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%
  • INTRODUCTION

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Introduction for Kingdom

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • INTRODUCTION FOR TRICK

    Votes: 10 52.6%

  • Total voters
    19
Just say Monday/next week sis
Dddd, bludgeon me to death now will ya?









SHISGARA!
OH BABY SHISGARA!




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42
(TIE)
Venus


Average: 7,53
Highest score: 10x2 (@yuuurei, @soratami) 9x5 (@Weslicious, @Empty Shoebox)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@ThisIsRogue) 5x2 (@mi|kshake, @lalaclairi_)
My score: 7,5

TRICK loses it's first press bonus track in a form of Venus, a Shocking Blue cover originally produced and written by Robbie van Leeuwen and Jerry Ross. Kumi's version was arranged by h-wonder and has a dance-friendly feel to it with a nod to the 80s. Venus was actually originally recorded by Kumi for a Gillette Venus commercial which was airing in as early as 2006 with a another commercial for Gillette Venus Breeze arriving in 2008 and made avex include the track on TRICK. This song is without a doubt one of the most iconic ones and well known all over the world. Covered dozens of times Kumi could have avoided it, still her version is robust and lively and it suits her overall image pretty nicely. What we're missing though is a full version of the song from Diet Coke [version 1 and version 2]!

A bit of a kii that not everybody knew about this existing, right, @RUNAWAY (8), "I had no idea she covered this song. HOLY SHIT I’M SHOOK." Well, guess what, @RUNAWAY, she did. Did you know she also covered I Feel Love live? And with Blue Man Group no less. Speaking of covers, @lalaclairi_ (5) weighs in on Kuu's, "Kumi has the most random covers of any of the Queens. Unfortunately she didn't really change anything about the original song, so this is a pretty boring end to a good album." What do you mean, hun? The arrangement is qute the change. It doesn't sound like a totally different genre, but it's so much fuller compared to the original. @otenkiame (5.5) would've preferred something less covered, "Okay, so this song's been covered to death, but whatever since it's a lowkey bop. Kuu's English isn't that bad, but there's something about the production that sounds so unintentionally dated." I think it's intentional to bring in some 80s flair. On the topic of Kumi's English @vague (8) defends out precious girl, "sounds exactly like i'd expect a cover of Venus by Koda Kumi to sound ddd. i remember people makin' fun of her accent when this came out, but i think her english sounds really good!! proud of ha. i actually like this quite a bit dddd" I believe it never bothered me as well, although I used to be one of the most anal people when it came to pronunciation. I mean, I practically lost friends due to arguements based on the whole Engrish thing. Thank god I reevaluated my priorities and changed that about me. Going back to the arrangement @EachSmallStep (7,5) enjoys it thoroughly, "That instrumental rework is electric. I shamelessly rocked to this when the album dropped." No shame in rocking to something you like, hun. Coming from a different technical side is @Cutlery (8.5), "A nice little rock cover tucked away at the end of the tracklist. The instrumental is a bit too loud at times, opaquing Kumi, but otherwise I use it" I can hear it too, they could've adjusted the levels a bit. @TABOO (8) once again agrees with my point about suitability, "Camp and vamp; definitely the type of cover that suits Kuu well. Bop!" Cause Kumi is a Venus goddess herself!

This time we'll finish with both bottoms and the tops. @ThisIsRogue had to comment on this one even though he couldn't really find what to say, "Kind of cute, but unnecessary." Oh, so just like that commentary, dddd. Sorry, sorry, I do appreciate it, truly. @Weslicious couldn't care less about umi's version, "It get’s a 9 just for being Venus. Her version doesn’t really offer much new though." Hmm, I can see how some songs are just so good that no matter who covers them they are still good. Once in a blue moon we get to put @yuuurei in the end of a write-up, "Love love love this, such a Kumi-ish song and she covers it perfectly." Glad you enjoy this, hun.
Can't find any live videos for this one.
 
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How... unfortunate.










































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42
(TIE)
Ai no Uta


Average: 7,53
Highest score: 10x2 (@RUNAWAY, @TABOO) 9x5 (@Weslicious, @EachSmallStep, @aaronhansome, @me!)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@yuuurei) 5x2 (@mi|kshake, @Empty Shoebox)
My score: lookie above

TA-DA! Did you expect this to go now? Ai no Uta, the third single to be released for Kingdom, is going home. Produced by already several time mentioned Morimoto Kosuke and written by Kumi, the song is probably Kumi's most popular one. Whenever she is invited to any music program celebrating best songs, 95% she would be singing this. It's also one of the most popular karaoke songs in general and it can be seen in Top10s of different karaoke services from time to time. Yes, this is overplayed and overexposed AF, but what can you do when the general public took the bait and won't get off the hook. Speaking of overplaying, I believe it's what actually got me liking it that much. When it was just released I almost hated Ai no Uta, because it was too plain and too whiney in comparison to Yume no Uta, the previous big ballad. Still all of the listening to this on music shows and concerts made me warm up to this, although it did take me like 3 full years after its release to finally arrive at the destination. Having said all that, I'm not too hung up on the idea of everybody liking this so I totally get if this is not your cup of tea. I do have to draw your attention to the lyrics though, since they are great and they are the main reason why people were and still are so fond of it:​

If just one wish were to come true for you,

what would you wish for now? Tell me softly
Even if you can't say this love is eternal
lie, just for now, make me believe with fleeting words

When the song of love resounds,
light will shine in the gray, night sky
The lights will connect one by one
and reach your far away side

If just one wish were to come true for me,
I'd wish to see you, even in a dream is fine
If this love were to meet its end,
I'd break like glass and would never be able to return, but I'd love you

Even an ambiguous relationship is fine
Be tender as always, without changing
Don't tell me the truth
I can't accept it if I can't see you anymore

I felt that you could return again tomorrow
like always, and looked up at the sky
Don't say goodbye
I'm falling into a dream tonight too
(c) @otenkiame

I say this is great, amazing even. The music video was weird though, they made it seem like she started crying because the dude didn't buy her the freaking neckless. Oh well.

Next up is your commentary and I thought you would have a lot more to say about this. Not going far away @otenkiame (7.5) had similar experience as me with the song, "There was a time I LOATHED this track. I could not understand why it got to be so popular. I still don't think it's her best ballad, but it is a pleasant listen, especially the added emotion for the final chorus." It just wins you over, doesn't it? @Weslicious cracks the code, "Through sheer force of overperforming this has definitely become one of her signature tracks. And I’m OK with that." Wait, this sounds like Lady Gaga brute forcing Million Reasons into a hit. @Eskiath (7) is here to reminds us that the track is, "Overrated." More like overplayed and overperformed. Some of you were really struggling with this one. @vague (8) was generous, considering it didn't trigger any more thought in them, "nice ballad and she sounds good on it. 'bout all i can say about that" @yuuurei was literally struggling to stay awake, "Fine but I literally fell asleep listening to it." It's okay, sleep is important, hun.

This leaves us with @RUNAWAY, who gave Ai no Uta the highest praise, "another one of her incredible ballads. I completely, totally, unconditionally love this song. It’s perfect." Ooh, there you said it. And @TABOO, who didn't let the fact that the song was playing even from his microwave deter his love for it, "Stunning ballad; one of Kumi’s best although it suffers from over performance over the years. I had a difficult time pinpointing exactly what this deserved, but I thought I’d go with my gut and award her full marks because at the end of the day, it’s what she deserves. The production is stellar; Kumi’s delivery is gorgeous. Lots of love for this one!" I wish a certain someone would have taken me to that karaoke bar to sing this when he had the chance. Sigh.​

As it has been said time and again, this was performed freaking everywhere, so let's see this one lovely performance from Bon Voyage Tour.
 
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Our Top40 was actually Top41 due to Lies climbing up.

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D.D.D. feat.SOULHEAD
you
Candy feat.Mr.Blistah
Shake It Up
feel
WIND

Love goes like...
No Regret
Birthday Eve
Lies

Ima Sugu Hoshii
KAMEN feat.Ishii Tatuya
Someday
A Whole New World / Koda Kumi & Peabo Bryson
(08/14)

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Get Up & Move!!
Ningyo-hime
Yume no Uta
Tsuki to Taiyou
Puppy

Koi no Tsubomi
WON'T BE LONG
JUICY
Candle Light
Cherry Girl
I'll be there
Unmei
With your smile
Milk Tea
Twinkle
GO WAY!!
(08/16)

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LAST ANGEL feat.Tohoshinki
Amai Wana
Himitsu
Ai no Uta
anytime

Under
BUT
Koi no Mahou
Aishou
Anata ga Shite Kureta Koto
Wonderland
FREAKY
MORE
Black Cherry​
(09/14)

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TABOO
show girl
Your Love
stay with me

This is not a love song
Driving
Bling Bling Bling feat. AK-69
That Ain't Cool feat. Fergie
Hurry Up!
Moon Crying
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
Joyful
Ai no Kotoba
Venus
(08/14)
EXTRAS

Get It On
Sweet Kiss
Boys ♥ Girls
XXX feat. Koda Kumi / SOULHEAD
JOY -meets Koda Kumi / TRF
Everybody feat. Koda Kumi / Katori Shingo from SMAP
Futari de...
Asu he
Simple & Lovely / m-flo loves Koda Kumi
Sora

Run For Your Life
girls
Come Over
Dear Family

Bounce
Once Again
Lady Go!
Always
Winter Bell
(07/19)

Look at them all go neck in neck.​
 
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40
(TIE)
I'll be there


Average: 7,58
Highest score: 10x2 (@RUNAWAY, @me!) 9x5 (@Weslicious, @otenkiame)
Lowest score: 4x1 (@Empty Shoebox) 5x1 (@yuuurei)
My score: lookie above

Well now y'all done fucked up. We have to say our goodbyes to a great single from Black Cherry and the first song from 4 hot wave. I honestly thought it would be With Your Smile, that would go first.. Produced by Hagiwara Shintarou, who also worked on Ayumi's fated and alterna of all the songs, and written by Kumi, I'll be there is a sweet little summer song with a guitar in the lead. Kumi has been branded a queen of summer, at least by fans, in the past due to her multiple a-side singles she used to release every summer and it was always such an event. I'm not even afraid to say that those singles have some of her best material. Truly this sounds just like summer to me, no more no less. With the track like this I just want to chill and look at the waves and the sunset, no need to get all hot and sweaty with every single song, right? 4 hot wave was released when I was at our countryside house and I had to beg my brother to come and rip this on a CD for me. Oh how entranced I was with that single, I think I wore down our DVD player playing it all days long. The meaning behind this one is, of course, a desire to be there for your special someone:​

Laugh at my side, I want to laugh at your side


In this burning sun
I feel impatient for no reason
I feel it in the dazzling light with you
It feels like something will happen
in this moment

I can see a drawn map of the future
on the other side of the blue sky
If we open it, I'm sure
we'll be able to see a dazzling light
I'll play a song with you, and walk
I'll be there for you
(c) @otenkiame

So what did @Empty Shoebox have to say for his 4? "Takes far, far too long to get going." It starts with chorus, what else do you want? @Cutlery (7) just had to find something to pick at, didn't he? "Quite a cute filler despite being a single. Sure it's not bad like the dreadful ballads in the album, but it's too tame and quiet for me to stan" It's not all about boppage and jamming, okay? Does @Remorque (8) listen to music released over 2 decades ago? "Loving this mid-90's style soft rock Kuu." He absolutely does, huh? Do you think @vague (8,5) found it to their liking? "omg this is so cute and sweet, i love it!! the melodies are so nice and her vocals are great." Aren't you just delighted with this one? Could @TABOO (8,5) be the one to point out the lyrics? "The composition is stellar on this track, and the lyricism is refreshingly charming: “I’ll be there for you, only for you / Laugh at my side, I want to laugh at your side”. The pre-chorus is foreboding, leading wonderfully into the chorus." The pre-chorus is a bit of a highlight of the song, isn't it? Could @otenkiame be the one to point out the video? "I just love this cute and uplifting acoustic track. It makes me feel so happy inside, and wanting to relax at the beach (though that's probably because of the music video)." It's is very pretty, isn't it? Will @Weslicious try one of his puns again? "A nice, guitarry, MOR, piece of ace." No, but MOR with this score? Okay, werk? Will we be able to go on without comparing the songs on the single, @RUNAWAY? "I feel like this song isn’t loved enough either. It’s overshadowed by JUICY, but it’s so so so good!!" I guess that means "no", right?​

Has Kumi performed this live though? Maybe on TV and even at concertsm hmm?
 
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I'm surprised 'Ai no uta' left so soon!
Same.
Glad to see Ai no Uta - so overrated! And not very memorable either. How is this her most popular ballad when obviously it should be You?

Shame I'll Be There has gone, it's a cute little song.
Now we're talking! you should be her magnum opus. I mean it is, but people just don't realize it.
WHAT THE FUCK?
I know, right?
 
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Don't you know that you forfeit your freedom when you are a host of a rate? <3

I'm holding off on listening to the previews because I always end up misjudging them.
Of course, I do. It's not my first time... at the rates. Doesn't mean I can't try and rebel against the regime!

I don't mind listening to the previews, they always get me excited, even if I don't feel some of them at first.
 
Hic, she's tipshyyy~


IT'S ANOTHER FREAKING TIE!


























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38
(TIE)

Moon Crying

Average:
7,60
Highest score: 9x5 (@otenkiame, @yuuurei, @Squashua, @Remorque, @lalaclairi_) 8,5x3 (@EachSmallStep, @aaronhansome, @me!)
Lowest score: 5x1 (@Eskiath) 6x2 (@Osiris, @Empty Shoebox)
My score: lookie above

Ooh, boy, another iconic ballad is going and it's the last song in the rate not to receive any 10s. Moon Crying is the first song to leave from MOON, the first single that was released for TRICK and Kumi's first one since the amniotic fluid controversy. Produced by Furuse Miwa (Literally who? Only two songs: one for Skoop On Somebody and one for EXILE) and written by Kumi, the song was the only ballad to be used as a lead from one of her summer singles. Considering that this was the first song to be revealed after Kuu's hiatus, it was appropriate to opt for a slower song. The piano ballad is on the safer side after all, still this one has a nice rising pace all throughtout that eventually envelops the last chorus and doesn't let the song fall on a boring side. Actually the chorus itself is very Kumi, but the verses sounds like they were taken from one of Ayumi ballads to me. I would also like to draw your attention to how marvelously Kumi sings here with those higher notes in the chorus specifically. I did give this a lower score than Ai no Uta, but I do like this quite a lot. The lyrics are pretty and sad:​

No matter how much I try

I can't convey these feelings of missing you
If these overflowing words will reach you
then I want to sing, thinking of you

If I could return to that day,
I wouldn't need anything more than that
Tonight too I'm thinking of just one thing:
That I love you even now...

I want to convey the feelings
I couldn't put into words with this song
If these overflowing words will reach you
then I want to sing, thinking of you

I want to look up at the sky tonight too
and walk together with an important person
to that place that the moon shines on
I want to be by your side forever and ever

Don't let go of our connected hands...
(c) @otenkiame

Let's begin with a little bit of a glowing review from @TABOO (8), "It has taken me years to truly appreciate Moon Crying, but I’m happy that I’ve finally come around to it. The lyrics are gorgeous, and fitting considering this is the first single post-controversy. The PV is quite emotional too; I’ll admit I shed a tear. Moon Crying and TABOO Crying too." And Evilsin Smiling at all this. Down the middle road is @Weslicious (7), who is contemplating, "This goes on for far too long, but has the potential to be quite special." You can find this something special if you watch the PV again and listen to this a couple more times, it does bloom on you. @Cutlery (7), on the other hand, finds himself in the middle of a... well song, "By this point, I knew I was missing a bloated piano ballad in the tracklist, which turned out to be this. Like some of them before it, Moon Crying isn't particularly bad, nor memorable or new either despite the pretty arrangements" I believe the subtle build-up does make it quite memorable, though. All is lost for @RUNAWAY (6.5) with this one, "I know this song is a ballad and really emotional, but it’s never really stuck with me the way the b-sides have. When the throwaway song with Fergie and Lady Go! Is better than your single, it’s probably not a good thing." I mean I like the two you're talking about, but we all know that Once Again is a true star of that single. @vague (7.5) probably shouldn't watch the lives for this, "man, she over sings this a bitsy at parts. i get that the emotional delivery is appealing to some people, but i think this would've been a solid 8.5 for me if she had toned down the theatrics just a bit dddd but it's still a nice lil ballad" Oopsie daisy, did she just pour too much of a feeling into her vocals? @EachSmallStep measures up, "A well-crafted slow burn. The length deters me from constant repeats, but I would put this on a list of her top 20 ballads." I can see it making even a surprise Top15 appearance.

The rest of you 9 givers showered the song with praise. @yuuurei reveals some intriguing details of her private life, "I'm contractually obligated to like any song that references the moon in any way, so ... but no, it's a really sad, sweet and beautiful song. That last section gets me RIGHT in my feelings." What do you think of Pearl Moon and S.O.S. ~sound of silence~ then? Speaking of moons, @Squashua likes when his is on the increase, "One of the ballads I remember most from the four albums here. Seriously gorgeous, the crescendo it builds to in the final 1/3 is proper stage musical magic." See, and @Cutlery said it wasn't as memorable as the others. We'll wind this one down with @otenkiame, who can't help but gush, "One of her signature ballads. It's dramatic as dramatic can get. I mean, you don't even need to watch the music video to get that. She goes all out with her vocals, which sound superb with the piano arrangement." Nicely put, hun.​

Kumi still performs this one quite often, here's a nice one from Premium Night ~Love & Songs~.
 
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