Kuu’s ‘Moon’

by trinka on June 25, 2008 · 16 comments · AddThis

Koda Kumi
Kumi promoting 'MOON'
Artist: Koda Kumi
Product Code: RZCD-45934/B
Release Date: 2008.11.06
Highest Ranking: #2
Genre: Pop/R&B
Label: Rhythm Zone
Format: CD+DVD

After the radio mishap back in January, Kuu’s been rebuilding her reputation back up. Contracts with Kose and Gillette have been renewed, ad campaigns have been relaunched, and Koda Kumi has finally returned to the public eye. Many were disappointed at the complete halt of Kingdom’s promotion, but were overjoyed to hear about the release of a new quad A-side.

Koda Kumi
'V I S E E ☆ K U M I'

Koda’s 40th single, MOON was released in deluxe long jackets, ala Ayu’s Mirrorcle World. I must say, print adds were stunning. Koda is depicted sitting on a balcony with her dress streaming down. However beautiful, adds for MOON were few.

Most quad A-sides released by Kuu are quite good and this single is no exception. To add extra hype, tie-ins with American star, Fergie and reggae artist, Pushim, were announced. As a result, the first day sales have surpassed all of Koda’s previous similar releases.

 

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1. Moon Crying

‘Moon” was advertised as a 4 seasons single, and ‘Moon Crying’ seems to be a winter song. With sincere vocals and touching composition, this track strikes me as a ‘winter song’.

Musically, Kuu’s usual R&B influenced pop is prevalent but very polished. The use of strings really got me here, I’ve yet to hear a terrible J-pop tune with strings. Furthermore, the added piano melody makes the music all the more poignant. Similar to the musical arrangement, Koda’s vocals are sincere and moving. Her ‘unpolished’ vocals are also reminiscent of Ayumi Hamasaki’s vocals in Secret. I’m usually not a fan of Kuu’s slow ballads, but this song really caught my attention.

The lyrics

Facing this feeling,
I can’t seem to convey them,
If the overflowing words could reach as it leaves,
Should I sing these thoughts to you?

along with the PV, tell a story. A woman (Kumi) had a fight with her boyfriend, the scene giving me the impression that her boyfriend was breaking up with her. The woman tries to make up through a text, only to find out that he died.

The whole package of Moon Crying is extremely touching, I feel it’s one Koda’s best ballads. This song alone could have made me buy the single.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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2. That ain’t cool feat. Fergie

When I first saw this on the track listing, I thought there was a typo on the CD! It’s an unusual pairing; Fergie being quite a big name in the US, and then for her to pair with a better-than-average J-pop star is just uncanny. However, That ain’t cool doesn’t really strike me as part of a ‘four seasons’ single. If I had to place it somewhere, I would say it’s a late spring song.

Now, the track listing states That ain’t cool feat. Fergie but it’s more like That ain’t cool feat. Koda Kumi. Kuu only sings alone for one verse and for the rest of the time, she acts as a quiet back-up for Fergie. Koda’s English is a little chunky; a full English song is what I’d expect from Ayumi Hamasaki rather than Koda Kumi, with Ayu at least being more experienced with the language. Koda’s English occasionally becomes incomprehensible, further tarnishing this track. Surprisingly, Fergie wrote and composed the song for Koda as a gift and while Fergie’s vocals are enjoyable, it’s not her single. Overall, this whole track isn’t a strong point for Kuu.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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3. Once Again

I’ve always been a fan of Pushim, and when I heard she wrote Once again it was the first track I played. Pushim also provides the back-up vocals for Koda. Once Again being an autumn song seems to be slightly out of its class; it being one of the few happy autumn songs available to listeners.

The song is straight R&B with relaxed vocals and percussion based music. It gives me a tropical feel with steel drums, and a slow happy beat. Kuu seems to happily describe a meeting with an old friend ‘once again’. Vocally, Koda gives a cheerful, content vibe. Once Again brings a new, slower, happier genre, making the single feel more complete.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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4. Lady Go!

Lady Go! is my favourite track on this single. It’s upbeat, fun, and light hearted mood are clear indicators that this is a summer song. Lady Go! was unfortunately the least advertised song on the single with ‘Moon Crying’ definitely taking the limelight and ‘That ain’t cool’ and ‘Once Again’ having tie-ins with other artists.

‘Lady Go!’ starts with a mix of synthesized instruments with a dance beat, similar to Dance/Electro-Pop artists such as Perfume. With Kuu’s sugar coated vocals, the song boast lots of energy and sass. The chorus is an extremely simple loop consisting of:

Lady ready go!
Here we, Here we go,
I don’t miss you.
I don’t wanna miss you!

This song rivals a similar release, WIND, as my favourite Kuu tune. Koda has released many light hearted songs, but this is a song you don’t want to pass up.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Conclusion:

Moon lives up to Koda’s quad A-side expectations. All of the tracks were great, except probably that ain’t cool just not being Kuu’s song. The deluxe packaging was very nice, and the CD+DVD version wasn’t more than $30 on YesAsia. MOON is still just approaching a week in sales, but so far look promising, just passing Freaky in terms of daily sales. If you are not a fan of Koda Kumi, this single will turn you around, it’s a must buy.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

 

'Moon' CD cover
CD only version
'Moon' DVD cover
CD+DVD version

Tracklist:

  1. Moon Crying
  2. That ain’t cool
  3. Once again
  4. Lady Go!
  5. Moon Crying ~instrumental~
  6. That ain’t cool ~instrumental~
  7. Once again ~instrumental~
  8. Lady Go! ~instrumental~

DVD Tracklist:

  1. Moon Crying PV
  2. That ain’t cool PV
  3. Moon Crying ~making of~
  4. That ain’t cool ~making of~

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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About the author

trinka is a bit scatter brained and tends to rely on senior writers, but he is definitely here to stay and will become a better writer with time.

{ 1 trackback }

International Wota » Avex Trax Blogs » [Blogs] Channel-Ai loves the MOON UNITED STATES
June 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

lala INDIA October 10, 2008 at 8:23 am

I am not really her fan but this one was really nice. I loved moon crying and an addicted to lady go and once again.

Reply

Mina AUSTRALIA September 25, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Maybe it was her clothes (or lack of) that made me go 0o0!!! And freak out – but it was a long time ago, when I was still an innocent (not that I’m not now ^_^). And probably the expression on her face. There were quite some descriptions about the bad things in the PV at some of her threads, so I’m not going to watch it…-__-

Reply

UltraStationJin September 24, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Haha! That’s hilarious! I’ll have to check it out soon.

Well what exactly did you see that made you go, “HOLD UP! WAIT A MINUTE! I CAN’ T WATCH ANYMORE OF THIS CRAP!” ?

Reply

Mina AUSTRALIA September 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

The Juicy PV; which I can’t even watch. I tried but stopped at the moment she appeared in the PV; it was too unbearable!

Reply

UltraStationJin September 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

What “Juicy Thing”?

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Mina AUSTRALIA September 23, 2008 at 9:21 pm

^ Apparently she was so embarrassed about the Juicy thing that she couldn’t perform it live… explains why it was never on the live tour… amazing how she could do it for the pv though -_-||

She’s pulling away from the image since she hasn’t gone all ero-kawaii/kakoii for ages…

I agree; I wish she could a more Namie version of sexy… but then; there wouldn’t be any uniqueness, would there?

Reply

UltraStationJin September 23, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Sex sells and Kumi wasn’t doing so hot in the beginning of her career. They made her get all sexy and she started selling. I don’t know if she likes her image or not, but I do wish she was a little more classy with her sexy.

Reply

remblue UNITED STATES July 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I admit that Koda Kumi’s sex appeal probably is a reason many ppl don’t like her music . Although I understand that also ppl might just not like her music. I am a huge Koda fan & I love her music, have all her singles & albums, photobooks, and calendars . But sometimes I find her sex appeal to be a strong turn off. It’s bad taste regardless if she sells cds more because of it. I try not to judge her on that ALTHOUGH I will admit it’s hard not to see it, when some of her PVs, Covers, lyrics, and concerts are drowned in it :( I love her music, and sometimes I wish she didn’t do the whole ero-kakkoi thing, ( I hope I got that right) Sexy is okay as long as you do it right, and sometimes it can come off too strong by Ku. I love Ku, but I understand why ppl don’t like her. Personally I like the way Ai-chan pulled it off in the Heart PV. You don’t have to be sleazy to be sexy.

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DJAeon July 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Mina I’ll be sure to fix that

Reply

Mina AUSTRALIA July 4, 2008 at 6:29 am

I agree with allan (ARAN) baguisa estrella; I didn’t like Koda Kumi because of her umm… well; sex appeal…. Amuro Namie seems better when it comes to ’sexy’.

However; I quite liked some of these songs from the MOON single…

I liked the backing track (why does she always have the best backing tracks ever???) to Moon Crying but the vocals….-_-

I liked Lady Go! the best – an awesome summer track – upbeat covers up the blemishes in her vocals, but I have to comment on the fact that the lyrics aren’t

Anywhere you go,
here we, here we go,
I’ll miss you!
I don’t wanna miss you!

but are…

Lady ready go!
Here we, Here we go,
I don’t miss you.
I don’t wanna miss you!

Sorry – just thought you might want to know…-_-

Reply

ぴせ ☆ ちゅう June 28, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Well allan (ARAN) baguisa estrella, your certainly entitled to your opinion. To me there’s not a need for a single released in asia doesn’t need ‘asain’, and I really don’t have any offecnce to sex appeal however ‘awkward’. I do enjoy Koda’s relases and it was nice to hear the song with kuu’s vocals. Like I said it’s your opinion.

Oh and also, I support ’straight artist for gay rights’.

Reply

allan (ARAN) baguisa estrella UNITED STATES June 28, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I’m not fan of Koda Kumi really becuase she is very lwed, if any of her songs I like it would be “Once Again” and “Get Up & Move!!!”. Anyway the single to me is not really soild to my oppinion. Well, “That ain’t cool (Koda Kumi feat. Fergie)” has an “okay” beat, but it is SO NOT Asian because it is in 98% English and Koda Kumi sounds like a prostitute who wants it real bad. Plus the video was wierd and they were like lesbians except back-to-back and fergie did a wired position while sitting on a table again, “REALLY AWKWARD” *rolling eyes*…….. But, “Once Again” was really nice, if only PUSHIM was the only one singing that song and put it in her “RAINBOW” single… Oh well…

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remblue UNITED STATES June 28, 2008 at 1:04 pm

mu-mo exclusives -_-’ Ah well at least I got the single. Though the covers were really beautiful and it would of been nice to have a deluxe edition (._.) It’s alright, I was able to get a Mirrorcle World deluxe version which was nice but it would of been nicer had it been one you could just open up like a book and have the cds in there, rather than 2 separate cd cases inside the box !

Reply

ぴせ ☆ ちゅう June 27, 2008 at 1:05 am

Thank you remblue,
about the deluxe editions, they were available on mu-mo as exclusives. They were much more expensive, running around ¥2,190 for DVD+CD, about $20.61. It doesn’t sound like much, but considering Ayu’s Mirrorcle World was only ¥1,890, it’s quite a jump.

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remblue UNITED STATES June 26, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Nice review. I thought that single was very good for a comeback. Moon Crying is a beautiful ballad. <3 And my favorite 2 on here is Once Again and Lady Go! =) For me they were new and refreshing. I am confused though about the deluxe version you are talking about. When was that available :? was it only for her fanclub? Or on mu-mo shop? I got the first press with the piano track but that’s about all :( Well regardless it’s a good single.

Reply

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