The Koda Kumi Rate PART II: WE'RE DONE, for now

So what's with all those introductions?

  • Introduction to the second session

    Votes: 4 21.1%

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Introduction for Kingdom

    Votes: 4 21.1%

    Votes: 10 52.6%

  • Total voters


chu~ chu~ chu~


in our place, in our place...



Simple & Lovely / m-flo ♥ Koda Kumi

Average: 6,78
Highest score: 10x1 (@me!) 9x1 (@otenkiame), 8,5x3 (@vague, @Cutlery, @aaronhansome)
Lowest score: 2x1 (@yuuurei) 4x1 (@Empty Shoebox)
My score: ISSA 10!

And just like this y'all got rid of one of my all time favorite songs. Produced and written by m-flo (VERBAL + Takahashi Taku) and lovely Hinouchi Emi the song first appeared on their 5th studio album COSMICOLOR and was later included in Kumi's Out Works & Collaboration Best. People on this forrem should probably know by now, that I'm a big fan of m-flo, as it was shown in the Ultimate AlbumJustice rate, and the fact that they invited Kumi for their "loves" project was such a profound blessing. You know like sometimes you think of 2 of your most loved artists and dream they would collaborate someday and imagine how a song would sound and stuff like that? Well, that happened to me with this simple and lovely couldn't help it song. I adore every little thing about this: the opening piano coupled with that cutest squeezed out voice, the DJ vinyl scratches all throughout, Kumi's vocals tuned out to perfection, VERBAL's slick rapping. This is pure heaven. At first it seemed to me that this has little Kumi, but I got over that fact rather quickly and started appreciating how divine she sounds here. I love how the guys from m-flo didn't just write random songs and then plopped random artists on them, they actually wrote the songs with the artist in mind, hence the idealistic combination of the guest singers and the tunes, e.g. look at their Luvotomy with Namie, or Love Don't Cry with Crystal Kay, or any other song from the "loves" project really. God, I loves these guys so much! I'm ecstatic they're back with LISA.

Lyrics for this goody is about a lovers' quarrel and the eventual break-up and I'm posting the full thing, because I can:​

Can it be all so simple and lovely
That time seems far away
Even now I wish you were next to me
I've come to see it
the farther you leave; I see
I feel like I'm gonna break, I can't take no more

I took them for granted, these...
Days that be gone, days that belonged to us, together
Goodbye now
That's why you long; even though you dissed them, you laughed even at my lame jokes
It don't mean nothing to me now...'cause
it was an aimless love, but the two of us were smiling

Just one word... I hurt you
Just one word... with the words I suddenly sputtered
Now I know... the pain piled up in your heart
Boy I realize now... if I could remove it...

I tried to connect, I wanted to forget
Not minding the trifles, take it to the next
From A to the Z, I did everything I could
Never mixed lover & sex, but like that we slept
And like that I disrespect
While carrying wounds, gonna live with this
You the kinda chick that knew kicks from my favorite flicks
Even if we had a conflict, we can fix
But that's then, and now thing's ain't sweet
Let me move forward, our chance is slim
But now I understand your weakness
Now you gonna burn slow like a cigarette
But, actually,
all day I'm waiting for calls from ya. What should I do?
Rather than try throwing away my pride, if I could get you back
it'd be so perfect! Ya heard me?

In truth, even now I'm lonely and I know it by now (oh-oh-oh)
If you feel like this, say it loud (oh-oh-oh)
Believing they'll reach you I sing this song (oh-oh-oh)
If I could start again, I'd promise you (oh-oh-oh)
(c) @otenkiame

Okay, lemme take out the trash first. @yuuurei really tried it with me, "I want a medal for listening to this all the way through, it was nightmarish." Excusez moi‽ I guess some of Kumi's hidden gems aren't for brutes' ears. @yuuurei's brother in arms @Empty Shoebox was trying to come for VERBAL, "Who let that man in here? This is a Kumi rate. Get rid of him. He just drags the song down for me." IT'S HIS FUCKING SONG! And we all should be freaking grateful he invited Kumi to sing on it! @Weslicious (6) was, as always, trying to be cute, "Simple & OK" I don't have a comeback for that. Mediocrity shouldn't be encouraged. @EachSmallStep (6,5) was this close to being tossed out with the others, "Usually, I’m sold on collaborations with m-flo and my favs, but something about the mixing on this is a little annoying." I don't hear it for me, but okay.

The other votes were much kinder to this majestic piece. @TABOO (7,5), for instance, couldn't hear any negativity over the wokals, "Kuu sounds fantastic in this collaboration!" And @vague almost had me in tears, "oh, my gosh, i had no idea Kumi did an m-flo loves... track. very neat!! ASTROMANTIC was one of the first jpop albums i ever downloaded and that introduced me to so many of the artists i stanned back in the day (BoA, Heartsdales, Crystal Kay, Hinouchi Emi, melody.) ddddd. but anyway this is such a great track; it sounds very summery, and it's, like, kismet that i'm rating it today 'cause it's finally warm enough for me to turn the heat off for the first time all year!! this is definitely gonna get heavy rotation from me all summer~" Yeeees to m-flo love, yeeees to discovering Kumi's track, yeeees to the warmth! I'm so happy! And we finish off with @otenkiame who is, honestly, me, "This song brings me back. My brother absolutely HATED it, and demanded I stopped listening. Of course I didn't for such a classic track like this. A great piano line, Kuu's lovely higher register, VERBAL's tight rapping. It just all comes together in all the right ways." Twinsies!​

Of fucking course this doesn't have a single live performance, it wasn't even perfromed with Kumi replaced by another artist, like they did with some other "loves" songs. There is a rock version with misono that was released on a tribute album for the 10th anniversary of m-flo though, which is fucking genius and a kii!
That version is not online sadly.
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Come Over

Average: 6,83
Highest score: 10x1 (@Empty Shoebox, ha, suffer!) 8,5x1 (@RUNAWAY), 8x2 (@Squashua, @Cutlery)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@Eskiath) 5x1 (@yuuurei)
My score: 6

The Ai no Uta b-side has fallen! I repeat, the Ai no Uta b-side has fallen! Produced by Watanabe Miki (Crazy 4 U, Selfish, basically all of her best songs) and written by Kumi, Come Over is a cute cheery number that I hate, dddd. Okay, I used to hate it when it came out, because I thought it sounded kinda iffy and awkward. Listening to this now, I can see the appeal and I might have even given this a point more, still in the end I basically only like the first and third lines of the chorus melody wise and she has a lot better songs in this particular sub-genre. I also can't believe this is done by Watanabe Miki of all people and it's his last freaking song he done for Kuu! The lyrics are... well there are, but I can't grasp the main point. Like come over... we're gonna do it? Do what, Kumi? OH! A fort using the sheets‽​

I just wanna see you, let's try!

Come over, come over, now
I just wanna see you, let's try!

Every one of us sees a different world
In order to find the most wonderful thing
among them, yeah, we need days without regret...

Hey, spread out the future you can vividly imagine when you shut you eyes

Yeah, run through and aim for the earth
with a proud heart
I won't let this end as the best dream
Let's grab the moment of brilliance

You can throw off everything
We don't even need words now
To the place we aim for

Promise you won't regret anymore. I want you to believe and watch me
(c) @otenkiame, as always

Fun fact, I always hear "I just don't wanna see you, let's try!", makes this kinda hilarious in that indecisiveness.

Some of you agreed with my sentiment of a strong chorus and weaker verses. Like my tooth twin @Squashua, for example, "Love the bubblegum-ness of the chorus but the verses plod a little." Did we fuck up our teeth by chewing bubblegum? Genuine question. @vague (7,5) probably has perfect whites all lined up in their mouth, "hm, this definitely feels like a b-side. it's got a great chorus, but the rest of the song feels a bit under cooked to me. she sounds great, tho!!" She does sound nice here, yes. Don't know about @TABOO's (7) teeth probably loves a grill but I like how he found comfort in another part of the song, "The flow of the pre-chorus is a personal highlight from this song." Okay, okay, I admit that the pre-chorus is fine as well.

Others found this generic, and I don't blame them, it is pretty on the nose with it's common JPop bubbly sound. For instance, @Cutlery gives this a stern look, "Nice little pop-rockish song, if only a tad generic, it has that Kumi energy still" Hey, do you have any bread knives in you? It's for the whole teeth theme of this, you see. @otenkiame's (6,5) has a dazziling smile, I know for sure, "A light-hearted pop track that amps up the energy a bit. Definitely some inspirational vibes coming from Kuu's voice. Otherwise, this is squarely in b-side territory and nothing else." I agree, although considering the overall quality of Kumi's b-sides this is a bit saddening. @Weslicious (6) definitely lost a couple of his frontal maxillaries writing the commentary, "generic cute track." See? People lose more than blood, sweat and tears over a good chunk of commentary.

The highest scorers were pretty hyped up about the track. @RUNAWAY dared questioning the Holy Bible, "so cute and a great contrast to Ai no Uta. This definitely should have made the album over a lot of the choices there……..." I bet you wore braces and hated them! Leave the perfection, that is Kingdom, alone!!! @Empty Shoebox would've been gushing with saliva were they toothless, "Cheery, catchy, fun. What more could you ask for?" Teeth? I don't know, I have mine still.​

Kumi likes to perform this one from time to time, especially in a medley. No videos are online, unfortunately, but we do have a live recording from the Kingdom Tour on Spotify:
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It's a 3-way tie!



Birthday Eve

Average: 6,98 (SO CLOSE!)
Highest score: 10x2 (@soratami, @ThisIsRogue) 9x3 (@Empty Shoebox, @Remorque @TABOO)
Lowest score: 1x1 (@yuuurei, facking brutal!) 3x1 (@Osiris, less brutal), 3,5x1 (@EachSmallStep)
My score: 8,5

Now that we know that you've denied 3 songs a 7+ average, let's dive in. The second single out of the 12-in-12 to go is none other than Birthday Eve, which was a second single released in the 12-in-12 project giggles and was produced by Morimoto Kosuke (Kiseki, Ai no Uta, Ai no Kotoba) and written by Kumi. The hyper joyful ditty is bursting with energy and love. Somehow this gets to the edge of being a bit tew cutesy and yet it manages to stay just behind the line of unacceptable overkawaiiness Jesus. The music here is actually so good, the arrangement is superb with all of the instruments working wonders together. Of all of them, the trumpets take the cake hehe because they make the song sound almost triumphant, which plays right into the meaning of the song. Speaking of which, this is just some cute shit. No, really, she just went and wrote how she was baking the happiest man on the planet a damn cake. And again, those emojis! Ugh, she's the best ♥​

Today's finally come

The first big day!!
It's only once a year
Happy Birthday!!
Today I'm making a cake
And putting in love for my darling
Because, because I'm a girl♥(*^_^*)

"I've been excited since last night"
I'm glad this day has come
"I couldn't sleep, so I prepared again and again"
I pray for my success!!! Yeah!

My mood's really high!
Darling, keep waiting o(^-^)o
I'm gonna bake perfectly
to make you happy!
Baby, I can't help worrying
in my heart (;_;)
Imagine my smile
and go to the kitchen now!

Do you know
what's most important?
I don't have to do it according to the recipe
When mixing whipped cream,
put in the right amount of love
and mix it together with love
I've gotta finish it (>_<)

"In the middle of making a card"
My feelings after another year
"I haven't been able to give it to you yet..."
Stay with me next year too

My mood's really high!
Darling, congratulations
Love is more important than appearance, right?
A kinda embarrassed smile... (^_^;)
There's a love only for me
jam-packed here, so
I want you to hurry up and give me a reward kiss
(c) @otenkiame

Of course, as with KAMEN, we can't ignore the stunning artwork for the single! This time it's pink of course! and it supposed to represent America, dddd.​

Y'all were all over the place with your interpretations of this song, although most of the commentary was positive. The lowest scorer has to go, say it with me "the lowest scorer has to go"! @yuuurei just doesn't like happiness or birthdays, I don't know... "Oh dear, this is irritating, it's kind of hard to even listen to it. Oh wow, the lyrics are obnoxious too. A big yikes!" Excuse your mouth, this was irritating and obnoxious to read and put into the reveal! On the one hand we have @Eskiath, who gave this a 7, but... "Kinda gross with the cuteness but I like how happy it is." Gross at you not recognizing pure joy! On the other hand we have @Weslicious, who gave this a 6, but... "Probably my least fave of the proper singles from Second Session. A typical cutesy Kumi track." Y'all scores with y'all commentary, I swear.

Moving on, @otenkiame (7) is not a fan of this kind of songs, and yet... "Sweet-as-sugar vocals and music. It's a recipe for every kinda of j-pop song I hate, but I think nostalgia wins out a bit. I'm also here for those horns." Leave it to Kumi to sway the naysayers! A bit on the contrary side, @RUNAWAY (6) finds this pretty generic... "it’s cute and all, but the video is sort of pointless, and the song goes nowhere new for her." It kinda stands out among her other cute songs though, don't you think? @vague (7,5) manage to encapsulate all of their feelings for the song brilliantly... "the backing track is so cute and bouncy and the song as a whole is pretty catchy, but, to me, she just can't pull off the cutesy vocals. they definitely detract from a pretty good pop song." I could argue that she can pull of any kind of song, but I wouldn't, because it's a fact. And facts are facts!

Next up - the higher-ups! First is @Squashua (8,5) with his words... "A little more big band/jazzy than some of the other brass-heavy songs but it's far less catchy in the main (even with that blisteringly guitar solo)." Wait what? Is there a word missing? Never mind, love the score! Second is @Cutlery (8,5) who takes me on a fucking journey with his words... "Giving me a very weird mix of funky, 8bit and trumpet-fueled jam. Let me be clear: sexing it up with ha man compared to baking a cake is all levels of messy and even uncomfortable, but this domestic fantasy is so extra it works well in the end. Katy Perry and Birthday lost" I... yeah, okay, moving on. Third is @Remorque with his ever brief and to the point words... "Light and breezy bop!" It is! Forth is @TABOO with his stanning words... "Not Kuu clocking me for not being as ecstatic in anticipating my S.O.’s birthday. There is something so pure and wholesome about this song, and Kuu really nails the cute concept here. She went on to perfect it with Love Technique, but that’s a story for another day. Queen of Cream!" At least not "creaming", whew. Yes to Love Technique! We'll see how it'll do in Part III. And fifth is @ThisIsRogue with loving words of rare, but so appreciated commentary... "Such a bop! I love the exuberance the trumpets give this song. It takes it from simple cute bop and pushes it way over the top. Love it." Told you the trumpets were the best!​

So this was performed live a couple of times, but let's watch Kumi being congratulated on her birthday instead.

Isn't she just the fucking cutest‽
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How did I manage to blow this reveal out so much, though?
Birthday Eve was done wrong. Look at how adorable she is!! Ya’ll killed this.

She is sooo cute.
Please read up on the rate, hun.
Birthday Eve is cute enough. At least I can remember how it goes unlike some of these eliminations.
It means it's catchy! You can't deny that.
I spilled nothing but FACTS, I stan me
Atta boy! That's the attitude!
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