Koda Kumi – Dejavu

February 27, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Koda Kumi – Dejavu

1. Prologue to Dejavu
2. POP DIVA
3. Lollipop
4. Okay
5. Aitakute (逢いたくて)
6. Passing By
7. AT THE WEEK END
8. Interlude to Dejavu
9. Melting
10. Hey baby!
11. Choi Tashi Life (ちょい足しLife)
12. Anata Dake ga (あなただけが)
13. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. (好きで、好きで、好きで。)
14. Bambi
15. I Don’t Love You !??

♦ ♦ ♦

Dejavu is the ninth studio album released by Japanese singer Koda Kumi. It will be released on March 2, 2011 in three versions: a limited CD+2DVD edition, a regular CD+DVD edition, and a regular CD-only edition. The CD+DVD edition only becomes available when the CD+2DVD edition is sold out.

I was impressed by Prologue to Dejavu, it sounds so much like the creepy opening to a fairytale before the marching drums come right in to give it more of an army ambience. It’s a beautiful prologue, it can give you all kinds of emotions and I loved the line ‘Why won’t you come with me to my dejavu‘.

The prologue transitions right into POP DIVA, as if it’s one track. I have to admit Kuu knows how to open an album in a fierce way, she kicks ass with this great uptempo track. I remember comparing this track to TABOO, but POP DIVA can beat it with ease. The electropop genre fits Kuu well, next to her signature J-Urban sound. The synths give this track an agressive feel, and I love Kumi’s altered vocals.

Lollipop was the only track I really loved from the Gossip Candy single, so I’m glad this one’s on the menu instead of the fishbowls. Finally a little more of Kuu’s slutty side (‘Lick my lollipop‘), tracks like these are still the ones I love most. It features a good bass in the background and also some low synths to make it danceable. It appears Kuu sings ‘I dodge a bullet, bullet, baby boy we’re gonna pull it‘, but I keep hearing ‘I touch your booty, booty, baby boy we’re gonna party‘ XD  Is it just me or…?

Moving on to a slower song, Okay. It’s a slow R&B track in the style of BENI with a lot of synths in the background to add a little spice to the song. The male in the first part of the song was like wtf, but okay, Kuu improved the rest. The only thing I missed here was a male rapper in the bridge, so the songs tends to drag a little bit after some minutes, but it doesn’t mean it’s all boring. It’s a decent track.

Aitakute (逢いたくて) is the first real ballad on the album, and I’m surprised it’s so laid back. It makes me think of ‘feel’ quite a lot, but then with a little bounce to it. It’s more like what she used to do back in the day, and already then she made great songs. Her soft vocals are perfect this time, no drama at all, and every part of the song moves me.

I wonder who that male in Passing By is (sounds like Akon…?), he and Kuu sound so good together and their vocal performances actually add up to the song in a great way! It’s another ballad, but because of this little surprise, it becomes more of a surprise after all. This ballad prominently features a piano, percussion and some soft synths, and it’s so pretty all together. Kuu’s higher notes are beautiful too.

Back to the uptempo tracks! AT THE WEEK END immediately throws some heavy beats and synths into the game, it’s a huge wake up call from those ballads and it’s very welcome. I like the fierce side of Kumi’s voice, it has so much attitude she can totally blow you away with this. It’s better than some of the other harder songs she has done during her carreer, I love it.

Back to the creepy fairytale… Interlude for Dejavu is part II of the prologue, but then… ten times better. Kuu’s Engrish is actually understandeable, how curious! This beats the prologue, period XD

‘Melting chocolate...’, lalala… Love the lyrics. Melting is an odd mixture between soft electropop and cute pop with some chimes and cuteness all over, but I just recently became a member of the LastFM group ‘Unlike everyone we like the cute pop songs j-singers release’, so need I say more? It’s also one of the first songs on the album to feature more prominent vocals by Kuu, instead of her lower pitched singing voice.

Hey baby! is a very short track (2:35), but it’s fun, my gosh. It’s another more agressive synth song in the style of POP DIVA and AT THE WEEK END, but with more funny sound effects and it really sounds like Kumi had a good time recording this track. It takes after the prologue and interlude with a little army-ish bridge, but as for the rest it’s all fieeeerce.

Choi Tashi Life (ちょい足しLife) is the song featured on Kuu’s website, so I already knew this one a bit. It’s a lighter pop song, but it has a quick tempo to it and a little synth influence. It’s cute, but not overly cute, so I think anyone can dig this song. The clapping in the bridge was catchy, and I think I like this song more and more every minute.

Finally, my favorite A-side ballad! Anata Dake ga (あなただけが) is one song I can’t get enough of because of its blend of piano, strings and a lovely bass heavy R&B beat with handclaps during the entire song. The chorus is beautiful, the verses are so light and the entire song has a certain emotion that moves me. I loved Kumi’s vocals here as well, so lovely. I enjoyed every minute of this *keeps on playing, and playing, and playing XD*

The other ballad from the same single is Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. (好きで、好きで、好きで。), and although I like it pretty much, I thought Anata Dake ga (あなただけが) was better. The verses were better than the chorus in my opinion, something about the chorus just didn’t get to me. It’s a real drama song, very theatrical and emotional, just like the PV she did for this track. Still, I quite like this track, there are lots of parts I did like to listen to.

Who would call a song Bambi?? Hehe, this cracked me up like heck, also because this is actually quite a cute pop/rock song, there was indeed something very ‘bambi’ to it. It’s interesting, because pop/rock and cute songs are complete opposites and this track embodies both, which is quite a prestation. I start to love it, despite the title.

Kuu’s previous album ended with a ballad, but Dejavu ends with an uptempo song. I Don’t Love You !?? isn’t over the top uptempo, but it is a relatively laid back synthpop song with a heavy beat. The chorus was very enjoyable, and I think she did a good job on this one and even a better job making this the ending track. She went out with a bang with this one!

I have to say this is one of the most solid releases by Koda Kumi, all of the songs fit together without sounding alike. That’s quite a prestation if you ask me, because other artists find it more difficult every day to write and compose unique songs (I’ll point at Ayu for this). The cover artwork made it look like this would be a very epic album, just like the prologue and interlude were epic. The rest of the songs suggested Kumi turned a little bit more to the electropop side with tracks like POP DIVA, but it’s not a shame at all because she did it all before. This album embodies her signature style from now on, and every track was enjoyable in its own way. I waited so long for this album, and it was all worth it, I love it!

Favorite tracks: Prologue to Dejavu | POP DIVA | Lollipop | Aitakute (逢いたくて) | Passing By | Interlude for Dejavu |Anata Dake ga (あなただけが)

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

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