BEST ~second session~

BEST ~second session~ was Koda Kumi’s 2nd compilation. It was released on March 8, 2006, not even two whole weeks had passed since she released the last of her 12 Singles Collection. This album is considered a Best of… or compilation album and contains all the A-Sides of her 12 Singles collection except for Boys♥Girls. There are three new tracks found on this album. As for sales, this album went on to sell 983,359 copies in the first week making it number 1 on the charts. The album is also the first highest selling album since Utada Hikaru’s Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.1 which sold over 1.4 million copies. This album also spent two weeks at number 1 on the charts in both Japan and the World Charts, this is a feat that no other Asian artist has accomplished. It also managed to be the number 2 album in Japan on the yearly charts with 1.7 million copies sold. In all this album has sold more than 1.8 million copies around the world.

Best ~Second Session~

1. Introduction To The Second Session
2. D.D.D. feat SOULHEAD
3. you
4. Candy feat. Mr. Blistah
5. Shake It Up
6. feel
8. Love Goes Like…
9. No Regret
10. Birthday Eve
11. Lies
12. Ima Sugu Hoshii
13. KAMEN feat. Ishii Tatsuya
14. Someday
15. A Whole New World feat. Peabo Bryson

Introduction To The Second Session kicks off this amazing album. This intro is sung in English and feature some amazing instrumentals that are very Indian-like, similar almost to Candy. It was originally part of the song Get It On, which was a cell phone exclusive song. Such a stunning opening.

Following is D.D.D feat SOULHEAD. This song is your basic average R&B tune filled with the occasional guitar riffs and percussion. This song is really all about girl power, and a little reminiscent of Lady Marmalade. It features some intense beats and incredible vocals. Kuu’s vocals are just amazing and SOULHEAD’s are great. Oddly enough this song was extremely catchy, the melody was just insane. A perfect song for the second session.

Next is the song that gave Kuu her first no. 1 hit. you is one of Kuu’s most powerful ballads, and still is today. It’s filled with the sounds of the serene strings, the epic piano chords, and the acoustic guitar. The music is mid-tempo, and the instrumentals are amazing. The melody is spectacular and quite memorable. The vocals were just awing; there was so much power and so much emotion in Kuu’s vocals. Such a moving and profound song.

Still one of my favorites from Kuu is Candy feat. Mr. Blistah. This song is a fusion of R&B and a style of middle eastern music, for some reason belly dancing comes to mind. Blistah’s voice gets somewhat annoying but it’s standable. Kumi’s vocals on the other hand were a lot better, and even her English was good. The music was smooth and the beats were sweet. The chorus was the best part of the song without a doubt, and it was extremely catchy despite being a mid-tempo.

Shake It Up, the infamous Caribbean hit. This song has that distinct island vibe, mostly from the beats and instrumentals. Here here English could be a bit better, but her vocals are great. The whole “Oi-Oi-Oh!” part is an interesting touch, but nonetheless it’s effective. The chorus with that “Oi-Oi-Oh!” is pretty catchy, the use of repetition no doubt. The verses seemed a bit bland for the most part, and the instrumentals after the chorus were a little to long but those were the only main flaws. It’s still not a bad song though.

I’m still wondering how feel became Kuu’s second no. 1 hit. Maybe no other artist was releasing any other singles, because honestly this single seems to lack a lot. The music sounds nice because it’s very soft and laid-back, and the acoustic guitar doesn’t hurt. But I just couldn’t get over how bad the chorus was. I normally love English but this time it was just annoying and horrific.

After such a train wreck of a song, it gets better with WIND. This song is a pop song, but it’s incredible and anything but ordinary. Alongside the snaps and beats are the electric guitars and the strings. The melody was infectious as was the chorus. The vocals are great, but honestly nothing out of the ordinary. I still love this song though.

Love Goes Like… this song I can do a real review for. This song by far is my favorite track. This is also the first real new song on the album, the intro doesn’t really count. It has a little R&B vibe to it. This song has the most interesting music that seems to be a little synth, but that’s great. It has the catchiest chorus and verses ever in an song from Kumi that I’ve heard. And some of the chorus is in English, even better. This is by far a better example of what Kumi can do. This song did have a PV but it was released after her tour on her Koda Kumi Live Tour 2006~2007 ~Second Session~ DVD. Overall this is the best song on the album.

One of the most unique songs on the album is No Regret. This song is a full fledged dance song that has a great club feel. The chorus was fantastic and so catchy. The music was fantastic, very synth and techno oriented, it even featured some strings, perfect for the up-tempo nature of the song.

Birthday Eve is still one of the most up-beat songs on the entire album. Kuu’s vocals sound a lot sweeter and more innocent than in her other songs, and it’s a nice change. This sweet little pop song is filled with some amazing brass and percussion, a very lovable combination. The melody is simple and so awesome. It’s a really cute bubblegum, pop song.

Although the beats and the music is poppin’ I still can’t get into Lies. This R&B tune features some great acoustics but that’s about it. I still can’t get into the chorus because of how the English sounds, it’s rather atrocious. Although on the bright side, her vocals except for the English was good. It had so much potential sadly.

Ima Sugu Hoshii the dirtiest song that I’ve hear from Kuu. This is her worst song to date, honestly the lyrics are so perverted and dirty. Although even with that the music didn’t sound as bad as I thought it would. The beats were nice and the strings were amazing. I just couldn’t get over just how bad it was. I still wish this wasn’t on the album.

KAMEN feat. Ishii Tatsuya this is one of her songs with a featured artist. It guess you could call it a love song, but I’ve heard better. I wasn’t that thrilled about the chorus that much, or Tatsuya’s vocals for that matter. Kumi needs to sing by herself if it’s going to be with an artist like this. The review of KAMEN can be viewed here.

Someday, this was the last of the singles to be released. I would’ve rather had Boys♥Girls instead of this song but that’s okay. This song is still good, just not as good as the other song. Here’s the review for Someday.

A Whole New World feat. Peabo Bryson this is a cover song of the Disney’s Aladdin end song. This song was also only on the CD+2DVD, and it was the last of the new songs, so to say. The music sounds so good here. Bryson’s voice is good, however it doesn’t really go well with Kumi’s voice. And I can honestly say that Kumi’s voice isn’t that good in this song. English isn’t really her best language, she improves in another all English song called Twinkle, found on Black Cherry.

Overall Review: This album is really good, despite some mediocre and sleazy songs. But I think that this album was misnamed, I think that it should have been called a studio album instead of a BEST album, but that’s just me. But I did like the fact that it did have at least one good new song. How it managed to sell so many copies is beyond me, but the album is still good none the less. The score was hurt by a few of the songs other wise it would’ve been a lot better. Kumi needs to stick with her studio albums I think.

Final Grade: 88B



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