Koda Kumi – DNA

August 22, 2018 at 1:26 PM | Posted in Koda Kumi | 1 Comment

Koda Kumi – DNA

1. Introduction ~My music is designed from my DNA~
3. Dangerous
5. ScREaM
7. Aenaku Naru Kurainara
9. Guess Who Is Back
11. Kokorokara I love you
12. Work That

♦ ♦ ♦

dna2DNA is the sixteenth studio album by Japanese singer Koda Kumi, released on August 22, 2018.

Introduction ~My music is designed from my DNA~ is a good intro track, not over the top and it’s like a teaser for the album. The music is electronic and mysterious, with Kumi’s vocals sounding like they’re from a robot or something.

The intro leads perfectly into HUSH, the second of Kumi’s latest three singles and this one was apparently saved for this album (the other two are on ‘AND’). Kuu sings ‘I bring the fire‘ and she couldn’t be more right. It’s a fierce and sassy track, a mixture between pop and soft hiphop and I’m instantly enthousiastic.

Dangerous has the same style as the intro track, more electronic than HUSH. It’s a busy track with lots of sound effects and it’s all over the place, but it works. It’s both fierce and fun, with a nice bounce to it.

With WATCH OUT!! ~DNA~ Kuu took it a bit too far. Take HUSH, mix it up with Dangerous and put it on steroids, then you get this track, but I don’t mean that in a good way. It could’ve been a solid track but it’s only giving me a headache.

Very funny Kumi, ‘I ScREaM‘ sounds like ice cream.. ScREaM is a normal track again, thankfully. It has a nice high hat beat and piano notes and leans towards the hiphop genre, so in that sense it’s like a track from ‘W FACE ~outside~’. It’s nice, but not the best, some parts just didn’t work for me, yet it’s so much better than WATCH OUT!! ~DNA~.

CHANCES ALL reminds me of ‘Okay’ off her album ‘Dejavu’, so that’s nice. Despite Kumi oversinging at some points, it’s a good track and more mellow than the other tracks so far. I find that I enjoy it very much and its chorus is so catchy.

Aenaku Naru Kurainara is the first ballad on the album’s tracklist and it’s a soft piano ballad as well. Eventually strings and percussion join in and the longer I listen to it, the more I start to like it. Kuu controls the emotion in her voice so well so she sounds perfect as well.

dna3Oh boy… I saw the PV for HAIRCUT when it was released and I didn’t know what to think except ‘WTF’. Some parts sound almost like Kuu wanted to make her own version of ‘Hair’, but I can’t take this seriously tbh. It’s not terrible or anything, just a weird little filler track.

Guess Who Is Back came as a big surprise because, wow, it has a fierce rock arrangement with lots of electric guitars and fast percussion, and a darn catchy chorus as well. I haven’t seen this side of her in a while, so it’s a welcome surprise as well. Guess who is back? It’s Kuu circa ‘Can We Go Back’!

HOT HOT is a very interesting track in a good way. It mixes rocky elements with an oldschool sounds that I really like while not making it over the top. It’s less in your face than the previous track was, but it might be even more memorable. This belongs to some of the best tracks Kuu has released in the last few years.

Then another ballad shows up, and from the start I liked this one even more than Aenaku Naru KurainaraKokorokara I love you reminds me of Kuu’s older ballads which were always good back in the day. It also has a more emotional touch to it but not too much, just right. I like the addition of the soft electric guitar in the arrangement as well. Amazing track!

Work That starts off almost acapella before the arrangement starts coming in piece by piece, and eventually it turns into a very danceable pop track. I’m a bit on the fence with Kuu’s vocals, they sound nagging and off key at times, but other than that it’s a decent track.

Kuu breaks it down one last time with PIN DROP, a sassy bop with a dance/pop arrangement. I like the addition of the brass instruments, haven’t heard that on the album, like, at all. Too bad Kuu’s vocals have been altered at points, mostly during adlibs, which is annoying, but other than that it’s a good track. Just not really an album closer, I need something epic like ‘WALK OF MY LIFE’.

With DNA, Kuu is almost back on her pedestal. ALMOST. It has so much more to offer than ‘AND’, which had only dance tracks and one ballad. There is much more variation on DNA and with that it appears to be a more solid and cohesive album. I forgive her the two missteps that WATCH OUT!! ~DNA~ and HAIR CUT are, they are outshone by most of the other tracks on the album. I was wondering whether Kuu will ever return to her former glory circa ‘Kingdom’, but with this she is one step closer.

Favorite songsHUSH | Dangerous | CHANCES ALL | Aenaku Naru Kurainara | Guess Who Is Back | HOT HOT | Kokorokara I love you

4 stars


1 Comment »

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  1. I was so pleasantly surprised with this release! I thought for sure it was going to be bad, but I actually ended up liking everything except “WATCH OUT!!”

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