LOVE & HONEY
LOVE & HONEY was Koda Kumi’s 11th single. It was released on May 26, 2004 and reached number 4 on the charts with 34,681 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 150,634+ copies. The A-Side, Cutie Honey was used as the theme song for the anime Re: Cutie Honey. This is also one of the few singles to not be named after the A-Side, and it’s the first single in the Secret Era. Another little interesting fact is that this single started Kumi’s so called “ero-kakoii” or sexy-cool era, something that Kumi has become famous for in the business.
1. Cutie Honey
2. The Theme of Sister Jill (~LOVE & HONEY version~ CD Only version)
3. Yogiri no Honey
4. Into your heart
5. Cutie Honey (Instrumental)
6. Into your heart (Instrumental)
Cutie Honey, the sexy theme song. Now at first glance, this song might seem to be so dull and very cute, but that’s only the name. Instead, this song is very fast paced and very very cool, in a song way. Anyway, the sounds of a quick paced cello strumming followed by beats open up this song. Then the sounds become more aggressive, just a little, and the orchestra plays and then Kumi begins to sing. To my surprise I found Kumi’s vocals to be excellent and the verses to be catchy and pleasant for once. The music itself was such a treat, it was catchy by itself, especially the orchestra playing periodically. The chorus was no exception either, it was fast and so moving, in a fast speed dancing way. It was remarkably catchy and so amazing. The bridge was that same fast paced music with a trumpet and flute, with a few background vocals. This has got to be one of the best theme songs that she’s done, well in the past anyway. The PV for this song was rather enjoyable, and you can see how it began her new sexy-cool era. As for the lyrics, I must admit that it’s a little odd mentioning a little bottom, nicest breasts, and skin like a kitten, but it does all make sense. I just wish she could pronounce the English better.
The Theme of Sister Jill, another theme song. This song was used as the theme song for the Cutie Honey Movie. This song is very short, being a little over one minute. Kumi’s vocals are OK here. I’m not sure if she’s singing in English the whole time, but when she is, it’s not the best. In the background there are some other vocals that have a calming effect. It’s hard to describe the music, but it’s mid-tempo and a little heavenly, just a bit. An interesting song for sure, maybe the ~LOVE & HONEY~ version is better?
Yogiri no Honey, the unique love song. The sound of a harp sounds followed by some wind sounds sound off this song. Followed by some constant snaps, Kumi begins to sing. The music is slow paced and the piano doesn’t help it sound faster either. The whole “Sweet sweet Honey” in the background was OK, not the best, but it was tolerable. The verses were dull as ever, and the chorus, well it wasn’t that great either. It was hard to distinguish between the two and the climax wasn’t the greatest either. This is before Kumi got all popular and it’s pretty evident. Not the best song, but it did sound like a love song, almost.
Into your heart, the funky dance tune. Some very great, yet funking, sounding instrumentals along with dance music open up this song along with some background vocals. Kumi’s vocals are also pretty great here, and she manages to make the verses sound so catchy and energetic, rather than lazy and dull. The chorus is pretty much an improvement from the previous song as it’s catchy, and the fact that it sounds so happy and because it has structure. The instrumentals after the chorus were great too, not too overwhelming. It’s a great way to end this single, too bad it wasn’t on the album.
Overall Review: LOVE & HONEY was super Cawaii, with a capital C. You can be sure that this single began her new era, both style and album wise. I was just so thrilled with the first song, it was pure sexiness, well the PV, and it was just so energetic. The whole theme of Cutie Honey was pretty good too, and it was a great promotional tool for Kumi. I’m pretty shocked that this single was so good. A great way to begin the Secret Era.
Final Grade: 97A