Kurayami Monogatari

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

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 3:42 am

wfaceoutside

Track Listing

  1. W FACE
  2. Ultraviolet
  3. insane
  4. Damn real
  5. Heartless
  6. Bassline
  7. Shhh!
  8. Bangerang
  9. Wicked Girls
  10. Cupcake feat. AKLO

1. W FACE

~Yes bitch, yes bitch, yes bitch, SLAY!~…Really now?  Hey, I could commend Kuu for opening this album on a kick.  I was thinking the song was going to be harder just from the intro, but W FACE is a little more mellow than I expected, but it does have its moments like the deep bass runs and trap rolls in the hook.  The verses though are smooth and cool.  It’s not a song that’s going to really hit the spot like older intros, but I appreciated the change overall!  Cool track!

2. Ultraviolet

After the cool first track, we enter Ultraviolet and one of the four songs chosen to promote the album from this disc solely.  Continuing from Kuu’s normal edgy and sassy songs, Ultraviolet feels like a K-pop song for some reason, but I kind of enjoy the music and the attitude is once again at the forefront (including some humorous machine gun impressions).  Interesting song overall!

3. insane

For a song titled as such, I was ready for something wild, but insane is a bit slower than “Ultraviolet” was.  A lot of Kuu’s urban pop tendencies make their appearance and I was quite interested in every turn the song took.  There are some points where Kuu seems to try a little to hard vocally (like the straining and nasal high tones, she pulls).  Still, the song is powerful and in your face mixed in with some desperation.  This is a song that will definitely grow on me in the long run even with its discrepancies and the PV helped too!.

4. Damn real

Ahhhh, I like that low bass that opens up our next track.  I even appreciated the low energy vibe of this song as it gives off this chill, yet uneasy setting with that track.  Though I was hoping the song would keep this sound for the whole way through, but the chorus (beat drops) happens and it’s like a very odd trappish mess.  Plus the repetition of ~do, do, do~ just gives me a headache from an otherwise cool ass track.

5. Heartless

Like with “inside” I wasn’t expecting ballads on this album, but there’s one here and Heartless is that track.  Funny enough, it has a REALLY simple arrangement of just piano and Kuu’s emotion-drenched vocals which funny enough worked better than it did on 90% of the other album which says a lot here.  There’s one point where I felt that Kuu’s emotions got the better of her and she cried a little bit.  This is probably her best ballad in quite a while IMHO.

6. Bassline

So drifting away from that emotional bomb, we move back into more upbeat tracks starting with Bassline.  Right from the start, the song feels a bit like a mix of “Ultraviolet” and “Damn real” with the mellower groove, but some interesting throws of sax in there.  There’s just something that’s so cool and clubbish (but muted).  Funky track overall and a good choice to get a PV

7. Shhh!

As the only A-side to really represent the album, Shhh! was a nice refreshing jump back to upbeat Kuu and on the album, it really pops out of nowhere thanks to its boom-clap arrangement and her epic first line!  I feel like of all the songs on this album, this track feels like something she would’ve popped out around the “Kingdom” era and I love the kind of throwback feel it has.  I enjoyed this song a lot and has grown a lot more since the single’s release!!

8. Bangerang

It feels like Kuu is loving saxes on this album, but I’m not complaining because it’s an awesome instrument to include in songs.  Bangerang I thought was going to be upbeat but after the introduction, the song drops and because a slower, sexier track that has a bit more punch.  I do think it could’ve been a smidge faster, but the crawling arrangement and lead-up to the chorus is nice (if not a bit mechanical).  Nice track overall though!

9. Wicked Girls

The 4th and final track to get a PV, Wicked Girls caught me attention early with the groovy arrangement, but after going through the album, I feel like this song could’ve had some worked done with it, but the chorus really is sassy and Kuu just always knows how to give it the right amount of punch.  Though I do find it funny once again that Kuu’s Engrish has slightly gotten better, but not enough because it feels like she’s saying ~weakened girls~ or ~weekend girls~.  Still a fun club song to really lose yourself to.

10. Cupcake feat. AKLO

Kind of funny that it begins with a cat meowing, but the final track, Cupcake feels very trappy and more urban than other songs on the album.  Not sure how to feel about this one, but she can pull off this darker vibe of this song.  AKLO doesn’t sound half bad in his rap either, so I feel happy that I can enjoy this more.  Although, its funny as hell as this song is called Cupcake and just feels anything but sugary xD.  Though I’m more surprised it’s a little over 2 minutes…Short huh?

Tracks Recommended

  • Heartless
  • Shhh!
  • W FACE
  • insane
  • Wicked Girls

Song of Avoidance

  • Damn real

Not surprised that I was more impressed by outside!  I mean already from the fact that it was going to be mostly upbeat and cool songs from Kuu helped me into this one.  I mean all of the tracks were good (Damn real, was only on the bottom because its chorus was terrible…).  Honestly, this is a pretty cool album overall and Kuu has finally found something to latch on to. *RECOMMENDED*

As a dual release, was it necessary?  I mean altogether 20 tracks is nothing unheard of in Kuu land so I was surprised she’d pull a Beyoncé “I Am…Sasha Fierce” situation.  Like both albums though, this concept fell flat when half the album was amazing and the other was just a snoozefest.  I would actually recommend W FACE ~inside~ just for the more stronger output.

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