Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE

02/08/2012 at 6:17 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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^the only cover I found tolerable.

~Album~

Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE

1. Introduction ~JAPONESQUE~

2. So Nice feat. Mr.Blistah

3. Boom Boom Boys

4. V.I.P. feat. T-Pain (Album Version)

5. Slow feat. Omarion

6. Brave

7. Everyday

8. IN THE AIR

9. You are not alone ~acoustic version~

10. Interlude ~JAPONESQUE~

11. ESCALATE

12. Love Me Back

13. No Man’s Land

14. Ai wo Tomenaide

15. KO-SO-KO-SO

16. Lay Down

17. Love Technique

18. Poppin’love cocktail feat. TEEDA

19. All for you

Sorry this was delayed although that’s probably now expected of me (working on it I swear!) I have my reasons of course… but anyway, was a little skeptical about this one given Dejavu, though still optimistic.

Continue Reading Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE…

Koda Kumi – Love Me Back

12/01/2011 at 11:08 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – Love Me Back

1. Love Me Back

2. Say Her Name

3. Love Me Back (Andy Price Remix)

One again we have another sexy track in the form of “Love Me Back” though I honestly thought the song was going to sound a bit different. Couldn’t help but feel like it had a kind of secret agent (007) feel/theme to the song. The “Oh my, give me, give me, give me, give me… love for me” in the chorus was really catchy but then… oh wait, it’s over, yup the song clocks in at an unfortunate 2:58 though I do feel like it did everything it could possibly do in that time so, no real harm.

Score – 8

“Say Her Name” starts up and instantly I’m really surprised for some reason. Acoustic guitar and some slick beats start up and throw me for a bit of a loop. The song borderlines on an alternative R&B if you will which I found to be a really interesting sound. Naturally, being a B-side, the overall arrangement felt a little less involved, but I feel as if it could have been really good, not to say that it was bad. Kuu’s vocals fit the song well. The end of the song was done perfectly.

Score – 8

Man, this “Andy Price” Remix of Love Me Back pretty much makes me hate the song. It seemingly slows down the song and just makes everything sound a little whiny, not to mention this effect . Of course, as I find with most remixed songs, it just ends up sounding way too repetitive and annoying and a tragedy to the original song.

Score – 4

Final Note

Not incredible, but decent, also, I think I should just stop reviewing remixed songs.

Overall Rating

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Koda Kumi – Ai wo Tomenaide

10/05/2011 at 8:34 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – Ai wo Tomenaide

1. Ai wo Tomenaide

2. You are not alone

Another release from Kumi, and so soon! Well get used to it. She’s churning out yet another single very soon.

“Ai wo Tomenaide” is a ballad if you haven’t yet realized that by the cover. OK, joking aside, Kumi’s ballads can be pretty great/epic/omgflawlessdiva etc. and I’m just going to say it right now that this one kind of disappoints. The song overall has an interesting structure and different arrangement than one would expect, or at least I would. Although the music was sort of typical I suppose, the hints of Spanish guitar in the background brought back memories of 1000 no Kotoba, or so many big pop ballads of… the 90’s. Regardless, overall it’s a nice song, Kuu’s vocals are nice although sometimes they were a bit much. It just kind of sounded like they were trying to combine all 3 songs off of Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. into one. There is nothing really new/amazing about this song and it’s a little bit of a bore.

Score – 7.5

B-side time! “You are not alone” is actually not that bad. Although, I was fearing a Michael Jackson cover or something but nope, it’s an original song. It’s got a kind of understated goodness that normally goes along with Kumi’s B-sides. It’s got a bit of cuteness over the overall synthetic sound, but not like overly, I’m going to puke rainbows and smiles, cute. Because we all know that Kuu can easily go there. It ends up feeling really short and not as “big” next to Ai wo Tomenaide but quite frankly I preferred this. It’s definitely not an A-side, but good for what it is.

Score – 8

Final Note

Not all that impressed, feels a little rushed, I can’t get the feeling they were like “OMG, let us get to 51st single BEFORE Ayumi” That aside, god help her next single.

Overall Rating

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Koda Kumi – 4 TIMES

08/22/2011 at 1:32 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – 4 TIMES

1. Introduction~sunny time~

2. Poppin’love cocktail feat.TEEDA

3. Interlude~sunset time~

4. IN THE AIR

5. Interlude~midnight time~

6. V.I.P.

7. Interlude~time to … love~

8. KO-SO-KO-SO

As usual for the summer time it seems Kumi releases a massive single, this time, in the form of 4 TIMES which naturally is a quadruple A-side single.

*NOTE*

This single features an introduction and 3 interludes that are more just segue… things. I started to rate them, but then I just decided I wouldn’t as I didn’t want their rating to effect the singles overall rating. Hope no one is disappointed, they are really short anyway…

“Introduction~sunny time~” features a bunch of different sounds. Soft crashing waves, ticking of a clock, engines starting up and cars flying by followed by someone seeking through the radio and catching a bit of the upcoming song, tire screeching ends this intro.

Right off the bat you realize “Poppin’love cocktail” feat.TEEDA is a really fun, incredibly energetic track. The chorus is incredibly infectious and features the most energy overall. Unfortunately there seems to be a kind of disconnect happening with everything else in the song and the choruses, they just don’t seem to flow very well together. Thankfully, the outro of the song ends up flowing fairly well which slightly makes up for it. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that the song was getting a tad repetitive by the midpoint. TEEDA’s parts didn’t impress me THAT much, but the song isn’t destroyed by them.

Score – 8.5

Next interlude (better get used to them because there are two more to go after this) is “Interlude~sunset time~. Are you sensing a theme? Yes we are going along through a day in the life of Koda Kumi, lol, not really, jk, etc. But these are definitely reminding me of the interludes off of 3 SPLASH. This one features ticking again really quick, soft waves again, and some nice fluffy synths on top of it. Quite fleeting really but leads in perfectly / helps segue right into the change of pace that is…

“IN THE AIR” which is a really sweet sounding, really uplifting-sounding track. It features piano and what seemed like synth-backed guitar. Where the song shines of course is the chorus and I really loves the cheery atmosphere created in the melody and flow of it and also the way Kumi sings it of course. Again, for some reason I felt that there was a slight disconnect between choruses and the rest of the song though it’s most certainly not as bad to me as Poppin’love cocktail was.

Score – 9

There’s that ticking again in “Interlude~midnight time~”. Again we get a tiny little preview of the song we are about to hear over what sounds like people enjoying themselves at a part or something. Again it acts to perfectly change pace to the more sexy part of the single.

“V.I.P.” kicks things up a notch as it’s a sexy super synthy club track. I felt like some elements in the song just didn’t flow that well and I wasn’t really a fan of the SUPER synthed up vocals. The bridge features a random string bit seemingly out of nowhere. It’s also a little stingy as it’s the shortest song so far and on the single in general at just 3:05.

Score – 8

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick… once again, for the last time really. The party seems to be winding down and we hear the slightest bit of music from the next song. Suddenly someone opens a door, undoes their belt, unzips and pulls their pants down or something… interesting… that really kind of just sets it up perfectly for one of Kumi’s sexiest tracks to date, it even spawned a banned PV!

“KO-SO-KO-SO” really lives up to its name which means sneaky, or doing something in a secret way, or I guess simply “secretly”. You just get that feeling listening to the repeated synths and Kumi’s little breathy laughs and gasps. The chorus picks things up and elevates it all at just the right amount (yay for something flowing well on the single!). Again this song is a bit short but I feel it manages to accomplish all it needs to in the time that it is.

Score – 9

Final Note

What a rush. No really, the whole single felt a little fleeting, though all the songs were pretty top-notch. WHERE’S MY OUTRO THOUGH!?

Overall Rating

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Koda Kumi – Dejavu

06/08/2011 at 3:31 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Album~

Koda Kumi – Dejavu

1. Prologue to Dejavu

2. POP DIVA

3. Lollipop

4. Okay

5. Aitakute

6. Passing By

7. AT THE WEEKEND

8. Interlude to Dejavu

9. Melting

10. Hey Baby!

11. Choi Tashi Life

12. Anata Dake ga

13. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de.

14. Bambi

15. I Don’t Love You !?

Koda Kumi’s 9th album was released quite a while ago and yes, I’m only getting to review it now. Better late than never I suppose. But I kind of wish I wasn’t. Read on to find out why…

Continue Reading Koda Kumi – Dejavu…

Koda Kumi – POP DIVA

02/05/2011 at 12:42 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – POP DIVA

1. POP DIVA

2. Black Candy

3. POP DIVA (Instrumental)

4. Black Candy (Instrumental)

Koda Kumi is going to release a new album in just a month’s time, but here’s the lead up single to Dejavu, kind of like last years’ Can We Go Back.

“POP DIVA” is sexy, fierce and totally POP. It’s heavy on electronic influences given it’s mostly synthetic with some electro-vocals. The chorus is really catchy and really makes you wanna dance around and sing along and Kumi just exudes confidence in the lyrics . I feel though, that POP DIVA tries to emulate the success of past Kumi hits like TABOO, ECSTASY and Driving and it’s even slightly reminiscent of the recent hit “Like A G6”. It succeeds slightly but falls short on being just as big as those songs. Regardless, I still manage to love it.

Score – 8.5

“Black Candy” is this single’s B-side and I feel it suffers from a bit of a pacing problem. The draggy feel of it makes me feel like it doesn’t know what kind of song it wants to be. I do like the grungier rock sound that Kumi does and again I feel this song tries to emulate the success of past songs of similar sound, however I think Black Candy fails considerably. There really isn’ t much to this song either as I feel as soon as it started it was ending, not to mention it was practically the same sound throghout the entire song. Let’s just say I’m glad this song is not appearing on the new album.

Score – 6.5

Final Note

This single falls a little short, but that’s no problem as Kumi’s new album Dejavu will be out shortly

Overall Rating

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Koda Kumi – Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. / Anata Dake ga

09/23/2010 at 3:01 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. / Anata Dake ga

1. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de.

2. Anata Dake ga

3. walk ~to the future~

Koda Kumi slows things down with this single as every song is a ballad, two new songs and a remake of her song walk, released back in 2002 off of her first album Affection.

First up is “Suki de, Suki de, Suki de.” I’m getting tired of typing that xD Anyway, the song is pretty typical for a Kuu-ballad, if you’ve heard them before, then you know what to expect. I did like the acoustic guitar in it and the emotion Kumi puts into the song, especially in the very end.

Score – 8

I really liked “Anata Dake ga” and found it to be the superior song of the two. I felt there was deeper meaning here and the chorus was really nice. Kumi’s breathy vocals, the beats, piano and soft clapping gave this song a bit more dimension.

Score – 9

Lastly, we have “walk ~to the future~” an updated version of a fairly old Kumi song off of her first album, Affection. So we’re clear, I’ve never heard the original. It’s a nice uplifting song that has a fairly grand arrangement but there isn’t anything unexpected here. Again Kumi conveys a lot of emotion in her voice and her vocals are really great here, again especially during the end.

Score – 8.5

Final Note

People seem wary over a ballad single from Kumi, but these are really good songs.

Overall Rating

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Koda Kumi – Gossip Candy

07/07/2010 at 12:19 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | 1 Comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – Gossip Candy

1. Lollipop

2. Inside Fishbowl

3. Outside Fishbowl

4. For you

*Bonus Track*

5. Got to Be Real

This is Kumi’s first single since the release of her 8th album and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a summery type of single. It’s similar to Ayumi’s Sunrise / Sunset ~LOVE is ALL single in that two songs on this single are basically the same, but with a slightly different sound and lyrics.

First we have “Lollipop”. The title makes me think of Lick me❤ But while Lick me❤ isn’t that dirty and has a sugary pop sound, Lollipop is pretty sexy sounding both in the music and especially when Kumi says in English “Lick my lollipop” This song is pretty catchy and I’ve listened to it quite a few times over in a short amount of time.

Score – 0

Now we have the two similar tracks, “Inside Fishbowl” has a definite pop sound with higher vocals from Kumi, while “Outside Fishbowl” is a bit more rockish with a deeper sound. Personally I like the deeper, rocker-ish stuff that Kumi has been doing so I enjoyed Outside Fishbowl a little more… >.> Sorry I just can’t get over those titles 😄 I just don’t get them :S That being said, I found the songs mediocre at best and wish she has concentrated on just one version of a more summer type song. But I guess it is good to mix it up.

Score – 0

To change it up “For you” slows things down and is a ballad type song. I didn’t think much of the song, but once it got to the chorus I started to like it, it’s one of the stronger parts of this song. Other than that, I didn’t find anything amazing about the instrumental, it reminded me of slow American pop songs of the late 90’s 😄

Score – 0

Now, for one of the best parts of this single, Kumi covers classic disco song “Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn. When I first heard a snippet of this song in Kumi’s Pepsi Nex CM, I prayed she would release a full version and I got my wish 🙂 The instrumental is slightly modernized but the classic sound is still there. Kumi’s English here, compared to anything in the tracks beforehand, is a lot better surprisingly. Honestly, this was, in my opinion, the best song on the single.

Score – 0

All of the songs on this single had this kind of “throw-back” feel, if you will, but I kind of liked that aspect. Not to mention there is definitely a lot of variety here.

Score – 0

Final Note

Not bad Kumi, not bad.

Overall Rating

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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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Koda Kumi – Can We Go Back

01/19/2010 at 5:46 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment
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~Single~

Koda Kumi – Can We Go Back

1. Can We Go Back

2. Good☆day

3. Can We Go Back (Instrumental)

4. Good☆day (Instrumental)

So through a good friend I found out that Can We Go Back is actually a cover of a Kelly Clarkson song. It was a Japanese bonus track off of her latest album. I listening to this version also to better facilitate my review of this song. Now, on to the review.

The first thing I  noticed about “Can We Go Back” was that it seemed like a slightly lighter version when compared to the original. By that I mean Clarksons version has strong prominent electric guitar and Koda’s version tones that down a little. Both have their strengths and I would consider this a very good cover as Koda makes it her own. I would have liked if Koda made her vocals as strong and fierce as Clarkson seems to but it’s alright regardless.

Score – 8

“Good☆day” is quite a contrast from Can We Go Back with it’s upbeat and pop atmosphere. I liked the beats and the quick pace of the chorus. Even the English line “I’ll be there for you” that is repeated throughout the song was cute. I liked it and the fact that it doesn’t try to be anything other than a short cutesy song.

Score – 8.5

Final Note

Done already? Thank goodness UNIVERSE is coming ❤

Overall Rating

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