MOON was Koda Kumi’s 40th single. It was released on June 11, 2008 and reached number 2 on the charts with 88,309 copies sold. With the first week sales, this single has already outsold her previous single anytime, and almost outsold LAST ANGEL feat. Tohoshinki. It was released in two versions, CD only edition and CD+DVD edition. This single is another “4 Elements” single like FREAKY and 4 hot wave, however it is unknown whether all four tracks will be featured on the album. The song Moon Crying was used as theme song for the new drama Puzzle. The song That Ain’t Cool is one of Kumi’s most up-scale collaborations, considering it’s the world famous Fergie, an American artist who was both part of the Black Eyed Peas and a solo artist. The first press bonus is a piano arranged version of Moon Crying, and a live performance from her Kingdom tour. This is Kumi’s first single since both the controversy and her latest album Kingdom.
1. Moon Crying
2. That Ain’t Cool feat. Fergie
3. Once Again
4. Lady Go!
5. Moon Crying (Piano Arrange Version)
6. Moon Crying (Instrumental)
7. That Ain’t Cool (Instrumental) feat. Fergie
8. Once Again (Instrumental)
9. Lady Go! (Instrumental)
Moon Crying, a true ballad. This song begins with the piano playing so lonely, later followed by Kumi’s voice. Kumi’s vocals here were rather impressive, especially before the chorus, and powerful. I really could care less about the verses in the sing, yet for some reason they sound so nice. The first chorus seemed a little bland, well vocal wise, but it was beautiful; and the climax was so fantastic. Naturally the next choruses would sound a lot better and more powerful than the original. I really loved the use of the piano, the drums, the twinkling, and even the violins. The ending was so awing and beautiful that you couldn’t help but love it. Although when I initially heard the song for the first time I really didn’t care about it, no where near as good as Yume no Uta, but after a listen I began to love it. It’s actually much better than I expected. Another great ballad for Kumi’s discography.
That Ain’t Cool feat. Fergie, or as I’d say, That Ain’t Cool feat. Kumi. The reason for that it because throughout the song it’s really Fergie who’s singing most of it, almost like Kumi’s being featured. And to top that off this song is almost entirely in English. But the one good thing is that this song is getting a lot of international press, mostly due to Fergie. The song begins with Fergie singing in English in some distorted electronic vocals. Fergie sings most of it, or if Kumi sings the chorus you can’t hear her that well. The verses were understandable and somewhat catchy. But the chorus naturally was the best part of the song, mostly due to the fantastic vocals, great music, and the use of English. As for Kumi’s vocals, well they sounded so out of place in the song and they weren’t all that great either sadly. This song mostly sounded like an all English song, rather than Japanese, something unexpected. And in the PV it seems that Fergie was the focus of it all, rather than Kumi. I only wish that Kumi had a bigger role in this song.
Once Again, the laid-back reggae tune. This song also managed to hype some people up as it was written by Japaneses reggae artist PUSHIM. The sounds of drums and that typical island vibe begin the song. Kumi sings at the very start, in English though. Then once she begins to sing in Japanese the mood changed a little, well that or the music. Anyway her vocals were perfection in this song. The verses were rather enjoyable here and the violins were a night treat. There really was no climax but you could tell where the chorus was. It was very lovely and just so calm; it was so laid-back and yet very addictive, especially with the English. I particularly loved the part of the song at the 2:33 point from there to the chorus was so phenomenal. A great summer hit, reggae really but still, a great summer hit.
Lady Go! the third in the trilogy! Like the previous last tracks on the 4 Elements singles, With your smile and girls, this song follows in their footsteps and is very pop. Perhaps not with the musical instruments, but definitely with the fantastic up-beat music, happy sugary pop, and a phenomenal chorus. The sounds of a thumping piano followed by a few synth elements open up this song, followed by Kumi’s fantastic vocals. She actually begins with the chorus, which sounds very up-beat and seemingly fast. The first words are in English naturally followed by some Japanese, and then it alternates. I must say that compared to the last few songs, this one is so much better. It was just full of life. The verses even managed to sound good, mostly due to the fact that it too moved pretty fast and the occasional distortions. This song is just perfect for the summer, pure fun in the sun!
Moon Crying (Piano Arrange Version) the piano version. This version is just the same as the original, as far as vocals go, except for the fact that the piano is the main instrument. I must say that I like the original more as there’s more of a climax and it sounds a heck of a lot better. This is also like the -Quiet Version- but not as good.
Overall Review: MOON was very 4 hot wave & FREAKY-esque. It was very similar in structure and design, well how they were totally different songs anyway but you get the idea. I really loved how she started her new era with some fantastic songs and a great single. And to my surprise I really loved every song on this single, a rarity it seems nowadays. And this single is such a step up from FREAKY, even though it seems like Moon Crying will be the only song featured on the album. A really big plus was the cover and scans, Kumi’s never looked this good in her scans. But, I did enjoy this single very much, just give it a shot. An exquisite and serene way to begin the new era.
Final Grade: 100A+