March 26, 2015 at 2:43 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | Leave a comment


1. Introduction ~WALK OF MY LIFE~
2. Dance In The Rain
3. Lippy
4. Mercedes
5. Like It
6. House Party
7. Interlude ~Dance~
9. Gimme U
10. You can keep up with me
13. Fake Tongue
14. Sometimes Dreams Come True
15. LIFE so GOOD!!

♦ ♦ ♦

WALK OF MY LIFE is the twelfth studio album by Japanese singer Koda Kumi, released on March 18, 2015. The album peaked at #1 on the Oricon charts and sold 39,346 in its first week.

I had to get a little bit used to Introduction ~WALK OF MY LIFE~ because of that weird deep male voice, but now I think it’s kinda sassy and it represents the sound of the album very well. I liked Kuu’s vocals too, even though she had a small part in this piece herself.

The album starts off with a familiar song and one of Kuu’s best songs in a very long time: Dance In The Rain. I love the background beat and the fact that this song is filled with nice piano notes. It was weird finding this here after that big introduction, but nonetheless it works fine for me because this tune kicks ass. It brings me back to Kumi’s earlier days, which is a very good thing.

Lippy is what I call the first of a string of filler songs on this album. It’s also quite a messy song and although I love me some quirckiness at times, I know Kuu can do better than this. If I have to give her credit for something, it would be for her steady raps in the verses. Not a disaster, but it’s just not what the doctor ordered if you know what I mean.

I like the oldschool vibe of Mercedes with some brass instruments and nice drums in the background, also Kuu’s vocals take less after Ke$ha if you ask me. The arrangement lacks a little melody and it comes off as empty, but it’s a step forward from Lippy nonetheless.

Like It is like a mash-up of Lippy and Mercedes; the same musical style as Lippy (albeit with a little more urban influences and some Mexican-styled brass instruments) and the same emptiness that Mercedes had when it comes to the music. This song is a little under three minutes which is just about enough, and it closes the string of filler tracks.

Even though I don’t like “let’s party!” types of songs, House Party is enjoyable. It displays Kuu’s amazing amount of energy as an entertainer. I don’t even mind the male rapper and the ‘the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire‘ line, it actually cracked me up big time. Not the most interesting track but it’s more catchy than the previous three.

I would’ve loved to see Interlude ~Dance~ evolve into a full length track, it’s short but it has a lot of potential. It needs a little more ‘oomph’, but it’s close enough.

So finally one of my favorite tracks is coming up: HOTEL! I never expected to like this track so much but it has everything so many other songs up until now lack. It would’ve been perfect after the introduction track because of its distinct urban sound, great beats and bass, brass elements and vocals (I’ll pretend I didn’t hear the terrible Engrish though). Definitely one of my favorites!

Gimme U gave me instant happy feelings since it’s exactly what I wanted to hear on the album. Also, it works perfectly behind HOTEL with its R&B/Pop vibe. It’s like a continuation of HOTEL but with a cuter and happier vibe. Gimme more of ‘Gimme U’ please (pun intended)!

If you want energetic, You can keep up with me gives you energetic to the max. It’s one of the more edgy songs on the album and Kuu pushes herself with the aggressive vocals, but it works. It almost falls in the same category as songs like Lippy, but this song doesn’t irritate me that much. Better version.

MONEY IN MY BAG was on the ‘HOTEL’ single and I wasn’t expecting to see it here. I still think it’s right up HOTEL‘s alley with its urban feel and I like that sound and Kuu’s fierce approach, but it does have less production value than the better songs on the album. Still, not half bad.

One of the best new songs on the album must be PIECE IN THE PUZZLE. Every Koda Kumi has one killer rock song, and this is the one on this album. Kumi does this amazing tongue roll in the verses that instantly makes it catchier and the chorus is to die for. I could listen to this one multiple times in a row!

Sooo… I know it’s Fake Tongue but it sounds more like ‘Fake Tan’. ‘You’ve got your fake tan, fake tannn‘, catchy huh. Anyway, it tries its best to be like PIECE IN THE PUZZLE but it kind of fails if you ask me since the chorus is too much ‘in your face’ when compared to the steady verses. Kuu screams too much. Still, nice guitar solo.

Sometimes Dreams Come True is the happy ‘life is good’ song when it comes to the sound. It has more of a pop song approach through its soft use of electric guitars, handclap beats and snappy vibe. When it comes to the vocals, this is how I love to hear Kuu perform. Energetic, joyful and simple at its best.

Although it would’ve been a good summer song if I ignore my own opinion on the song, I wouldn’t mind LIFE so GOOD!! being left off the album. It’s catchy, but we’ve had enough generic songs on the album already and it doesn’t really add anything to the album at track #15. Still, I guess there are enough people out there that would really like this song and I understand (although just a tad).

At first I thought WALK OF MY LIFE was definitely gonna be a ballad, but I really don’t know what it is exactly. I’ll just treat it as a power ballad though. It’s not a real album closer, but it fits better on the album than most of the other songs. It’s more accessible for my taste and the arrangement is atypical, very original and breathtaking. This is Kuu staying true to herself, and this is what I would’ve loved to hear more.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m not too excited about the album as a whole. Right before it came out I felt the excitement build inside of me and I couldn’t wait! Then it leaked a few days before its physical release and I started to listen to it immediately on my way to Uni. I found out some of the tracks actually sounded alike and most of them brought out the Ke$ha in Kumi, something I don’t really like. The album has more of a Western urban sound than her previous albums had, which is not bad, it’s how she took that style to some of her tracks that just doesn’t work for me. Kuu, you should’ve deleted some of the tracks, an 11-track album is fine with me (without Lippy, Like It, LIFE so GOOD!!, Fake Tongue and the interlude). Oh well, chick releases an album every friggin year. =’)

Favorite tracks: Dance In The Rain | House Party | HOTEL | Gimme U | PIECE IN THE PUZZLE | Sometimes Dreams Come True | WALK OF MY LIFE

3 stars

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