Kumi promoting 'MOON'
Artist: Koda Kumi
Product Code: RZCD-45934/B
Release Date: 2008.11.06
Highest Ranking: #2
Label: Rhythm Zone
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Moon Crying
- That ain’t cool
- Once again
- Lady Go!
- Moon Crying ~instrumental~
- That ain’t cool ~instrumental~
- Once again ~instrumental~
- Lady Go! ~instrumental~
- Moon Crying PV
- That ain’t cool PV
- Moon Crying ~making of~
- That ain’t cool ~making of~