Koda Kumi – ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~

October 15, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Koda Kumi – ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~

1. TATTOO
2. Love Is Over
3. SWEET MEMORIES
4. Ienai yo
5. O-ji Mae no Tsunderella
6. Megumi no Hito
7. BE MY BABY
8. Chiisana Koi no Uta
9. Wine Red no Kokoro
10. I love you, SAYONARA
11. Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~
12. Sayonara no Mukougawa

♦ ♦ ♦

ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~ is Japanese singer Koda Kumi’s first cover album and 16th album overall (including her 8 studio albums, 5 compilation albums and 2 remix albums). It was released on October 13, 2010. On this album, she covers Japanese songs that were released in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. In two days time, it has already sold more than 25,000 copies.

So the first song, called TATTOO, is already very ‘there’ to begin with. It’s a rock song with a lot of electric guitar riffs and some nice percussion as well, but I like the guitar riffs above all. In the chorus Kumi sings a very nice melody and some lovely ethereal synth effects are added. I think this quite a nice album opener, and it also gets funkier in the bridge first before going all the way with the guitar.

I love the old school textures in Love Is Over, which is more laid back, certainly when compared to the previous track. It’s kinda funky and it can easily be played when you’re lounging or something. I have never liked these kind of lounge songs very much, but I must say Kumi gives this song a pretty nice touch with her voice. It’s mostly based on a percussion beat, a jazzy piano melody and some cute funky synths.

This next song, SWEET MEMORIES, is quite similar to Love Is Over, but it features more of a tempo and it’s more likeable to me because of the guitar. The guitar follows a pattern that almost comes off as a total improvisation, which is jazz all over, so this is more of a jazz song to me. It seems like this sort of earlier musical styles fit Kumi very well, because she can easily add another dimension to these songs. And come on, this one’s just plain pretty.

Ienai yo can’t be a very old song, because it’s so similar to what Kumi does all the time: smooth midtempo R&B. So I think this song was almost made for her, it’s so much like her. The chorus is arranged beautifully and has such a nice melody, it’s easily likeable. The guitar solo in the bridge fits this musical style pretty much as well, although it came as a total surprise. I think this is the best song until now.

Wait… isn’t O-ji Mae no Tsunderella a song originally released by her sister misono? Than why is it on a cover album for 70s, 80s and 90s songs? Well, regardless, I remember misono’s version of the song so this can only get better because misono can’t sing in my opinion>. Because this song is more contemporary, this could be concidered as to be easily placed in Kuu’s discography without even noticing it’s not her song at all, it’s really her style. She totally blew her sister’s version away with this piano based ballad, so… give it up for the older sister!

I don’t know all the songs Kumi covered for this album, but I wonder if they all sounded so contemporary like they do now! I thought Megumi no Hito would be a ballad song, but that was one of my big mistakes because this track is very uptempo and so filled with terrific synthesizer effects! I think it could have easily been a bonus track for Kumi’s album TRICK (2009). Kumi’s higher pitched voice sounds very good this time, unlike her vocals in her own song  Inside Fishbowl’, featured on her single Gossip Candy. Also one of the better tracks!

I always thought Kumi’s ‘aaaaw’ screams were very infectuous, but this just proves it. In BE MY BABY, which sadly enough isn’t a cover of the song by The Ronettes (oh wait, this is a Japanese cover album!), her vocals are beautifully edited with a vocoder, an effect I have always loved on her voice. Another song with an overall dance/electro sound and a very contemporary sound, and she totally nailed this again. By the way, the higher pitched synth sounds remind me of a ringtone on my cellphone…

Gosh, I looove Chiisana Koi no Uta for its epic ambience, almost a bit like Kumi’s own song ‘Alive’, but then with more instrumentation and a little more spunk to it. The melody is very euphoric, and the use of echoes in the percussion and woodwinds in the chorus only make it even better. I was so impressed by this song, it’s such a great achievement for Kuu to cover this wonderful song! I’m totally satisfied with this, really.

Wine Red no Kokoro is a very slow tempo R&B ballad, so this fits into Kuu’s personal style a bit. I have always enjoyed handclap effects in percussion, so that part never lets me down. What does kind of let me down is the dragging quality of the song. It just flows on and on and on without giving me any highs at all. It’s such a shame, because it’s actually the first song on this album that I don’t really like, it’s a little too simple with just a piano and percussion.

The next ballad song, I love you, SAYONARA, has been spiced up in such a way it was almost boring, but then the funky piano solo and booming percussion drop in and those things give this song such a 180 turn. These are the effects that make this song more likeable, if they weren’t included it probably would have just passed me by. I love Kumi’s line where she sings ‘I love you, I love you, I love you‘.

Another ballad, and this one is a little more on the emotional side (which just proves there are even different types of ballads). Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~ features a lot of drama through the use of strings and a piano. No percussion this time, so this song has a certain amount of vulnerability all over. Kuu always does very well in emotional songs because her vocals can easily sound very theatrical. Even though the song is very emotional, it’s not sad or melancholic at all. It just ends way too soon, like… where did the song go??

Just what I was afraid of, the fourth ballad in a row… Still, Sayonara no Mukougawa isn’t boring at all because it has heavier percussion and other instruments like chimes and a piano, even a bass guitar in the verse. Not my favourite song at all, but there’s definitely something likeable about the chorus. The only ‘minus’ about this song are the English lyrics Kuu sings in the chorus. As always, I can’t understand a word she’s singing. Sort of Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~ part II. Regardless, I love the outro of this song.

ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~ was a quite decent and enjoyable album to listen to. I expected less from it, since I’m not much of a cover-lover, I’m more a fan of original studio albums, but most of the tracks on this cd were very nice to listen to. There were some good uptempo songs with very pleasant arrangements and instruments, but the ballads overruled the album, so I think Kuu could have balanced the album a little more. The last four tracks were all ballads, and two uptempo tracks were placed after each other right before that, so she should’ve taken those songs apart and planted one right after I love you, SAYONARA for example. Otherwise, I loved the diversity on this album, so it’s not an entire mess. It’s just very enjoyable, and a good release in between two original albums.

Favorite tracks: TATTOO | Ienai yo | Megumi no Hito | Chiisana Koi no Uta

OVERALL RATING

3½ stars

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: