The Koda Kumi Rate: Part III, COMPLETE. See you in Q1 2020

Which short track / interlude deserved a full version?

  • Prologue to Dejavu

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Interlude to Dejavu

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Introduction ~JAPONESQUE~

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Interlude ~JAPONESQUE~

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Introduction ~Bon Voyage~

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Let's show tonight

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Interlude ~Bon Voyage~

    Votes: 3 33.3%

  • Total voters
I'm waiting for you
Please come back to me



Average: 6,90
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@otenkiame, @vague), 9x1 (@RUNAWAY)
Lowest scorers: 4,5x1 (@Yeziirl), 5x4 (@Coming Century, @Ana Raquel, @Cutlery, @lalaclairi_)
My score: 7,5

5 voters: #49, 7,00 avg.
10 voters: #56, 6,60 avg.
15 voters: #62, 6,82 avg.
18 voters: #63, 6,90 avg.

Don't you worry, "UNIVERSE", we haven't forgot about you. Written by Kumi and produced by MARKIE ("Anata Dake ga" and Ito Yuna's "trust you") of TATE & MARKIE hip-hop unit, the song was performed on "MUSIC FAIR" before the album's release as the means to promote it. It's a light R'n'B mid-tempo. To me it's a little to light perhaps. Kumi sounds great, especially in the verses, but I wish the melody in the chorus was more prominent. Elsewhere, the beats and synths paint a pretty picture. Moving on to the lyrics, for some reason Kumi sings something that sounds like "oh right" or "alright" before the first line in the chorus, but that word is not in the official lyrics. The message of the track is all about the need to be beside your loved one all the time, I guess:​

Stay by your side

I'm the reason you smile
I know feeling your heart
I want you to stay like that cuz I'll be by your side forever

Stay by your side
Why does my heart hurt so much?
I know feeling your heart
I want you to teach me the meaning of these feelings

(c) @otenkiame

Would anyone like to... stay by my side?

@Yeziirl (4,5) was really specifc with his likes for this one, "You know the song is boring when the only thing you liked is “Eh-eh” ad-lib"

@Cutlery (5) didn't have any fun with this, "Oof I could really do without some of this. The twinkling and playfulness of the piano and those backup vocalists can only do so little for me at a tempo so slow. It's all a bit unenjoyable noughties R&B"

@abael (7) was all about the production this time around, "Some change ups in production and pacing help prop this track up and be noticed."

Reminiscing was @Eskiath (8), who didn't mind the minimalistic approach, "I always appreciated the simplicity of this song and kinda reminds me of something from Secret era."

@Music Is Life (8,75) wasn't as thrilled by this, "Another cute mid-tempo, nothing really special, but still pretty good. Love the piano though."

Looks like we finally found a perfect combo for Kumi's cuter vocals, eh, @otenkiame (10)? "What a sweet and warm song! It just makes me so happy inside - you can tell that Kuu is completely in love with this person. Yeah, Kuu is utilizing her cute tones, but it works so well here with the light synths, beautiful keyboard melody, and R&B beats."​

"Stay" was perfromed during the "UNIVERSE Tour", but we'll watch that "MUSIC FAIR" TV live I've mentioned in earlier.
With Spanish subs!​



Average: 6,97
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@Weslicious, @Music Is Life), 9x1 (@RUNAWAY)
Lowest scorers: 3x1 (@Yeziirl), 4x1 (@Cutlery)
My score: 7,5

5 voters: #65, 6,40 avg.
10 voters: #56, 6,60 avg.
15 voters: #55, 7,13 avg.
18 voters: #62, 6,97 avg.

Did anyone ask for another cover song? Written and composed by Ozawa Kenji, the song was originally released in 1994 by the very same guy. If you thought Kumi's version was long, his is basically 7 minutes, dddd. It has a more laid back feeling to it, comparing to Kumi's though. Kuu recorded her rendition for her second cover album "Color The Cover". The track was one of those that got a promotional video along with "Pink Spider" and "Shake Hip!". Anyway, this is cute and catchy, with the bridge and post-chorus being the highlights, but I never want to listen to this on purpose. It does work nicely as background music though. Lyrically this is about a positive outlook on life and finding your true love:​

On very cold days we clapped our hands
And understood the light of dawn together!

And life is comin' back, it waits for us
Oh baby lovely lovely, such lovely days
Facing the world, I'll say hello and wave my hands
Oh baby lovely lovely, happy and invincible days
One day we'll rush outside! My heart's beating hard with you and me
I'll walk on a sidewalk someone waits on

Oh baby lovely lovely way, I get out of breath
(c) @otenkiame


On the contrary, @Yeziirl (3) hated this, "6 MINUTES?????1!!!! who would even finish listening to this? This is just too boring and repetitive, almost like a torture. I’m not saying it’s that bad, it’s just very mundane to listen to."

Somehow @Cutlery (4) hears Broadway in this, "Disgustingly Broadway-like. Why is it 6 minutes long??"

@otenkiame (4,5) wasn't and still isn't here for this, "This is j-pop cuteness to the max. Mostly not up my alley aside from the surprisingly nice arrangement. Kuu's version is way better than the original - the original is longer and more exasperating with the male vocalist. But god, there are so many points the song could've ended at, but it just goes on and on instead."

Meanwhile @abael (8) enjoyed the track in all its revamped glory, "Production keeps it fun on what could've easily been another forgettable track."

@Music Is Life (10) was chuffed all throughout the whole 6 minutes, "This feels kinda throwbacky. I really enjoy the jazzy production it’s such a bop. OOOOO the handclaps!!!!"

Lastly, leave it to @Weslicious (10) to sneak in a pun, "Rather joyous marital bop. Wedlicious!"​

"JAPONESQUE Tour" was lucky enough to get only a shortened version performed, as Kuu was going around the venue on a trolley. There was also a couple of TV lives, so here's one from "Shin Domoto Kyoudai":

And, of course, the original:

Looks like "JAPONESQUE" is losing tracks every other elimination now, dddd. Written by Kumi and TEEDA of BACK-ON and produced by the members of the said band, "Poppin' love cocktail" was one of the 4 a-sides released on "4 TIMES". It's a high energy pop-rock affair that is perfect for summer. It's also officially the first time Kumi's future husband Hi-yunk worked with her. The recording of this track was when they met and started hanging out. We know the rest, although it appears that there was a bit of drama behind the scenes. You see, misono was featured on BACK-ON's single "with you" that was released a couple months before Kumi's. The story goes that misono had her eye on Hi-yunk first, but when Kumi worked with BACK-ON, he instead fell for her sister. All of this is only rumours, of course, but it's still a curious little detail. Okay, so the song is really good to me, so I was really surprised when I saw those low scores for it. The rush of the chorus is undeniable and I live for, in no particular order:​

  • those little synths in the chorus;
  • the length of a double-sized chorus, especially with two of them at the end;
  • Hi-yunk providing backing vocals;
  • the "na na na na wow wow wow" outro that could have lasted for a minute and I wouldn't have noticed.
I also never had any issue with TEEDA's feature, especially since it's so little in size conpared to kumi's part. Lyrics wise this is about meeting someone really hot and falling head over heels for them. Guess Kmi was a prophet when she wrote this, kii.

Wow Poppin Love Cocktail is out way too early!! I know it wasn't that popular but didn't think it was
disliked to this extent! I found Teeda's part a bit cheesy on the first few listens but I got used to it.

You hit the nail on the head @evilsin especially about the chorus! I love how it's a 5 minute-r as well. Could have easy been a 3 minutes and we're out track which would have disappointed me. It's the perfect length and reaches its full potential at 5 minutes!

Also 4 Times has to be one of her best singles!

EDIT: And now Lovely's gone too! It's one of her best cute songs along with Love Technique! I was expecting some more ballads to go before some of these songs!
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Will we finally cross the 7+ average tomorrow?

Nope, dddd.

C'mon singing



Average: 6,99 (dddd)
Highest scorers: 10x1 (@Music Is Life), 9x2 (@Remorque, @RUNAWAY)
Lowest scorers: 1x1 (@Eskiath), 5x4 (@abael, @Coming Century, @Yeziirl, @Weslicious)
My score: 8,5

5 voters: #62, 6,50 avg.
10 voters: #75, 5,90 avg.
15 voters: #65, 6,72 avg.
18 voters: #61, 6,99 avg.

After a 14 eliminations break "Bon Voyage" is back to take another hit. Written by Kumi and produced by Figge Boström ("SUPERSTAR") and Anna Engh (Aikawa Nanase project Rockstar Steady's "P・A・R・T・Y"), the song was one of the a-sides from Kumi's summer single "Summer Trip". As the name suggests, Kumi went to L.A. hehe to shoot visuals for this single. What was the most unusual about this release, is that the director of both music videos ("LALALALALA" and "TOUCH DOWN"), Fatima Robinson, uploaded them onto her Vimeo account a whole month before the release date. We didn't even know the names of the songs at that time! Was she pissed at avex for something or was there just lack of communication between the parties?​
Now what do I think of this? Y'all... this is not better than "Poppin' love cocktail". It's a nice pop-rockish moment and it is pretty great for summer, but it's just so standard. I really love it from the middle 8 and to the end, as it gets a little boost that just brims with energy. Still there is something off with the mastering of the track or something along those lines as the whole song sounds kinda muddy for me. The lyrics for this are about enjoying your life:​

Everyone will probably envy us

in this world we haven't seen yet

On the other side of this path we're walking on
happiness is overflowing
Singing lalalalala singing lalalalala
Even when we're depressed,
yes, I'm sure the password is
Singing lalalalala singing lalalalala

An arch with colors of the rainbow overlapping
Taking each other's hands, yeah, everybody
Singing lalalalala singing lalalalala

(c) @otenkiame

Have you been singing lalalalala lately?

Apparently @abael (5) hasn't, as he was longing for something fresh listening to this, "Rock KK rears her head once again to make a song sound more dated than it actually is. Not a fan of any of it particularly."

@Weslicious (5) speaks of references I can't confirm, "It gives me Lindsay Lohan song from a Disney film circa 2005. Meh."

@otenkiame (8) likes to take this hammer and just nail it, "The obligatory summer track. I know this has been written off by so many, but it just works for me. I'm a fan of the light-hearted summer pop/rock sound coupled with the infectious "lalalalala" melody. I dunno, it's a lot of fun and seems like it'd be a blast live." I mean, this does sound like it was created with live performances in mind.

@RUNAWAY (9) made a rediscovery along the way, "!!!!!!! I forgot how much fun this song is."

By this point you should have noticed it, but @Music Is Life (10) has been converted into a fellow Kuuter in one rate, "I love everything about this. That electric guitar is perfect and that “lalalalala” hook will be stuck in my head for the rest of my life."​

The song had a lot of traction live and is still performed from time to time during summer music festivals and such.

It's all Love! / Koda Kumi x misono

Average: 7,10
Highest scorers: 10x4 (@Weslicious, @Ana Raquel, @Remorque, @Music Is Life), 9x1 (@lalaclairi_)
Lowest scorers: 1x1 (@Eskiath), 4x1 (@otenkiame)
My score: 8,5

5 voters: #70, 6,10 avg.
10 voters: #59, 6,45 avg.
15 voters: #59, 6,95 avg.
18 voters: #60, 7,10 avg.

And thus there are 60 songs that have 7+ average in this rate. Written by Kumi and misono and produced by Maeyamada Kenichi (a lot of Momoiro Clover Z songs), the track was the first single that was released for "UNIVERSE". The pop-rock number has been quite a hit managing to climb to #1 on Oricon charts and selling over 100.000 copies. It also received a Platinum certification for 250.000 full song downloads on cellphones. Guess the Japanese loved the sister K dynamic, huh? Speaking of, this was definitely the main draw of the song - the sisters' back and forth. This polemic about love they have going on is really entertaining. Now go and try to sing both parts, you're going to die... So I do enjoy this a bit, especially the maniacal synths in the chorus. You know, I do enjoy misono as well. She has this unorthodox approach to music which is pretty refreshing even if it doesn't always bring the best songs. My main issue with misono was always her vocals, or more specifically her lack of control. She's going all over the place in most of her songs, which annoys me, because it seems that she has a stronger voice than Kumi, but her uncontolled theatrics with the notes hurt my ears. With time I managed to go past that, still it can most certainly deter new fans. Welp, looks like this is going to be our last mentioning of misono in the rate, since I've talked about all the aspects of her involvement in Kumi's music and even private life, dddd. Her last album was released in 2014 and was titled "Home - If (this) album does not sell 10,000 copies, misono will not be able to release any more music". Yikes. The album was pretty good though. She also released a random cover song with Kahala Tomomi in 2016, but I didn't even know about this until I looked up info about her for this write-up, dddd. As for her private life, she married Nosuke, a drummer from the band "Highside", which I never heard of, in 2017. And in the latest news, it was revealed this week that she has Meniere's disease, which affects hearing. Hope it's not that severe and she feels better in no time. Now back to the track and to the lyrics, that are a doozy:​

I'll make-believe I'm in love - You're not a child

I'm stubborn - It's okay to lose
About winning or losing - Well, that's true
I want to be triumphant - I'll help
I'll blame both of us - It's give-and-take
I'm doubtful, baby
I shouldn't have fallen into a trap - it's all love!
Wow wow yeah yeah

Loving - Breaks easily
Crying - Is painful
Bluffing - I'm tired of that
You'll recover - I'll change
You taught me that even failures
Exist - it's crazy
It's a time I can't return to, it's all love!
Oh no, we can't live without love...

(c) @otenkiame

Is it all love for y'all?

It's not for @Eskiath (1) who is being a little too harsh, "Why must Misono ruin everything. Just noise." Oh, come on, I believe she's been doing her best.

@otenkiame (4) could leave without this, "This track is a hot mess. misono is definitely not my favourite vocalist, so that knocks some points off, but the arrangement itself can be messy as nothing else. I do live for some aspects, though, especially the bridge. And I do like that the arranger managed to get both misono's and Kuu's styles in the track." Dddd, the bridge is the most useless for me, because they wanted to do something cool with it in the music video and we got... misono coming out of Kumi. Great.

@abael (5) managed not to skip this one, "The only thing to note (other than the sudden rock instrumentation) is the vocal layering, which I feel affects the track for the worse."

@RUNAWAY (6,5) was left on the verge of tears, the bad kind, "can we just….not with this song. I can’t do it again." It's over, sis, it can't hurt you anymore.

Meanwhile @Cutlery (7,5) remembered another sister duet of our generation, "Well it's much, much better than Chillin' with You that's for sure. Even with its rock edge, it's all over the place. But it's charming for that"

@lalaclairi_ (9) asks the right questions, "Whatever happened to misono?" I guess I answered this in the write-up.

Now @Music Is Life (10) also knows that misono is Kumi's sister, "Who wants to rock out with me? I bounced so much listening to this it’s not even funny. And that moment when she’s singing and belting and the production drops out is amazing." Wonder if that adds more points in his books.

I'm so happy knowing that @Weslicious (10) will always be there to make me laugh, "Do They Know It’s Christmas? We Are The World? Nah, Kumi had the most charitable single when she let misono into the studio. This so often gets slated but I kind of love the aggressive call and response nature of this track!"​

Of course I wanted to find that fabulous live where they drove those futuristic car thingies, but I couldn't.
So have this one, that merges four lives together:


Average: 7,11
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@RUNAWAY, @Music Is Life), 9x2 (@lalaclairi_ and @me!)
Lowest scorers: 4x1 (@Ana Raquel), 5x1 (@abael)
My score: lookie above

5 voters: #52, 6,90 avg.
10 voters: #58, 6,50 avg.
15 voters: #54, 7,17 avg.
18 voters: #59, 7,11 avg.

It's been a minute since a ballad went, so here you go! An look at that 0,01 lead on "It's all Love!", chills! Written by Kumi and produced by the group Jam9 (E-Girls' "Follow me" and AAA's "Aishiteru noni, Aisenai") and M.I (U-KISS' "Alone" and Goto Maki's "Get Your Way"), the track was an obligatory ballad single Kumi released every cycle, this time for "Bon Voyage". Despite coming only two months after her last single "Go to the top", which was a hit and her last #1 *sobs*, this didn't sell as much. It still remains beloved by the fans though. As for me, this is great. Kumi sounds gorgeous over those strings and I love how this doesn't sound as wintery, as some of her ballads tend to. The best part is most certainly the last two choruses when at first it goes all quiet and then she comes back with a bite! Frankly speaking this used to be a little looked over by me, but I've since learned my mistake and atoned my sins. The lyrical content this time around is about missing your lost love:​

Whenever it was cold

I always felt warm
The station platform
where we should have met feels lonely

I feel like we'll meet abruptly
so I'm expecting you a bit today too
I'd wanted you to hurt me so much
that I wouldn't want to see you anymore...
(c) @otenkiame

That's some heavy stuff there, Kuu, you okay, hun?

@abael (5) is honestly trying it, "As expected as these tracks are, at this stage of her career, playing it straight like this is just lazy." Call her what you want, but what she's not is lazy.

It's all the same for @Cutlery (6), "One of the less inspired ballads-that-were-singles in this period. It reminds me of Moon Crying and whatnot" Excuse me, "Moon Crying" is different and at least as amazing as "Koishikute".

@Eskiath (6) is onto something, "Tfw you find a formula for a winter ballad and stick to it for years." It's actually weird, cosidering that different people worked on this.

@otenkiame (7) came around to it eventually, "While not her most original ballad by any stretch, there's a certain maturity about it that sets it apart from earlier ones. I feel like it's missing a bit of oomph in the first half, but the final stretch does make up for it with some dramatic singing and strings."

While @Music Is Life (10) once again found himself basking in all Kumi's glory, "Love the piano melody in this and her vocals are gorgeous, as always. Love the way this builds and how the drums and strings come in. Beautiful."

And @RUNAWAY (10) is a stan, period except that one time with a little song called "Heat", "another absolutely gorgeous ballad. She has such a way with ballads that she makes you FEEL every word she’s singing."​

The song didn't get a staple status as "Ai no Uta", for example, but it is being performed here and there.
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