The Koda Kumi Rate PART I: The End. Onto the next part we go


68 (3 track tie) Your only one
Average: 6,04

Highest score: 8x2 (@Eskiath, @me)
Lowest score: 3x1 (@GhettoPrincess)
My score: look above

grow into one loses it's first track, a gentle R'n'B ballad (looks like it's a theme with you people). The song was produced by Suzuki Daisuke of GIRL NEXT DOOR and day after tomorrow fame and was one of only 4 songs written by Kumi on the album. Speaking of lyrics, there are a bit confusing to me. It looks like Kumi is in love but she is not sure where this whole situation is going, and she is hesitant, because she doubts his faithfulness. The second chorus is actually very sad and Kumi reflects the pain with her voice beautifully:​

I want, baby, to tell it to you straight

The anxiety that’s always there
That I can’t see, even when I’m looking right at it
Keeps making me hesitate, until finally
All that will be left is regret
But I want you to listen to this love
(c) kimi-musume

In the end we have both a bit sombre and a bit sexy track that has sadly never been performed live.

You lot really didn't have anything nice (or much) to say about this one. @RUNAWAY (7) shows the first signs of memory loss, "really kind of drags along, like I kind of already forgot what this one sounds like and I just re-listened for the rate", while @GhettoPrincess has difficulty staying awake, "Zzzz….".​
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68 (3 track tie) Rainy Day / KM-MARKIT feat. Koda Kumi
Average: 6,04

Highest score: 8x3 (@send photo, @RUNAWAY, @ThisIsRogue )
Lowest score: 3x1 (@GhettoPrincess)
My score: 7

Another elimination, another extra track. This time it's the song from the debut album by KM-MARKIT. It's a bit of a habit for people collaborating twice in the Japanese scene, something along the lines of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours", meaning Kumi held up her end of the bargain after KM-MARKIT appeared on Hot Stuff. A song of break-up, Rainy Day is plreasant enough to give it a listen or two, but unfortunately KM-MARKIT's rapping is very subpar. He's very monotone all throughout the song, which makes it drag. Kumi's part definitely brightens up the atmosphere even if the track is sad itself. No wonder KM-MARKIT's career pretty much ended only after 2 albums...

Looks like @GhettoPrincess is becoming a bit of a rate villain, hehe, "Koda's part is fine but I’m cringing at the rest basically." @Sprockrooster (5) agrees with me about the KM-MARKIT's part, "This needed much more Koda Kumi as that rapping is WAY too monotone.", while @RUNAWAY doesn't, "it's pretty chill and KM is actually tolerable."

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68 (3 track tie) It's too late
Average: 6,04

Highest score: 8x2 (@ThisIsRogue, @me)
Lowest score: 4x3 (@Ceir, @Sprockrooster, @Weslicious)
My score: look above

Boy, extra tracks just keep on falling. This round we have a b-side for COLOR OF SOUL. This is the only track, as far I'm aware, in Kumi's discography that was produced by Oda Tetsurou, who is most known for working with Aikawa Nanase and ZARD. As you can gather from the title, the song is about realizing that it's too late. Particularly Kuu sings how she should've held her lover closer and said that she loved him, done anything to show him that she cared before he left. Sonically it's something. Just that weird bridge with some man talking... some Mylene Farmer's California teas (or Beyond My Control, kii!). I do appreciate how vocally Kuu wasn't flying of the hook and was in control all the way through and the prolonged ending is sublime.

Some of you weren't ready to give this a chance. @Sprockrooster is hovering his mouse over the 'skip' button the whole way through, "Okay next", and @Weslicious wants to forget, "An obvious B-side to never be heard of again". @Eskiath (7) is a big Kumi fan, but still made a discovery, "First time I've heard it, it's pretty sweet". And we finish with @RUNAWAY (7) who's trying to trigger a cognitive dissonance in me with the combo of his score and commentary, "so fucking long, and boring. thank god this was only a b-side."

Oh, and @send photo (6) wanted me to let you know that he hereby christens (he's a heathen though) this track "It's too late (my amniotic fluids rotted)".​

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Average: 6,07

Highest score: 8,5x1 (@Remorque)
Lowest score: 3x1 (@Eskiath)
My score: 7,5

And another (and the last) affection era b-side leaves us. It was produced by motsu (the rapper from m.o.v.e), written by Kumi and included on Trust Your Love single. Akin to her other R'n'B-tinged songs on affection, STILL IN LOVE follows the same fomula by delivering slick yearly 2000s production and a catchy hook. This time Kumi sings about still being in love with the guy who left her, and she knows that he's not for her anymore and yet she can't help her feelings. Personally I enjoy this quite a lot even if it is pretty faceless.

Our a-bit-harsh-but-I-still-give-it-a-7 critic @RUNAWAY (7) finds it "pretty dated. definitely a b-side. nothing special." At the same time @Weslicious (5) couldn't muster up much, "Meh". @Sprockrooster (5) supports the score and adds, "I can see why this was tossed aside from the main album."

No videos for the poor thing.
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66 Yogiri no Honey
Average: 6,14

Highest score: 9x1 (@Sprockrooster)
Lowest score: 3x1 (@lalaclairi_)
My score: 7

LOVE & HONEY single loses another b-side, which is also a first cover to leave the rate. Originally performed by Maekawa Yoko for Cutie Honey manga (how does that even work?), Kumi was chosen to record a newer take for Cutie Honey live action movie. Looks like we have another slice of heartbreak here lyrics wise with Kumi wondering the foggy night in tears hoping he would call her out from afar. Musically the song is a nice little piece of hot summer night and I really like how Kumi sings HANI- HANI- HANI- here. Though the song is not much to write home about, it's still pretty cute.

@send photo gives this an 8 and changes the title to "amniotic fluid yogurt" (ugh) and @RUNAWAY (7,5) decides that "it's cute". Somewhere on the warm summer night in the gazebo sits our high scorer @Sprockrooster, who jubilates with a cup in his hand, "OOOH. I love some honey in my mint tea." Hope not with some "amniotic fluid yogurt" (ugh).​

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Fun fact the next 2 tracks were in tie all throughout the voting.
Like... how?


64 (2 track tie) Saigo no Ame
Average: 6,29

Highest score: 8x1 (@ThisIsRogue)
Lowest score: 5x2 (@Sprockrooster, @Remorque)
My score: 7,5

This round a b-side to Gentle Words and a cover leaves us. Originally performed by Nakanishi Yasushi this one is another tale of heartbreak. The song tells a story of never-ending feelings that can't be put into words or expressed yet can be repressed, because that person is no longer in the singer's life. Some lyrics do stand out to me:​

I can't put my love into words

I can't connect to you with words
My love has no place, but won't stop
I threw away my umbrella, and looked up at the rain

I'd rather not love you enough to cry
Than to really forget
I'd rather hold you tight and break you
Than have you stolen by someone
(c) Otenkiame

I really like the arrangement for Kumi's version, especially the bridge, although overall I find her sounding a bit whiny all throughout.

Saigo no Ame got a very lukewarm reception from you guys with mostly 6s and not a single comment and I can see why actually. @send photo brands it "Saigo no Amniotic fluids".

The lack of commentary made me feel like

I can't even with this anime fan vid...
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64 (2 track tie) Ranhansha
Average: 6,29

Highest score: 9x1 (@me, you heathens!)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@Sprockrooster)
My score: 9, a fucking 9!!!

Kumi's second album, grow into one, loses another track and it's an album exclusive bop this time! Produced yet once again by Watanabe Miki and written by Matsuraba Ken the track offers an R'n'B infused melodies, while Kumi gently coos about yet another unlucky love of hers. The guy got her in his grips, but he doesn't love her. At the same time Kumi can't deny that he has an effect on her, but wonders why he doesn't have feelings for her. And once again a track that has never been performed live.

I was honestly taken aback when your were so indifferent to this little bop, considering I always regarded it as a highlight of grow into one.

The only comment we have is from out lowest scorer @Sprockrooster, "Giving me a bit of Itsy Bitsy Spider teas, but very faintly. And I hate spiders." I'll make sure to send you one sometime in the nearest future. And I'll make sure it's pregnant.​

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63 Through the sky
Average: 6,32

Highest score: 9x2 (@send photo, @Sprockrooster)
Lowest score: 2x1 (@Eskiath)
My score: 8

Here we go, another b-side that became an album track. Originally released on the single hands, Through the sky was written by Kumi and produced by Yamaguchi Hiroo (Yume no Uta, Rain). The track is a soaring ballad about eternal love and I absolutely love how grand it sounds. That Hiroo guy surely managed to reflect the title in the vast sound of the song. Also known for being performed only once on PREMIUM LIMITED LIVE IN HALL IN YOKOHAMA ARENA concert.

@Sprockrooster enjoys another cup of honey-mint tea, "Very disney-esque and cinematic so a great discovery.", while @RUNAWAY (5) is annoyed, "NO. it should have stayed a b-side." We finish with @send photo, who re-labeled the poor song "Through the amniotic fluids".​

Sorry, for only 1 elimination today, I've got a cold and some minor technical annoyances...
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Next we have two 2-track ties.


61 (2 track tie) Believe (the one from secret)
Average: 6,39

Highest score: 9x2 (@send photo, @ThisIsRogue)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@Ceir)
My score: 7,5

Today we start with a bit of hidden gem. The secret track is written by Kumi and produced by KAIDO (Your Song, Sweet love...), the simple piano-led ballad tells yet another story of separation. Kumi yearns for her lost lover and she still believes that they are meant to be together. Some lyrical highlight for me:​

A love where you can’t get hurt isn’t a true love
I’m not afraid of getting hurt with you
(c) kiwi musume

Apart from "listoo my heart" I thoroughly enjoy Kuu's performance here, especially when she gets very raw by the last chorus. I also clearly remember how it was praised by the fans at the time when I started listening to Kumi which was freaking 12 years ago!

@RUNAWAY (5) wasn't holding shit back... oh at all! "really? ending the party album with not one but 2 shitty ballads?" You do you, hun, you do you. At the some time a fellow 5-score-giver @Sprockrooster wasn't having almost none of it as well, "I have been moved and connected with a ballad in a foreign language better. I feel so untouched by this."​

Apparently the overall consensus was in the vein of
"There is no video, because you don't deserve a video"

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