Kingdom

Kingdom was Koda Kumi’s 6th studio album. It was released on January 30, 2008 and reached number 1 on the charts with 421,000+ copies sold. In all it was sold over 600,658+ copies. This album, like Black Cherry, was released in CD, CD+DVD, and CD+2DVD editions. This was also the first album to have a PV for each track.

Kingdom - Koda Kumi

Tracks:
1. Introduction For Kingdom
2. LAST ANGEL feat.Tohoshinki
3. Amai Wana
4. Himitsu
5. Ai no Uta
6. anytime
7. Under
8. BUT
9. Koi no Mahou
10. Aishou
11. Anata ga Shite Kureta Koto
12. Wonderland
13. FREAKY
14. MORE
15. Black Cherry

Review:
Introducing Kingdom is Introduction For Kingdom, quite original right? Honestly, after INTRODUCTION from Black Cherry I expected a lot from this track. While INTRODUCTION was aggressive, this song is more laid back and has a more romantic/love theme. Again all of it is in English even though all she says is “love” over and over. This is honestly a letdown, but it’s just an introduction. Although I have to admit that it is a nice intro though.

Kuu’s highest profile collaboration is with Tohoshinki and their hit single entitled LAST ANGEL. This is the only collaboration on the album, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s a bit dark with the lyrics and tone, but the music is just incredible. There are some heavy synth riffs in this song, along with some hip-hop elements, giving the song its own unique feel. The fact that there was some English didn’t hurt the song either, it actually made it better. And although Tohoshinki’s vocals were a bit annoying, Kuu’s made up for it all.

The first new song on the album entitled Amai Wana lit. Sweet Trap happens to be the first dance song too. This song has that distinct dance/club feel that makes it very dance friendly. And oddly enough with all the claps and snaps, it gives the song an edgy feel. Not only that, but with some of the instrumentals, the song gives off an exotic or foreign vibe, Indian like really.The vocals were outstanding for the most part, very sultry for the most parts. The song was ever pretty catchy, the melody was just insane and the beats were out of control. This is one of the best new songs on the album.

Initially I really thought that Himitsu lit. Secret was very boring, but after a while I fell in love with it. Compared to all of the tracks on the album so far, it’s pretty laid-back and relaxing. The beats give the song an R&B feeling, but the synth gives it a nice southing feel. Either way you have one amazing some. The lyrics are pretty romantic, they even mention Romeo & Juliet. The piano chords are just amazing and really make the song pretty catchy and memorable. The melody is pretty catchy, and the song overall is rather unique and amazing.

Need I say anymore about Ai no Uta lit. Love Song. This song is a genuine love song that is impressive to say the least. From the instant I heard it, I knew that I’d love it. There’s so much emotion and power in Kuu’s vocals and she really carries the song. The music is ballad oriented and very beautiful; the strings sound magnificent. It’s pretty catchy, even for a ballad. This song is the epitome of beauty and love, a must hear for any fan of ballads.

One of Kuu’s softer songs to say the least is anytime. It was released a week prior to the album to help push it, and it seemed to work for a while. Anyway, this song is pretty much a simple and sweet ballad-like song. It’s very innocent and happy and just all around adorable. The strings play a vital role in this song, but it sounds like the acoustic guitar is a bit more important. It’s a bit catchy, but it still lacks that wow factor, and the fact that Kuu’s vocals are the same for the most part doesn’t help it. Just skip to the next song.

By far one of the creepiest songs from Kuu is Under. It’s a pretty dark song and somewhat horror-like; most notably is the phone ringing then dying. The chorus isn’t to catchy but what can you do. Not only that but her English didn’t sound all that good, I mean part of the English sounded the same, either that or she mumbled. Although the synth lines were rather enjoyable. I’m not too sure about some of the other stuff but overall it was tolerable.

The strongest song on the album released as a single has got to be BUT. This aggressive song is destructive and driven by the percussion and synth lines. The thumping beats and the sultry vocals sound intense and really reflect the song’s tone. The melody is absolutely infectious as is the chorus. It’s one of the best dance songs on the album by far. And the English is pretty sweet!

Another sweet love song is Koi no Mahou lit. Magic of Love. It’s very up-beat and pretty fast, a nice change of pace from most of the songs. There’s a sugary pop feel to this song, making it pretty cheery and just plain happy. The song overall is rather catchy and enjoyable. The synth lines are amazing, as are the constant twinkling. And the English lines were nice too. Another enjoyable song.

While the ballads so far have been good, Aishou lit. Proof of Love seems to be the superior ballad. Released alongside BUT, Aishou was one of the first songs in the era, and still one of the best. It’s very acoustic oriented during the beginning, but when the chorus arrives it takes a rock stance. Kuu’s vocals are pretty deep but powerful nonetheless. And music wise it was incredible, rock oriented but it was still a ballad. Although I thought that borrowing a line from Love goes like… was a little unoriginal, but still impressive.

One of the most interesting songs happens to be Anata ga Shite Kureta Koto lit. The Things You Did. It’s not that it’s so odd, it’s just that it’s so different. She hasn’t really done a song like this. The acoustic guitar was playing constantly and it gave the song a Spanish feel. The music is light in the sense that it’s very easy on the ears, especially the claps. Overall I’d have to say that it’s catchy, and even a little fast paced. Although it’s also a little repetitive, that being said I still enjoy this song.

Get ready for happy, up-beat, sugary, bubblegum pop. Wonderland is one of Kuu’s fastest moving songs, as well as the sweetest and cutest to date. It’s very lighthearted and just altogether blissful. I wouldn’t go too far to call it really catchy, but it can be memorable to some extent. The piano was great, the bells were very religious, and the pop music amazing.

Getting back to what made Kuu famous is the roaring FREAKY. This song was released back in July and became Kuu’s fourth no. 1 single. Not only is it a rock song, featuring the fierce electric guitars and percussion, but it’s pretty sexy too, in an adult sort of way. The vocals are fierce and aggressive, the complete opposite from most of the songs on the album, that and the fact that they sounded sultry and had some distortions. Impressive to say the least.

In my opinion, the song hits rock bottom with MORE. The piano might dazzling and sound great, but that doesn’t really help the song. There’s a bit of a jazz feel, but for the most part it sounds like a romantic love song, even though it’s awful. The vocals were strong, but the background vocals really killed it. And honestly the melody was just horrible and there wasn’t enough variety to make this song sound good enough.

The final song on the album is one of the best and it happens to be the title track from her previous album Black Cherry. Originally it was INTRODUCTION from Black Cherry, but they decided to make it into a full song. This song for the most part uses the same music from the intro but this time it’s a bit better. The beats are hypnotic and the synth lines are just exhilerating. The chorus rocks and it’s incredible, and just as catchy as the original intro. But towards the end Kuu starts singing in English and it sounds really out of pace, as does the music; that’s the live performance for you. Despite that it’s still the perfect closing.

Overall Review: Kingdom was regal excellence! Although I couldn’t stand Kingdom originally, I love this album now. I still have a bone or two to pick with this album, but I have to admit that it’s not as bad as everyone had stated originally. It contained some of the best singles from Kuu’s career at the time and still does. Music wise it was a little scatterbrained but as a whole it’s great next to Black Cherry. A few of the songs could have been better, but most of the new songs could hold their own. The only question now is whether it’ll be replaced by TRICK was one of her greatest albums.

Final Grade: 94A-

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Comments
2 Responses to “Kingdom”
  1. vinyabarion says:

    “Find another track to listen to” was my opinion of Himitsu too.

    Amai Wana and Under were both dance songs… I loved those tracks! I wouldn’t say that BUT is the first dance song…

    I agree though, it was a tad dissapointing, I was very hyped about it also and while it wasn’t bad… it wasn’t as good as Black Cherry…

    Patrick
    vinyabarion.wordpress.com

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  1. […] 50,000+ copies. This single was released one week prior to the release of her 6th studio album Kingdom. This single also included a B-Side that will not be present on the album. The title track anytime […]



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