Koda Kumi – UNIVERSE

02/04/2010 at 5:23 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | 2 Comments
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~Album~

Koda Kumi – UNIVERSE

1. Step into my World

2. Can We Go Back

3. SUPERSTAR

4. You’re So Beautiful

5. Lick me❤

6. Work It Out!

7. No Way

8. Stay

9. Comes Up

10. Physical thing

11. ECSTASY

12. UNIVERSE

13. It’s All Love! feat. Misono

14. Alive

15. Moon Crying (Live ver. In Taiwan)

This was supposed to be up yesterday, so once again I am going to have to apologize for the delay. To be honest, all I have to say for myself is that White Knight Chronicles is really good, so good that I got a little distracted 😛 Anyway, this is Koda Kumi’s 8th album, UNIVERSE. On to the review.

Introduction for TRICK “Step Into My World” starts the album off pretty good. Finally Kumi has taken the basics of Introduction for TRICK and turned it into a real song. I would have preferred a full version of the IfT but hey, this is the next best thing. One thing I really liked was that this song never real lets up and the beats and everything continue until the very end.

Score – 8.5

“Can We Go Back” is up next and I don’t think I have much to say about it since I just reviewed it. That’s not a bad thing, but I would suggest you see that review here.

Score – 8

The album quickly changes pace with “SUPERSTAR” which is a great cutesy upbeat song and I loved the guitar throughout. I liked the repetition of “I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be” during the course and thought it upped the cuteness factor. Also, someone please watch the video and tell me that Ayumi Hamasaki doesn’t make an appearance towards the end 😛

Score – 9.5

Continuing the cute theme comes “You’re So Beautiful”. At first I thought this song was just extremely cheesy, and it still sort of is but it is still a nice song. It features strings that heighten towards and during the chorus and acoustic guitar throughout.

Score – 9

I never got to review “3 Splash” but now I’m glad that I can, somewhat. Lick me❤ isn’t a dirty song and it actually continues the “cute” part of the album. All of the English lyrics in the song are really cute and Kumi’s vocals are as well. I really liked the electric guitarified “Dun Dun DunDun” part after the chorus.

Score – 9

The album switches gears a little with “Work It Out” and from the previews, this was the song I was anticipating the most. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, the song is more on the rock side and has a slight retro feel about it. The chorus was the best part about it and I really liked how it was arranged.

Score – 9.5

“No Way” starts to slow things down a bit. This song features some nice piano and some clapping and I liked Kumi’s breathier vocals in some parts of the song. I ended up really liking this song even though at first I was skeptical.

Score – 9.5

“Stay” ended up sounding a bit like a continuation of No Way which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but I would have liked a bit more variety from it. It’s one of the slower songs on the album and it sounds fine but there was nothing that I really loved about it, it was just kind of there.

Score – 8

When I first heard “Comes Up” I was reminded of some earlier material from Kumi and it was kind of a “feel good” feeling. Kumi’s vocals are a bit higher and are backed by mostly synth and beats. It was a short and sweet song.

Score – 8.5

In the Alive / Physical thing review, I described “Physical thing” as being really forgettable and I really didn’t like it. But boy has it grown on me. I started to love it realizing how great and sexy it sounded.

Score – 8.5

Keeping that sexy feel comes “ECSTASY” a really sexy sounding song that reminded me of Driving from Kumi’s 7th album, TRICK. I really loved Driving and I couldn’t wait for something new like it from Kumi and I got it. She sexed it up for UNIVERSE and as soon as I heard it on 3 Splash I was hooked and loving every minute of it.

Score – 9.5

Ah the title track, “UNIVERSE” comes blaring in. The song is a pretty high energy track with lots of synth and some synthed vocals. At first I thought the repeated “Universe”, mostly in the chorus was a little annoying but I got used to it and ended up liking it.

Score 8.5

For the first time Kumi teamed up with her sister Misono for a duet on a single and now the song is featured on the album. The very first time I listened to this song I said to myself “It’s kind of hot mess isn’t it?”. But after the second listen I started to really like the sound of it especially the furious back and forth lines Kumi and Misono sing during the chorus. The slowed down sweet sounding bridge was really nice if only a little out of place, however the more dance-oriented musical, break I didn’t like. I liked the “Sister Power” feel that song leaves off with.

Score – 8.5

The album finishes off with “Alive” which, like I said in my review, is just a really beautiful song. Unfortunately it’s a bit on the short side and after listening to it, I always end up wanting more.

Score – 9

As a bonus there is “Moon Crying (Live ver. In Taiwan)”. It’s a really beautiful song and the live version sounds really nice, it’s definitely worth a listen.

Score – 9

Final Note

UNIVERSE came kind of out of the blue for me but I feel like it’s a solid album. It has a lot of variety and that’s something I always really like. Some of my favorite album tracks would be Step Into My World, SUPERSTAR, Work It Out!, No Way, and Comes Up. I had no real complaints for this album and was really satisfied after listening to it.

OVERALL

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2 Comments »

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  1. Interesting to hear that you enjoyed it. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews so far. I’ll just have to see for myself…

    • Really? I mean it was classic Koda Kumi sure but with a new twist if that makes sense. I didn’t really see any reason not to like it 😛


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