The Koda Kumi Rate: PART IV. All things come to an end, WINNER announced

Which short track / interlude if your favorite / deserves a full version?

  • Introduction ~WALK OF MY LIFE~

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • Interlude ~Dance~

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Introduction ~My music is designed from my DNA~

    Votes: 1 12.5%

  • Total voters
BYE how is Life so Good still in over this??
Well, I, for one, quite like it, so that's why.
Live rendition sounds a tad smoother than original, so that's a good thing!
Her latest songs do translate nicely into the live environment, still sometimes vocals are questionable.

Love the commentary, @berserkboi! Keep it coming. And as for the "Gimme U" performance, yes, the first half is "Gentle Words", which is one of her, well, most gentle songs, dddd.


Average: 7,5
Highest scorers: 9x2 (@Remorque, @Music Is Life), 8,5x1 (@Yeziirl)
Lowest socrers: 6x2 (@Sprockrooster, @mi|kshake), 6,5x1 (@otenkiame)
My score: 7

All my 7s decided to go all at one, huh? And with this "AND" takes a second hit in a row. Produced by Johan Nybaeck (MINMI's "Circus", Touyama Mirei's "Goodbye My Love") and written by him, Emelie Sederholm (CHUNG HA's "Do It"), Raja Kumari (Fifth Harmony's "Like Mariah") and Kumi, the track was second to last on the album and one of the newer sort.

This is the definition of alright. The verses are actually quite nice and full of Kuu's attitude, but that repetitive chorus really doesn't bring much to the table. I guess it and those "nanana" parts should mirror the lyrics of trying to get into her brain or something, but the end result is borderline annoying. Looks like the short length of the track is definitely a blessing here. I mean, she performed this live in front of me and I still only okay with it, dddd.

The lyrics are about the guy playing some mind games with Kumi and trying to get back with her after a break-up?​

Whenever you faded away
you stole away
a part of me
This time
it's my turn to leave you
"That's reality"

(c) @otenkiame

Don't think anyone should get into my brain, really. Guess the song did get into the commentators' brains, or at least under their skin, as both couldn't help but critique Kumi's pronounciation.

C'mon, @otenkiame (6,5), you still know what she's singing about, "Blain. Seriously. Blain. I try not to let pronunciation get in the way, but it's repeated so much, I just can't let it go. It's nice as an urban track, but is so short that it doesn't have enough time to properly develop. Which is a shame, because I like what the verses and pre-choruses do. Also, her vocals are a bit harsh here too. I think that's a big problem on "AND" overall, though." Wait, you've wanted more of this‽

Weirdly enough, this gets quite a score from @Yeziirl (8,5) even after a comment like this, "Can’t get into ma blain! That is just too nasally, even for Kumi’s standards! Do only I get annoyed by those “hello hello hello” adlibs after choruses?" Honestly, never really noticed those ad-libs until you've pointed them out, dddd.​

Here is the recording of that live performance I've mentioned. It adds more guitars to the chorus, which makes the song sound fuller and better.

Bring It On

Average: 7,5
Highest scorers: 10x1 (@Music Is Life), 9x3 (@Remorque, @Sprockrooster, @RUNAWAY)
Lowest scorers: 4,5x1 (@otenkiame), 5x1 (@me!)
My score: lookie above

It's been a while since "inside" lost a track, huh? Produced by BACK-ON, you know, the hubby's band, and written by them and Kumi, the track had quite a history. The first time we heard the track was back in 2013, whole 4 years before it was officially released on this very album we're all loving so much over here. What prompted Kumi to perform this track over and over again live and not to release it for so long will forever remain a mystery, no doubt. Moreover, apparently the song was originally BACK-ON's own, since I remember someone unearthing a version sung by KENJI03, or Hi-yunk, if it pleases you more. Oh yeah, and the track managed to be picked as a theme song for some soccer team or something.

This fucking song. Not Kuu sitting on it for so long for it to turn out this underwhelming. It's really one of the weakest in this part of the discography for me and maybe overall. The bass is probably the only thing that's keeping this from falling apart. I guess there are some details in the arrangement, like the sax, that do earn some more points for this, in the end though, this leaves a lot to be desired. The chorus is the biggest offender being so limp with the melody being swallowed by the bass. Ugh.

The purpose of the song is to hype up the crowd, but the lyrics are... well there are present.​

Let's go!

(Are) you ready? How do you feel? Feeling higher
Don't slouch or anything; just look ahead
Now for sure, re-start. It's not the end. Shall we go? Ah ah ah
Step forward to the next stage, baby
(c) @otenkiame

Woo, I feel so pumped all of the sudden... not. Only two of you had anything to say about this.

It's not that surprising that @otenkiame (4,5) wholeheartedly agrees with me, "Did she really think this song was fit enough to be released? Because it sure as hell sounds like no one even tried to finish it. There are some catchy aspects to it that keep it from being unlistenable, but this should've just stayed as a random live-only song or maybe a b-side. Maybe." Four fucking years!

And @Cutlery (7,5) is happy with what he got from the dumpster, "Obviously has this big stadium anthemic sound and it's convincing. There's not much of a song below but the feeling it gives is great. And Kuu better snatch that sports events coin!" You do you, boo.​

As I mentioned in the write-up, this was an exclusive live track for 4 years, so it had some rounds during most tour of this period. At least it looks like she's giving it a rest for now.

Yorokobi no Kakera

Average: 7,5
Highest scorers: 9,5x1 (@Music Is Life), 9x1 (@Cutlery)
Lowest scorers: 5,5x1 (@Yeziirl), 6x2 (@Ana Raquel, @cookiedough)
My score: 7

We're not going too far, since "inside" has to say goodbye to another one of its songs. Produced by Morimoto Kousuke ("Ai no Uta", "Star", "Kiseki") and written by him and Kumi, the track was one of the new ones on the album.

Did y'all miss the ballads? This is quite alright. It's pretty in places and doesn't feel bloated like some other ballads. I'd say the best part is definitely the pre-chorus, since it houses two of the strongest melodies of the entire song. The post-chorus instrumental with the strings is also to my liking. Futhermore, Kumi sounds great here, which makes for an overall enjoyable experience. Having said all that, this doesn't compare to her better ballads.

Lyrically this one is about looking forward to the future full of joyful moments that are surely to come.

The cherry blossoms flutter down

and softly take along sorrow
I'll extend both hands and walk
to a new season

(c) @otenkiame

Get in, loser, we going to the future.

@Weslicious (8) cracked the code on this one, "Strings and drums = dramatic Kuu ballad. Add in the decent melodies and you’ve got a great song."

@otenkiame (8) appreciates when Kumi is in control of her vocals, "Another favourite from the "inside" songs. Very tender and soft, brimming with love and affection. Kuu's voice is near perfection with the way she reigns herself in yet hits those high notes so serenely. This is the kind of strings-filled j-pop song I can get behind."

And @Cutlery (9) hears more? "So pretty and managing to not sound overdone although it has a classic sound. The guitars prove an excellent support to have the string melodies pop off more. It's very much a wedding ballad, and it exceeds at this field." Wedding?

It appears that the song has significant meaning for Kumi, since she tears up performing it, whether on tour or on TV.

Both are short versions for some reason...
Not this being part 1 all over again with the multiple 4-way ties!

The elimination of 喜びのかけら hurts, as it was one of my two fav songs on ~inside~ (though my favorite ballad isn't in this album)

What's Up

Average: 7,53
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@Remorque, @Music Is Life), 9x3 (@Ana Raquel, @Cutlery, @RUNAWAY)
Lowest scorers: 2x1 (@V3RYP05H geez), 6x1 (@cookiedough)
My score: 7

Did anyone ask for another slice of pop-rock Kumi? Produced by Yamamoto Katsuhiko (Nishino Kana's "Pa") and written by Kumi, the track appeared on "inside" as one of the new ones. This elimination leaves "Promise you" as the only standing track from the album, which is a kii! How long will it last? Y'all really went in on this little album, huh?

I don't mind this, I actually find myself literally bopping my head to this from time to time. It's another song that could have been easily used as an opening for some anime series and I'm okay with it. Despite the weaker chorus, it has some catchy ad-libs that you can't help but want to sing along to, which is to me a more important feat than a memorable melody. At the same time the verses are perky and bubbly and I probably would've like more of that. Moreover, the arrangement is quite refreshing with those surprise strings in the chorus especially. I'm starting to think I should have given it a least a half point more, dddd.

The lyrical content is about keeping your head up high.

There doesn't exist
a life that's just right. It'd be boring
Let's kick faultless lives flying away
I don't know where I'll arrive at
How long will I keep on pretending to be calm?
But what will we begin with?
You ought to know

(c) @otenkiame

Hey, what's up?

The only explanation @V3RYP05H (2) provided for his behaviour is this, "just the pop rock song she’s done better a million times before." Just another person on this forrem to ignore.

Looks like @otenkiame (7,5) was bopping to this as well, "Thank the stars for this track. On a very ballad-heavy album, "What's Up" came along with its fun, energetic guitars to give "inside" the boost in energy it totally needed. This is essential rock Kuu, and I'm so happy with the way it turned out. It sounds like so much fun I'd love to see it live." Yes, I can see this kind of energy being infectious in a live environment.

Somehow I don't remember @Cutlery (9) being into rock oriented songs so much, "Bop bop bop. I live for how energetic it is and that the message is of simply hoping the day goes well." Guess my memory is getting worse with years.

Kumi performed this one during "W FACE" tour. The live version had an extended outro.