Kurayami Monogatari

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Koda Kumi – AND March 11, 2018

Filed under: Koda Kumi — solarblade @ 1:00 am

and

Track Listing

  1. PARTY
  2. SWEETEST TABOO
  3. GOT ME GOING’
  4. WHO
  5. OUTTA MY HEAD
  6. NEVER ENOUGH
  7. ALL RIGHT
  8. LIT
  9. BRAIN
  10. IT’S MY LIFE

1. PARTY

As the opening track and song used to promote the album, PARTY definitely starts the album off with an upbeat note that gives me Summer vibes in comparison to her various other summer bops.  Kuu comes in with a catchy hook that’s sung (or shouted) in English and she sounded good in pronunciation.  After the hook, the tune kind of grooves all over the map and has a trap/dubsteppish vibe which is kind of cool.  The tune while short is just catchy and a good way to kick the album off.

2. SWEETEST TABOO

I wonder if anyone else thought about “TABOO” when they saw this title (good lord was that song amazing!).  I do like the deep bass that fills out this song and Kuu just hits the floor and runs with it with that rap!  Though, I was a little surprised there’s some lighter blips and the song kind of becomes a bit more poppy and odd.  I don’t know after a while, the song kind of just fades out to me, it’s a little too busy and the mood just doesn’t quite work here.

3. GOT ME GOING’

Our next track up, GOT ME GOING’ takes things back to more of an urban sound which is a bit better already after the mess that was “SWEETEST TABOO”.  I always seem to like these songs where Kuu gets to show her vocal chops and attitude like it does here and she sounds so in her comfort zone.  I am a little disappointed it’s 2:40 in length, but this was a pretty nifty and sassy song for her.

4. WHO

Interesting to open up with samples for WHO and this one is a bit more edgy and cool for Kuu, but I wasn’t sure if I was OK with the auto-tune that’s slathered on her voice (it’s very apparent when it gets to the pre-chorus) and then switches modes when the beat drops where it feels almost like a 4minute song (“Crazy”? “Hate?”).  Either way, it’s a better song here, but there’s been better.

5. OUTTA MY HEAD

I was wondering if we were going to get ballads, but it seems like this might be the closest.  OUTTA MY HEAD is definitely a slower song, but it’s crazy dramatic and VERY bass synth heavy which is a surprise after the previous 4 songs.  I want to say I like this, but Kuu is maybe cranking the dramatic vocals a little past what she can handle and it’s coming off a little like when her sister, misono tries.  That chorus is a bit lame though…and prolly where her vocals get the most annoying…oh and the 20 second surprise outro, didn’t need to be here either…

6. NEVER ENOUGH

So yes, Kuu did release 3 singles before the release of “AND” (which I didn’t review because they were kind of oddball single, though technically a part of her discography…but it was just A-side and the instrumental so I passed).  NEVER ENOUGH was released as the 3rd of them, (though oddly “HUSH” is absent on the album).  Since I never listened to the singles, this is my first listen to them.  NEVER ENOUGH actually takes things even more slowly than “OUTTA MY HEAD” with a piano ballad.  It’s a nicely sung soulful ballad from Kuu and its been a while since a ballad of hers has latched on to me.  This was a nice break…good choice for an A-side.

7. ALL RIGHT

Things get back to speed with ALL RIGHT and this feels like more of those upbeat pop songs that she does on the regular like “WIND” and “Come Over”.  The tune is Summery and breezy which is always relaxing and Kuu sounds pretty good and fits the girly vibes here.  On the album, it’s a nice track, but it would EASILY get lost when compared to her other feelgood summer pop tunes.

8. LIT

Then we move to the first single that was released for the album, LIT.  For some reason, this track does remind me a bit of songs like “Cherry Girl” & “Love Me Back” with that kind of gritty twang that made those songs really unique and cool and it works for LIT, but it might not be as unique as them or as memorable to me.  I do like the addition of brass at least and Kuu once again vocally knocks it outta the park here so I’m a little more intrigued by this track.

9. BRAIN

A track titled, BRAIN, huh?  I guess it could be the odd song?  Well, after listening to the song, I wasn’t expecting the tune to be a bit more urban and hard hitting with the bass hits and scratchy synths.  It’s OK, but being the shortest song on the album (2:30), it doesn’t leave much of an impression and when it did start to click with me, it ended…

10. IT’S MY LIFE

Closing the album out, IT’S MY LIFE is another oddball and strange that it was chosen to end the album since it’s pretty aggressive with its heavy beats and trap high-hats.  I do like it though, it’s less busy than “SWEETEST TABOO” so that helps it stand out amongst the other tracks from the album.  Though still odd as the last track IMHO…I think “NEVER ENOUGH” would’ve been more appropriate IMO.

Tracks Recommended

  • GOT ME GOING’
  • PARTY
  • NEVER ENOUGH
  • IT’S MY LIFE

Song of Avoidance

  • OUTTA MY HEAD

Seems like Kuu is doing it again with the double album release, luckily unlike “W FACE”, we have time before the second half, “DNA” releases.  Though let’s focus on AND.  I will say that this album makes me feel like “WALK OF MY LIFE” but much shorter and the song overall had a much better turnout.  I mean it’s still kind of bland in areas, but Kuu is showing some sass in her songs which benefitted a number of songs, though she could’ve toned down the dramatics in OUTTA MY HEAD here.  OK album overall!

 

One Response to “Koda Kumi – AND”

  1. shinitakashi Says:

    It was actually a pretty good album overall. I was worried when I first heard the previews though.

    And “SWEETEST TABOO” was composed by the same team as Namie’s “Big Boys Cry” – you can totally hear the similarities.


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