since I asked if we could do a cover version of it for my band, UntOthers.


I’ll be honest, I like the song but at first listen, there isn’t anything that really stands out about it:

  1. The song itself is not overly complicated
  2. The singing is pretty, but nothing that is odd or unique
  3. It uses many hip-hop voice-alters and sound-alters
  4. The lyrics aren’t exciting

So, what is it? What is causing this song to stay in my head?

Why do I love this song?!

Because it combines all of the things that you initially think makes it normal and turns it into something unique.

1. Everything is by Design

The soft opening with piano is deceptive, but it works. Not 30 seconds in, you’ve added in a bluesy snap with a low, sexy beat. And then you’re off. The lyric phrases are reversed, incomplete. Everything about this song is designed to leave you wanting more.

2. Flow is Inconsistently Consistent

You can feel it with your body in a way that’s almost like the ocean: a continuous ebb and flow. Meaning that, like the ocean, you have soft moments followed by unexpected bursts of energy. Unlike other dance/electronica songs, this flow isn’t predictable, which is why it’s so beautiful.

3. Lyrics are Seductive

In structured English, we’d be hearing:

Should I take a deep breath? 
Should I take a leap of faith?
What a bittersweet taste all my life.

Instead, we’re pulled in by the nouns at the start and led on a journey:

Breath, should I take a deep? 
Faith, should I take a leap?
Taste, what a bittersweet.
All my, all my life.

I do not mean seductive in a sexual way, but rather, a sense of summoning or beckoning. We are being enchanted to go down this path for a story that the singer wishes to share.

And Now?

I have the opportunity to sing it in a new way, thanks to my band. Once we’ve recorded everyone, I will proudly share our version.

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