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
あらら, I thought FREAKY would be in the top 5 but it just misses. I would have preferred to see it and show girl in place of JUICY and Under, but it's still a pretty good top 5. I feel like I've known what would win this from the beginning but if a certain other song takes the win instead I'd be pretty pleased.
So glad Under made the top 5!

OMG that Top 5 is so perfect it's criminal. I honestly wouldn't mind if any of these came out on top.
I'm so freaking pleased. I saying it, these 5 are not only best in this part of the rate, those are the best in her discography! Although we'll see how they measure up to the other parts once we're done with the rate altogether.
Under to go next!
あらら, I thought FREAKY would be in the top 5 but it just misses. I would have preferred to see it and show girl in place of JUICY and Under, but it's still a pretty good top 5. I feel like I've known what would win this from the beginning but if a certain other song takes the win instead I'd be pretty pleased.
I mean... it's pretty obvious what the Top2 should be, but there is always a bit of space for surprises.
Yaaas FREAKY I'm so proud of you. What a fucking song, people! And I'm not even disappointed it didn't get into the top 5, because I'll settle for top 10!

Also, Kuu going HAM! in the video is my spirit animal, teebs.
I'm so pleased with people enjoying all kinds of Kumi songs. Truly a queen for all kinds of people.
You could also make fork and spoon jokes sistren
Farewell to this bop (but at this point they all are)
Argh, you're right! What about spork, spife, knork and sporf though?
So glad Under made the top 5!

Me too!
I've three 10's and my 11 left, so a near perfect Top 5 for me.
What's the unmentioned one though? Hm? HMMM‽ It's an 8, muahahaha.

I wonder if I'll be able to finish the rate tomorrow, or that would be tew much? More likely we'll arrive at a Top3 tomorrow, with the finale following the next day. Hey, I'm jobless, it's all possible now.
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I gotta call back
I gotta switch the line




Highest score: 11x1 (@Love Deluxe) 10x8 (@otenkiame, @Osiris, @Eskiath, @TABOO, @Weslicious, @aaronhansome, @soratami, @me!) 9x2 (@Cutlery, @Empty Shoebox)
Lowest score: 6,5x1 (@RUNAWAY) 7x1 (@yuuurei)
My score: lookie above

Under-der-der-under! Guess it's time for this one to go... under. Produced by Adam Royce (Black Candy, Lay Down), Curtis Richardson (Cherry Girl, GOT ME GOING') and Nyticka Hemingway (some Usher song) and written by Kumi, the track is an uber sexy and sensual affair. First of all, let me say that Kuu sounds phenomenal here. The gentle, smooth and almost ASMR-like way she manages to slide along the seductive melodies is like pure butter to my ears. Stimulate my senses, queen! Secondly, the production isn't just top-notch, it's seriously out of this world. The otherworldly creeking synths are no less than a stroke of genius, while the breathing/mumbling glitchy backing vocals here and there are goosebumps-inducing. Honestly, I can't get enough of the music in this piece of art. Thirdly, the music video, albeit simple, works wonderfully with the song, Kumi's angelic moves are mesmerizing and that goddamn split is here to end all of our miserable lives. Fun fact - the billboard behind her says "under" in Russian for some reason, hence the artwork. Way to acknowledge my existence! WOO-HOO! Fourthly, sleeky slipping, just like the song, to the lyrics we have a tale of desire and... telepathy?​

Anyway, I can say that

when I'm with you
I'm liberated from my worries
Don't let me forget...
the traces all over my body
Cause I'm going under
For you

No matter how much the phone rings, we won't pay attention
Whenever I see your expression, I spill over

Deeper, you on me
Support me, put your hands on my hips
Cross over, you on me
The same as always, a tacit understanding
(c) @otenkiame

These behemoths of songs are hard to talk about, I get it. We'll start with @RUNAWAY, who tries to explain himself, "this was a jam, but it just didn’t go anywhere." Not every song needs to explode by the end, hun. @yuuurei reminds us all that Kumi's tracklistings suck, "Going from anytime to this was a little jarring! I like this a lot though, it's quite sexy and ambient." At least you've somewhat enjoyed the song, right? @vague (8,5) have some thoughts they want to share, "i remember hating this when the album first came out, but it's actually great??? i really love the backing track; it's fantastic and has kind of a dark n grimey feel to it. dddd i kinda wish she went full-on raunchy in the video to match the dirty vibe of the song, but that doesn't detract from my score at all" Yes, the instrumental is heavenly, I just can't get enough of it. And the video? You had SHAKE IT and JUICY and will deal. I wonder if @Cutlery is into spooning? Hah! "A dark-ish and sexy bottom anthem! The phone ringing and vocal filter in the pre-chorus help give Kumi more confidence and make the song better" The pre-chorus is indeed amazing.

Arriving at our full scores givers @Weslicious is brief, "Sultry, boppy excellence!" Fine, I'll take it. @TABOO comes to the same conclusion as I have, "Kumi comes through with some sex, and boy, does it come through! Under oozes appeal from the first second. The unrelenting beat is masterfully matched with Kuu’s delivery. Definitely a standout track!" It's simply one of the best. Finishing up is @otenkiame who just really fucking loves this, "I AM IN LOVE WITH THE BEAT. It's dark. It's hip-hopish. It's Kuu bringing in the sexiness. When she sings "Fukaku you on me", I kii every single time. What a song. What a song. Nothing but praise and love for this track." Yes, douse it with you love!

Our 11 points contributor @Love Deluxe didn't provide commentary per se, but he did give me a little titbit when I praised his choice in the PMs, "Omg, I'm really curious how my 11 is going to do. I initially was going to give it to Taboo, Driving, or BUT but my gut told me that it should to to 'Under'. Rating these songs was super fun, brought me back to 2007 when I first got into J-pop." I'm so glad you gave you 11 to Under. And would you look at that, all your contenders for it are still in the running!​

Sadly, this was only performed live as an opener for Kingdom Tour.
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What failed to go Top3?

U know I want it, baby
I know U want it, baby
U know I want it, baby

You make me hot... and wet




Highest score: 11x2 (@EachSmallStep, @aaronhansome) 10x9 (@otenkiame, @Osiris, @RUNAWAY, @TABOO, @Love Deluxe, @soratami, @Eskiath, @Remorque, @me!) 9,5x1 (@Cutlery)
Lowest score: 7,5x1 (@Squashua) 8x5 (@Weslicious, @Empty Shoebox, @mi|kshake, @lalaclairi_, @ThisIsRogue)
My score: lookie above

Dddd, that jump in the average. Stan a bitsy. Produced by STY a.k.a lil'showy (Step Into My World, POP DIVA and a lot of amazing songs for other artists) and written by TAIRA YOO (BENI's a million jewels, T-ara's Just Now, B.A.P.'s Be Happy), the track was a fucking revelation. No, really, the second coming of over-sexualized Kumi was upon us and people were rabid! I was one of those who just couldn't get enough of this. The minimalistic instrumental is superb as it has just the right amount of frills that you remain hooked, while the vocal layering in all the right places with whispering and harmonies is outstanding. It's one of those tracks that you can listen to a hundred times and still discover some new sounds or features. It's baffling that apparently Kumi profoundly dislikes this, although thinking back, at that point in her career she might have thought that something as raunchy as this wasn't necessary, hence the lack of recognition of the track by herself. I don't know what the Japanese fans think about JUICY, but it's certain, that the Western fans are head over heels for this one, both the song and the music video. Personally, to this very day this is one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me in my life and it was such a blast to learn the lyrics and sing along, especially considering how I love fast deliveries. Speaking of the lyrics, it's a pretty explicit, yet poetic depiction of lust:​

I want to bite into you now

Tempted by your fragrance
and illuminated by the flames
Just you and me
You and me...and you
It's a Wonderland just for us
Please come anytime you want
Remember my love
The fruits of this special night

Lured by
A dizzying smoke
We're exposed in the starry sky
Just you and me
You and me...and you
You and me, a party time just for us
Nothing can interrupt us tonight
Remember my love
Let's taste
Ooh...the overflowing fruits
(c) @otenkiame

Ooh, boy, is it just me or is it getting hot in here? @yuuurei (9) definitely thinks so, "Um ... hmm. Wow. /fans myself Anyway, this is a fun song." Got another fan for a fan other there? The PV's so good it lured out @lalaclairi_ out of the hiding, "What an iconic music video. Though, I do wonder why Kumi never performs this?" But what about the song? Performance wise, we might never know. @Weslicious let's his blasphemous tongue out of his mouth, "I get why fans love this, and I do also find it a great track. I just feel she’s had better ‘bop’ bops." God forbid! Fall to your knees this instance and repent! When it comes to the PV @vague (9) is all over the damn thing, "the video is such an iconic MESS, but the song doesn't get ~my~ juices flowing quite as much as some of ha other thot bops do. i still love it, tho." You know what, why don't you join @Weslicious down there and recant‽

People who love this reaaaally love this. Not being shy is @otenkiame, "Yesssssssss. Give me that sex, Kuu! She's moaning and doing all kinds of sex sounds to set the mood right. Even the lyrics made one of my friends blush when they read them. This is classic Kuu all the way." What, only one friend? Try harder in promoting the blessings of sexual pleasures via Kumi's sexy bawps, please! @Remorque is here to give us the rundown, "Now this is a return to form. This is how I like my Kuu... Sexy, sensual and full of sass." The song is all of those things, yes. Despite the nickname, it was this song that popped @TABOO's cherry, "The original. Back when I first discovered Kumi, this was the first track I heard and immediately I was floored. Serve us RnB. Serve us sex. What an absolute banger!" Why is it so freaking perfect? For a moment there I was afraid that the awesome combo of the song and the music video broke @RUNAWAY's gayness, "UMM HELLO?! Yes! I don’t know if this will get my 11, but of course it’s an incredible song. Bottle poppin pussy poppin ICONIC BOP LEGEND JAM YAS THE HOUSE DOWN SHOOK BOOTS HENNY." YAAAAAAAS, JUST SCREAM RANDOM WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW GOOD THIS IS.

Sadly nothing from our 11 scorers @aaronhansome and @EachSmallStep, although I'm sure they love the track so much that they just don't know how to put their thoughts to paper. It's okay, huns, hope I made JUICY justice with this write-up, at least.​

When it comes to the live performances... there are practically none. The legend has it that there was a mythical a-nation '06 performance that was cut from the broadcast and subsequent releases for some unknown reason. Fans still believe the performance was tew much for the casual viewers. Unfortunately, it looks like we'll never see Kumi perform this amazing song live... But wait! There is still hope, as to the surprise of many during the JAPONESQUE Tour Kumi did sing a whole chorus! in a remix form! in a fucking medley.

Starts at 1:37.
So cruel! She knows how to fucking tease a fan, ugh!
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Average score: 7,16

75 Twinkle
73 GO WAY!!
70 (TIE) Puppy
70 (TIE) Candle Light
69 Milk Tea
57 (TIE) WON'T BE LONG / EXILE & Koda Kumi
56 Unmei
52 (TIE) Tsuki to Taiyou
40 (TIE) I'll be there
29 (TIE) Yume no Uta
27 With your smile
21 Koi no Tsubomi
20 Get Up & Move!!

14 (TIE) Ningyo-hime
09 (TIE) Cherry Girl

Highest scorers:
@evilsin 8,41 Why is this so funny?
@aaronhansome 8,09
@vague 7,97
@Eskiath 7,94

Lowest scorers:
@yuuurei 6,00
@lalaclairi_ 6,13
@Empty Shoebox 6,44
@mi|kshake 7,06
@Osiris, @ThisIsRogue 7,16


Back off!
*futuristic sound of a machine starting up utters*
Driving free zone...
Driving free zone...




Average: 9,45
Highest score: 11x1 (@Weslicious) 10x11 (@Remorque, @Love Deluxe, @Eskiath, @soratami, @Cutlery, @EachSmallStep, @otenkiame, @Osiris, @RUNAWAY, @vague, @me!)
Lowest score: 7,5x2 (@aaronhansome, @TABOO) 8x1 (@mi|kshake)
My score: lookie above

That beat goes the eff in! Whew, wig. Did y'all expect this to go so far? I certainly didn't. Produced by the amazing Tomokazu"T.O.M"Matsuzawa and written by Kumi, the track is an intergalactic ride through the glitchy PC soundscape. If only there was a music video for this! Oh wait, apparently there was supposed to be one for this, but for some reason it was left in some unfinished state. Oh well. The sounds T.O.M decided to use to create this are so electronic, robotic and mechanic that the image of a futuristic city zooming in on us from the horizon is so crystal clear that you pinch yourself in disbelief. What the producer managed to do with the instrumental is a total triumph and his trademark penchant for a memorable middle 8 in most of his songs and remixes is seen here as well. I bet most people can't sit straight once it gets to this glorious part, although I doubt anyone can wait until the middle 8, when the rest of the song is no less stimulating. Really though, those synths are simply time and space tearing. Moreover Kumi's distoreted voice that has been both pitched higher and twisted lower all throughout the track does good work in connecting the digitized music with our material world. I'm kinda pissed though that I can't decipher a lot of vocal bits and pieces, that aren't in the official lyrics. Which brings us to our favorite part of a write-up - what the hell is she singing about? This time Kuu takes us on a journey into the unknown with a hint of partying:​

Hands up, it's not over yet
We won't go home after tonight's party
Hands up, wrapping my arms around your waist,
feel it across your back

Hands up, I want you to face me and show me
your smile, only to me
Hands up, don't lose the unfading flashlight
Conceal your throbbing heartbeat

1,2, the countdown starts
I'll face an unknown world with you

Driving, I'll take you anywhere
You can decide our destination
Driving, we don't have to worry
About others, so we're movin' on

Driving, turn up the volume
Make the inside of my head overheat, please
Driving, like this
let's go anywhere, let's keep dreaming

(c) @otenkiame

Shall we go for a ride then? @TABOO isn't one for a speedy midnight journeys, "The production of this track is stunning, and while I feel I’m gonna be dragged for my less-than-ideal scoring of this, I’m sorry to say that it never really took me all the way. Drive me a little more, Queen!" Well, sis, you asked for it yourself. Get ha, gwoerls! Verseman @Squashua (9) dissects the culprit, "This is SUPER 2009 from the beeps, squelchy beats and the robo-backing vocals but it's on the right side of that futuristic EDM trend." Hm... why does this still sound so unique for me though? Guess ignorance is a bliss, huh. Can someone give @yuuurei (9) a lift? "Really fun and carefree, gives me the feeling of cruising thru town at night. As if I ever leave my house or know how to drive." So you're just stating you're gay, right? We been knew.

The amount of 10s though, sweet baby Jesus. The gushing one this turn is @otenkiame, no doubt, "Okay, so this track gets a lot of love, and deservedly so. Kuu serves some electropop with relative ease, sounding completely natural singing this type of track. And, my god, the chorus just really goes off! I can't even use words properly to describe it, so let's just say addictive is an understatement." Another genre easily conquered by our queen. Be careful when you're close to @RUNAWAY and this is blasting from the speakers, you might not be able to leave on those two feet of yours, "this song is a total stomper and an absolute TEN!! Absolutely deserves its place as the title of all her remix albums!" Hey, you're right, it was the very first track, unremixed mind you, to be included on the first DRIVING HIT'S. That apostrophe still kills me. @vague has a very distinctive hearing, "jesus christ, this is fantastic!! the chorus is so fuckin' good, and that instrumental breakdown or w/e with the vocodered ad-libs... omg, so good. she sounds ~amazing~ on this, too; this track is really in that sweet spot where her voice really shines." I'm amazed at your prowess to hear Kumi under all the layers of filters. According to @Cutlery autotune equals divahood, "Slightly more generic and basic electropop-EDMish bop, but how can you not like it when it's so catchy and Kumi is nailing it like a queen? Her autotuned background vocals help consolidate that diva atmosphere here" Love that your so called "generic" aspect didn't sway your vote. @EachSmallStep makes an observation, "A sound that I don’t believe was really revisited aside from ECSTASY sadly! Suits her so well. The spoken parts give me chills." Oh my, I never connected these two, they do feel like sisters, when you think about it.

There always comes a time when you have to let go of something precious, and this time it's @Weslicious' turn, "The bop to end all bops. That pre-chorus! That chorus! That instrumental break! Very, very, very possibly this would be my overall 11 of all her songs. Goddess of Transport, Empress of Music… Kuueen!" Bold claim. I'm so happy you love this so much and chose it for your 11, hun. It deserves the praise.​

Mostly Driving was performed during TRICK Tour, but there is this nice one from Kuu's concert in Taiwan.
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