Koda Kumi -Best- Second Session
By Jonathan Dao Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007

Wow.. when did her music stop sucking?— my gut reaction to hearing some of Koda Kumi’s newer stuff.

She’s come a long way since releasing “Real Emotion”. It actually took her that single (her seventh one!) to propel her to super J-pop status. Many of you may remember this song as the opening theme to Final Fantasy X-2.

In the past few years, Koda Kumi has practically dominated all of her competition. She snagged the victory in the majority of music awards nominated. I think it’d be a waste to try to list them all, but let me put it like this: she’s the only artist in Japan to have three singles on the famous Japanese Top 10 Oricon charts. Am I clear? Not three singles ever, but three on the same chart!

Since those FF days, she’s explored a variety of sounds. Not unlike many American pop stars, she’s moved on from the themes of bubblegum pop in order to express herself in more R&B and hip-hop tones. And although her image has become more and more revealing, she attempts to keep herself reserved by limiting one only one song to moaning (Love goes like…).

In “Love goes like…” she attempts to express how her love is never-ending. Not only does her love go on and on.. it goes LIKE on and on …

Further capitalizing on how cool it is to speak English in J-pop, she reminds you of her traits and virtues in “Candy”. In order to remind you of her high esteem and character, she chants during the hook, “No, no, I’m not about money” as well as “No, no, I’m not easy.”

“Candy” features musical artist Mr. Blistah who serves as an excellent introduction to what Japanese rap sounds like. The flow of his rhymes are on the same meter as Rip Slyme and nobodyknows+. Okay, so I might be a little biased; I think all Japanese rap sounds the same. But hey, I know people out there who are the opposite: J-rap is great cuz American rap is crap.

“No Regret”, much like her rendition of the Cutie Honey theme, channels in the stylings of Yoko Kanno’s blues/jazz band The Seatbelts. “Someday” has a similar vibe, but it throws in more funk in order to bear some resemble to that “Virtual Insanity” song by what’s-his-face.

The last track in this greatest hits collection is a cover of “A Whole New World”. It seems really, really, really out of place. I’m not too sure if she was trying to feed the inner Disney fanatic inside or what. I know she had an Arabian theme going on for her music videos of “Candy” and “Shake it”… This will probably be the one track that people skip.

I think if anybody had any other complaints, it would be her voice. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed too much, so it’s still a hit or miss. But these days, she’s paired herself up with some amazing composers who’ve created some of the catchiest instrumentation the J-pop scene has uh … ever seen.

Koda Kumi’s evolved more than her looks! If you compare the advancement of her looks AND her music, I’m sure you’ll want to check out her music, right?

That is, unless you’re house…

‘cuz he don’t got no love…
for the yellow doves…

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