Koda Kumi – secret

CUTIE HONEY
3.5
Hot Stuff feat. km-markit
2.5
Selfish
2.5
hands
3.5
hearty
3.5
Shake It
2.5
Kiseki
2.5
Chase
3.5
Love Holic
3.5
24
3.5
Let’s Party
3.5
Believe
2.5

thoughts. A.
Koda Kumi’s fourth album secret I think after so many listens it’s safe to say that it is perhaps my favorite album from her. I’ve always loved it and thought it was the start of her really coming into her own. It features a slew of her best songs as well as some of her best vocal performances, where she uses the deep husky-ness of her voice well. Most notably in tracks like hands (my favorite Kuu song) and 24. Kuu also brings the fun dance songs with Love Holic in Let’s Party, and a nice cover of CUTIE HONEY. There are also some under-rated ballads; I mentioned one but hearty and Kiseki are two others. Chase makes me think of a better version of Crazy 4 U and I love the sexiness of tracks like Selfish and Shake it (the dance break part almost ruined this track for me), because she’s being natural with it and not over-doing it. I feel like this album is tragically under-rated and overshadowed by Black Cherry and Kingdom. I love it though. This is the Kuu I miss.

  • favorite track – hands
    least favorite track – Hot Stuff feat. km-markit
    guilty pleasure track – Let’s Party
    under-rated track – 24

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Koda Kumi – feel my mind

Crazy 4 U
2.5
Rain
3.5
Without Your Love
2.5
Hana
3.5
Sweet Love
2.5
Gentle Words
3.5
magic
3.5

thoughts. B.
Kuu did a pretty decent job with her third album grow into one, especially considering that it was when she first introduced her ero-kawaii image. This album and her second album were two albums from her that I could never really quite put my finger on. It was weird, as they just seemed to be there. I enjoyed this and grow into one a lot when I first heard them as they are really different from her first and follow-up albums. It’s like they’re in a world of their own, completely forgotten and under-rated. I only remember affection because it was so generic. This has some real quiet gems on it and I think I like it slightly more than her second album, even though the tracks I did enjoy were more on the down-tempo side, as to where her second album had more of a pop-rock vibe to it. The only track on this album I can say I like, but didn’t care much for is Crazy 4 U and even though Sweet Love is a nice track, it’s too meh sounding compared to the other tracks (the same with Without Your Love and her struggle vocals), that though slower-paced had a lot more going for them. I wish her ballads nowadays sounded as genuine as the ones on here. Her up-tempo tracks aren’t even fun these days like they use to be.

  • favorite track – Gentle Words
    least favorite track – Crazy 4 U
    guilty pleasure track – magic
    under-rated track – Rain

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Koda Kumi – grow into one

real Emotion
2.5
BOY FRIEND
2.5
Your only one
3.5
one
2.5
One night romance
3.5
1000 no Kotoba
2.5
Pearl Moon
3.5
Nasty Girl
3.5
To be one
3.5
love across the ocean
3.5

thoughts. B.
Koda Kumi’s second album grow into one is definitely a step up from the generic fodder that was affection. I felt it was a bit more polished and had a mature edge to it that was interesting. I’m surprised that I don’t really like real Emotion or 1000 no Kotoba as much I did years ago. Final Fantasy X-2 is one of my favorite games and I loved the English version, especially 1000 Words. So, imagine my shock when I realized it was Kuu who sung them in Japanese when I got into her music. Koda’s voice is weird to me, because she sounds decent on her albums but horrid live, her voice is very rough live depending on what she is singing and how she is singing it. Aside from those two tracks though and one, I really enjoyed the songs on this. I tend to always enjoy Kuu’s ballads, no matter how boring and just like with Ayumi, her rock-pop songs are a guilty pleasure of mine.

  • favorite track – Your only one
    least favorite track – one
    guilty pleasure track – Nasty Girl
    under-rated track – Pearl Moon/one night romance

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Koda Kumi -affection

Trust Your Love
2.5
Go Together
3.5
Your Song
3.5
feel me
2.5
Color of Soul
2.5
My Dream
2.5
So Into You
2.5
Come Back
3.5
Take Back
3.5

thoughts. C.
I was very tempted to give every single song on here a 2.5 because Koda Kumi’s debut album affection is just so damn generic. I honestly use to like this album back when I was first getting into her music. I think I got into her during her 1000 no Kotoba and Real Emotion era or it was her twelve singles thing she had going on back in 2005/2006? I can’t really remember which. I know I use to love singing Take Back. Now that I’ve listened to it so many times it tends to irk me like a lot of the big name Jpop stars of the back then period does aka Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamamsaki… it just doesn’t stick and just sounds thrown together and cheap. I mean perhaps this is a casualty of time, but Hikki, Namie and Ayumi pushed a million+ with their debuts and those aren’t good albums by any means (I’m looking at ayaka’s debut as well). So, I’ll go with the fact that people weren’t really feeling her sound or her image, which was really tacky then. Kuu peaked music-wise during her Secret to Kingdom era; affection is just generic and mediocre with a handful of pretty decent tracks.

  • favorite track – Go Together/Your Song
    least favorite track – Color of Soul
    guilty pleasure track – Take Back
    under-rated track – Come Back

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