KOKIA – I Found You

March 30, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Posted in KOKIA | 5 Comments

KOKIA – I Found You

1. Family Tree
2. Oishii Oto yum yum music
3. Recover
4. Solace~Kioku no Mori ni Tsumoru Kaiga
5. Ogre to Umarete
6. I Found the Love
7. Make Sense
8. Dear Armstrong
9. I Found You
10. Tabi Ressha life train
11. Muryoku to Shitta Hi

♦ ♦ ♦

I Found You is the fourteenth album by Japanese singer KOKIA, released on March 18, 2015.

Family Tree opens the album in a very soft and serene way. Although I’m familiar with the way KOKIA uses her voice, her amazing adlibs and vocal techniques here amazed me once more. This song is a beautiful ballad set to piano and strings, with the harmonies and singing melodies stealing the show, reminding me again of how breathtaking KOKIA’s music can be.

The next song has a more bouncy quality. Oishii Oto yum yum music displays KOKIA’s more bluesy vocal style, while the music is influenced by pop music. What surprises me is that KOKIA’s vocals remain so light and distant compared to the quite energetic and uplifting arrangement, but the song as a whole is very catchy to say the least.

Recover has an interesting arrangement. While feeling more like a ballad because of its soft use of piano and guitar strokes, there is a little tempo to it in its soft percussion in the background. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before and it seems like this is another original KOKIA creation no other artist can come up with.

Solace~Kioku no Mori ni Tsumoru Kaiga finds itself more in the epic ballad category than any of the other songs up until now and it also brings out KOKIA’s more operatic vocal skills further along in the song. In my current mood, I think it’s more like the perfect lullaby song than that it actually grabs my attention, but other than that it’s actually very pretty!

I’m gonna dub KOKIA the new queen of ballads and epic use of vocals. Ogre to Umarete is a more accessible ballad song for me because it actually has a buildup in the arrangement. It strives towards a highlight and the song as a whole accentuates KOKIA’s perfect vocals. Although there is a lot of repetition in the song, it doesn’t really matter to me this time.

If you guys know me well, you probably know I don’t like too many ballads in a row. HOWEVER, I Found the Love is clearly an exception to the rule. It’s a soft piano ballad and although there are already more ballad tracks than midtempo/uptempo on this album, this one is bound to take your breath away. KOKIA’s harmonizations in the chorus are more than perfect and it made me dream away instantly. The real recommendation on this album!

Make Sense is the shortest track on the album at about 2:40 and also probably the most unique song on the album. It’s fully in English and sung to an acoustic guitar only. It has a very intimate feel, very genuine too, and I have to compliment KOKIA on her English. Simple yet stunning!

I have no idea what Dear Armstrong is about but the title is quite interesting. This is probably another lullaby-like song, but a very pretty one indeed. Its arrangement is led by a piano and a beautiful violin in the background, which makes it sound quite emotional. KOKIA’s vocals are again top notch, especially in the chorus.

So there we have the title song I Found You, not surprisingly another ballad but by now I’m quite done with my old ways and I actually welcome this sound (if it’s done by KOKIA, mind you). The melodies in this song are amazing, it’s all so simple yet it sounds so effortful, I can actually fall in love with this song right now.

There’s a little more tempo to Tabi Ressha life train although it stays in a very safe and soft place. The unexpected aspect of the song is the pattern of the soft percussion in the background, it gives the song a more bouncy quality. A unique track to say the least, very enjoyable.

Muryoku to Shitta Hi closes the album very much in the same spirit as most of the other tracks: soft and pretty. What distinguishes this track from the others is the tempo (a little hard to follow at times) and use of instruments, with KOKIA doing more of her echoed adlibs in the background. A serene track to close the album.

So… I wasn’t expecting to like this album this much, especially since I’m a fan of a little variation when it comes to ballads and uptempo stuff. Yet there IS variation in KOKIA’s songs, even though most of them are indeed ballads. It took me a little time to get that into my head, but now there is so much I appreciate about this album. There is something in every song that makes it unique and memorable and if you ask me, you have to be a very good songwriter to obtain something like that. As you can see, practically three third of the songs is among my favorite tracks. Not convinced yet? Just download the album alright.

Favorite tracks: Family Tree | Oishii Oto yum yum music | Recover | I Found the Love | Make Sense | Dear Armstrong| I Found You

4½ stars

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