Kurayami Monogatari

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Koda Kumi – W FACE ~inside~ April 19, 2017

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 2:01 am

wfaceinside

Track Listing

  1. BRIDGET SONG
  2. Bring It On
  3. Yorokobi no Kakera
  4. Stand By You
  5. Sukideshite
  6. Kimi Omoi
  7. On My Way
  8. What’s Up
  9. Promise you
  10. My Fun

1. BRIDGET SONG

Opening the album up, Kuu brings us BRIDGET SONG (which was used as promotional material, for this half of this album).  Considering that Kuu loves to open with a banger on majority of her albums, it’s a surprise that BRIDGET SONG is anything but.  Instead of a booty popper, we have something that’s akin to her more poppier and softer songs that seem to be more album fodder.  I do enjoy the bright atmosphere of the song and the more acoustic/piano-laced arrangement is pleasant on the ears.  Still getting used to this being the opening, but it’s a nice introduction.

2. Bring It On

I was kind of expecting that Kuu do have split the albums between light pop songs and ballads and her more badass songs on “outside”, but it seems I was heavily wrong because Bring It On is quite the edgy rock track for Kuu to release.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard Kuu release something that has this much power and fierce attitude to it.  Makes me think of “FREAKY” and “Ningyo-hime” to “Can We Go Back”.  I thought this song was a surprise and strange coming after “BRIDGET SONG” to say the least.

3. Yorokobi no Kakera

Which is made even weirder that Yorokobi no Kakera , a ballad, would come right after.  Kuu’s 3rd track on the album really saps the energy from what was made from the previous track to give us a straight up piano/strings/a. guitar ballad.  Sadly, with an artist that has such a back catalog filled with many, many ballads it does feel like she’s just going for the flow here.  Sadly, this feels like a song she’s done MANY times before and it just doesn’t really stick out to me.

4. Stand By You

Yup, it gets even more quieter with our next track, Stand By You.  While it feels mostly the same instruments in its arrangement, the song feels more quieter and slow-driven in comparison to “Yorokobi no Kakera”.  A near 6 minute affair, Stand By You unlike the previous track feels like Kuu put a little more effort in her performance and I have to say she still sounds pristine and wonderful as a balladeer when she’s given a track that actually works in her favor.  I liked it quite a bit and the background vocals were a nice inclusion too…a much better-handled ballad!

5. Sukideshite

At least things don’t get into a crawl as we enter our next track, Sukideshite.  I do like the slight urban/jazzy feel of the song and it kind of retains the same light and fluffiness that “BRIDGET SONG” had funny enough.  I think whenever Kuu does cuter songs, they’re quite hit or miss a lot of the times.  Sukideshite is a case where it’s not an offensive track to listen to and makes for a nice easy listen.  Though I feel it runs in the middle between the greats and the not-so-greats cute songs Kuu has done.

6. Kimi Omoi

As the oldest track in the dual release, Kimi Omoi originally came from the “FEVER” limited release before “WALK OF MY LIFE” released.  Then it was a B-side off the “Shhh!” single where it was slightly updated for the single.  Not sure if I would’ve added it, but it’s technically the lone B-side released in the era, so it makes sense.  The song itself never caught on though and it’s apparent on this album that it’s just fluff for the album.  Kind of there, but not really allotting to much in the overall.

7. On My Way

Now I feel like majority of the album is ballads now and now makes a little more sense with the split dual release.  On My Way is at a weird middle where it’s a ballad, but it has a driving beat to push it along without it feeling dead.  I do like Kuu’s vocals in the song, but the track is a bit of a snoozefest sadly.

8. What’s Up

At least there’s another track that works to wake me up from the monotony and I wasn’t expecting a punk/pop sog ala Avril Lavigne-esque arrangement with gritty guitars and a heavy push of the drums involved.  Kuu actually sounds like she was having with this track and I approve as there wasn’t a lot on this disc.  It’s definitely a summer track and honestly it’s one of the better ones in her collection (much better than “Hashire!” that’s for sure).  What a fun song to come across!

9. Promise you

The only other song that was given a PV from this disc, Promise you was definitely chosen to represent the ballad of the 6 chosen to be given a PV.  It’s another simple ballad initially, but there’s a bit of a Kuu-esque groove to it to kind of give it more life.  At least the chorus is a bit more lively with more instrumentation giving it flow and color.  I can easily imagine this used in an encore in one of her tours for sure and I like the chants in it, maybe my favorite of the ballads on this album.

10. My Fun

The album ends off with My Fun and while I thought it was going to be more poppy and cute, My Fun is another light track, but funny enough has children involved (at least that’s what I think that is XD, but they’re WAY OFF the marker xD).  The song itself does get better the longer it goes on, but I feel My Fun is lacking a certain spark IMO, but I’m not sure how to make the song better either so, it’s a strange juxtaposition.

Tracks Recommended

  • What’s Up
  • Bring It On
  • Stand By You

Song of Avoidance

  • On My Way

Starting with the first half of the album, W FACE ~inside~ is a little bit weak on its own merits.  Despite having a couple upbeat songs to prevent it from being entirely a snoozefest, it wasn’t enough to completely rid of the z’s that it was creating on me.  I knew that it would be split this way, but I was happily surprised to see the top 2 tracks appear.  Overall, I wasn’t too impressed here, but let’s see how “outside” will fare!

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