Highest scorers: 9x4 (@abael, @Ana Raquel, @mi|kshake and @me!), 8,5x1 (@Music Is Life)
Lowest scorers: 4x1 (@Cutlery), 5x1 (@Yeziirl)
My score: lookie above
5 voters: #21, 8,10 avg.
10 voters: #31, 7,65 avg.
15 voters: #43, 7, 55 avg.
18 voters: #47, 7,40 avg.
Oh, so we're really just eliminating a-sides now? At least it's not another ballad. Written by Kumi and produced by Mitsu.J (SAY's "PEDARU" !!! and Gouriki Ayame's "Girls' Talkin'" !!!), the track served as 56th single and the last one before the release of "Bon Voyage". Kuu wrote the song for the Japanese team that participated in 2013's "Volleyball World Grand Champion Cup". What I can't get enough of in this one is a reggaeton inspired beat. Just love how it rolls on and on and on making me wanna move. I actually truly think this is one of Kuu's weaker a-sides, but that beat and the catchy oh-oh-oh's are what made me give this such a high score. It was also pretty great to get a dance music video from Kuu, as at the time of release it's been a while since we had one of those. Moving on to lyrics, I can't at them correcting Kuu's English in the official booklet, shady binches, dddd:
I wanna (be) dreaming now
Take one step forward
Tell me now
Strengthen our bonds and
to a new future
Let's join together
I wanna (be) dreaming now
Tell me now
about your throbbing feelings
We'll connect our courage
Now spread out your hands
Oh, I'm sure we can do it
I say oh oh... You say oh oh...
Are any of you getting that winner cup she's talking about?
@Cutlery (4) wasn't really phased by this, "This doesn't hold up well in 2019. And it's not over-the-top enough, nor does it have other elements to make me enjoy it from the bottom of my heart, that's still able to appreciate a thumpy drop/slice of dated EDM"
I wonder what kind of anime @Yeziirl (5) watches, not that I'm much of an expert, anyway, "Another song that just reminds me of basic anime openings"
Our go-to interpreter @otenkiame (7,5) has a axe to grind with this one, "Let me get this off my chest: I cannot stand the English used in this song. It's distracting as nothing else. That aside, this has great beats and synths going for it. I absolutely love the "oh oh oh" portion that comes after the hooks. Especially with the synths and beats underneath."
@Music Is Life (8,5) asks permission, "BOP. Can I dance? I wanna dance." I'll allow it.
For once @abael's (9) comment is the last one, "KK and production seem to find a nice balance for this track, with the backing providing pacing and structure while not overpowering KKs performance." A solid offering, then.
Kuu perfromed this live both on TV and on tour.
CAN WE TRY‽
Can We Go Back
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@RUNAWAY, @Music Is Life), 9x2 (@Ana Raquel, @soratami)
Lowest scorers: 4x1 (@Yeziirl), 5x2 (@abael, @Eskiath)
My score: 8,5
5 voters: #49, 7,00 avg.
10 voters: #52, 6,75 avg.
15 voters: #46, 7,40 avg.
18 voters: #47, 7,40 avg.
Yep, a-sides it is! Written by Kumi and the trio of Adam Watts (Jesse McCartney's "Beautiful Soul"), Andy Dodd (P!nk's "White Rabbit") and Shanna Crooks (Demi Lovato's "Lightweight") and produced the the latter three, the song was Kuu's 46th single and the last one before the release of "UNIVERSE". The track was originally performed by Kelly Clarkson. Her version appeared as a pre-release bonus track for those who ordered "All I Ever Wanted" on iTunes and later appeared as a Japanese bonus track. I wonder how this happened, as usually affairs like this mean, that one party won't be releasing the song in the market of the other, but it looks like this was not the case this time. Anyway, this is good as Kumi's rock songs go. The chorus is a pleasant earworm and I can never get enough of Kuu's aggressive vocal takes in this one. BABY, CAN WE TRYYYYYYYYY‽ The music video also contains an exclusive MJ inspired break, provided by HIRO, the one and only producer of "TABOO", a.k.a. the winner of Part II of this very rate. Looping back to Kelly's version, it's as good. I wish Kuu would do the same elongated last chorus in hers though. It looks like Kuu's version has similar message as Kelly's as well:
Can we go back to the way we used to be
The butterflies will return now
Can we abandon everything?
Giving up what used to be is easy
It shouldn't be like it is now
Yeah, back to the way we used to be
Can we really though?
@Yeziirl (4) chose his side, "Kelly did it better, sorry, girl!"
Kuu's delivery couldn't pull @abael (5) out of his impression, "The song is somewhat monotonous, and drags on by the point of the final runthrough of the chorus."
Did... did @Eskiath (5) just made a little pun? "Bleh hate it, sounds so lame and uninspired, but the chorus has gotten stuck in my head enough times to give it a higher rating than I used to." Yep, they did, even if unintentional.
@Cutlery (7) thought this was aight, "Never heard Kelly's original (oops) but this is serviceable enough. Single-worthy, though? Not so much"
@otenkiame (8) was right... again! "I've heard a lot of people saying Kuu's vocals aren't as good as the original's, but I don't care? This makes for a good pop/rock track with a dramatic atmosphere to make it feel a bit dark. Plus, Kuu vocals suit rock, so she gives this song the performance it deserves."
@RUNAWAY (10) was stanning as he usually does, "the fact that she released a Kelly Clarkson BONUS TRACK as a single is iconic in itself, but it’s also so much BETTER than Kelly’s version. It really fits Kumi and her new lyrics are fantastic."
And lastly, @Music Is Life (10) considered this for his 11 at some point, "It’s so random that she covered this iTunes pre-release bonus track by Kelly but I fucking love this song in any form and it rocks so much. Love her voice on this and I bop so hard. Love this and it’s a definite possible 11. That chorus is just so undeniable in any language."
This is one of the tracks that could use a bit more representation live, but it did have its share of TV performances.
If you say Japonesque, I’m leaving. It should be Bon Voyage though. Half of that album should already be gone.The next 4 tracks are from one category. Any guesses?
Singles. Are there even 4 ballads left? Because it could very well be that...The next 4 tracks are from one category. Any guesses?
Highest scorers: 10x1 (@RUNAWAY), 9,5x1 (@Music Is Life)
Lowest scorers: 5x1 (@Coming Century), 6x1 (@Yeziirl)
My score: 6,5
5 voters: #62, 6,50 avg.
10 voters: #47, 6,95 avg.
15 voters: #44, 7,52 avg.
18 voters: #45, 7,56 avg.and loses its glow...Would you look at that, managed to climb 10 places higher than her cuter sister. Just like "Inside Fishbowl", this was written by Kumi and produced by Niclas Lundin and Joakim Hahlin. I actually never expected this outcome, as I always liked "Inside Fishbowl" more and I never noticed any of the fans saying that they liked "Outside Fishbowl" better... guess it's official now, huh? I actually don't even know why I never warmed up to this one. Maybe I just liked the initial listen of "Inside Fishbowl" so much, that I subconsciously thought that I don't even need a second take on it. As I mentioned in the first write-up, this is lyrically opposite of "Inside Fishbowl":
On the night when that sun sleeps
I'm gonna try!
I want to leave this fishbowl, growing old
I don't want to be hindered
Cause I am meant to fly
It won't end like this
We all are growing old in the end, huh?
@Yeziirl (6) might be onto something, "Oh yeah I was annoyed by the pitch of her voice (ohmigosh are those songs inside/outside album foreshadowing from 8473 years ago) (The best thing about gossip candy is that tacky cover, yas!)"
@abael (7) was incorrect, but what can you do, "The better of the two Fishbowl tracks. Vocal changes are the greatest improvement over the other."
@Eskiath (7) had questions, "Actually decent but why does it exist." We just don't know.
@otenkiame (7) couldn't help, but to decipher the meaning, "As the rockier version of the fishbowl series, I find myself gravitating much more to this. The whole wanting to be set free theme is pretty great, though I have to admit that the whole "fishbowl" theme is a bit...tacky. Not horrible, but it just sounds unimpressive to me. Still, it's an enjoyable track overall." Never found it tacky, to be honest.
As you might imagine, @Music Is Life (9,5) loved this, "Pop-rock BOP. Love the production, especially the drums and guitar, and little electronic flourishes throughout." Same, only it was better on "Inside Fishbowl".
@RUNAWAY (10) reminded me of a nice detail with his commentary, "yas. this is the better Fishbowl and she is slaying on this song. wasn’t this like….the theme song to like...Prison Break in Japan or something? so random but this song is fucking awesome." Yes, this indeed was used as an ending theme for Season 3 of "Prison Break" in Japan.
Kuu performed "Outside Fishbowl" live mainly during the "Dream Music Park" performances (accompanied by a freaking T-Rex), but it also managed to snuck into a medley during the "JAPONESQUE Tour".