Dejavu was Koda Kumi’s 9th studio album. It was released on March 2, 2011 and debuted at no. 1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 138,005 copies sold. In all this album has sold over 190,275+ copies. This is her first album since secret to not sell over 200,000 copies in its first week. It was released in a limited CD+2DVD edition, as well as CD+DVD edition, and finally a CD-Only edition.
1. Prologue to Dejavu
2. POP DIVA
6. Passing By
7. AT THE WEEKEND
8. Interlude to Dejavu
10. Hey baby!
11. Choi Tashi Life
12. Anata Dake ga
13. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de.
15. I Don’t Love You !??
So let’s face it. Kuu’s popularity peaked in later 2005-2006, and it’s been 5-6 years depending on how you look at it since then. The physical sales of this album are just pitiful, I’m starting to sense another BoA happening, where album sales plummet exponentially. Then again, all physical sales are down too, not quite sure if Kuu is done, or if Japan as a whole is hurting money wise; it could also be due to the tsunami and earthquake as well.
So this album was released a little over a year after her last album UNIVERSE. I loved UNIVERSE, I thought it was pretty hot, just my opinion. I saw the covers for this album and I was blown away. It kinda reminded me of Ayu’s failure of an album which will not be named, which had a circus like vibe, a different vibe than TRICK, but still a circus vibe.
Kuu kicks things off with the Prologue to Dejavu. It’s pretty eerie IMO, as if it’s sounding off some dark and mystical parade. Creepy for the most part, but still intriguing. Then POP DIVA follows. I still think this song is a hot mess, that I shouldn’t like, but it’s just so catchy and so infectious that I can’t help but like it. It’s one of those songs that you hate to love because it’s bad, yet so good. Her summer sizzling song LOLLIPOP is next. The lyrics are pretty ridiculous, and while I shouldn’t like the song, I like it; doesn’t hurt that it’s incredibly catchy either though.
The first new track on the album is entitled Okay, which is actually good. The song is infused with large amounts of synth, which is probably why I like it so much. The music is easily a club/dance song, with a mid-tempo, synth/electronic arrangement. I really loved all the distortions, especially the vocal ones. Things get mixed up a little with the ballad Aitakute. This is a true mid-tempo ballad. It almost has a jazz persona, it’s very soothing and calming. It leads into the wonderful piano driven ballad entitled Passing By, which features some male vocals; not all that terrible actually. The synth riffs, as well as the vocals were just incredible, especially the male’s vocals; and Kuu’s English was great as well. Wasn’t expecting a duet at all to say the least.
Not quite sure why AT THE WEEKEND wasn’t grouped with Okay, the whole aggressive synth music makes me think they should’ve been put together. The music is pretty energetic, full of thumping synth and aggressive beats, not to mention some sick distortions and clubbin music. On the bight side, it did lead into the Interlude to Dejavu. It has the same dark eerie intro as the intro, but there’s actually some vocals this time, English ones too. I kinda wish it would’ve been a song actually, great distortions and creepy music!
So at least I know why the interlude was placed where it was, this next half of the album is mostly up-beat, or stunning ballads, nothing aggressive and fierce, which isn’t necessarily bad. Up first is Melting, aka supposed to be on POP DIVA. The song is rather childish, and adorable, kinda like Lick me ♥. Definitely very sweet and innocent sounding, especially with all the brass style instrumentals, and all the up-beat music. Hey baby! is pretty damn up-beat, bordering on sexy almost, still has a pop-rock feel to it though, the music is a bit aggressive, but it’s still great IMO. Choi Tashi Life happens to be the cutest, most up-beat and energetic song on the album. The music is very happy-feel good, the beats are catchy, and even the music is adorable and innocent sounding. These three songs are pretty much G-rated as far as sound goes IMO, kawaii Kuu clearly rules here.
The two major ballads she released as singles were both included too. Anata Dake ga was a lovely piano driven ballad that was filled with some classical strings, not to mention some more modern synth riffs. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. was another phenomenal ballad, this one was more acoustic driven though, it still showcased some classical elements, but the acoustics and guitar riffs were the most prominent features, although the strings were still perfect. Bambi was kinda rockish, so I was wondering why it was placed here…. I actually didn’t find this song remotely interesting, nor was it catchy. It was a country flop, best was to describe it. As for I Don’t Love You !??, this was one song that was too short, but I wish that it were longer. The song was infectious IMO, the beats were great, the synth/electronic music was creative to say the least. And it sounded so different than her usual stuff.
While I liked Universe and loved TRICK, I didn’t enjoy this album quite as much as I thought I would. First of all, I kinda feel to some degree that this album was a bit rushed, I mean a year and a half wouldn’t be a bad wait time for Kuu IMO. I felt like some of the stuff she released prior to this album wasn’t nearly up to par with some of her earlier works. I mean there were only three singles released, and one of them was a month or so before the album and it was essentially a flop. As far as this album goes, you had your typical fierce, sexy Kuu songs, the beautiful ballads, the kawaii Kuu songs that were so cutesy, and them there were a random track or two. I did enjoy some of her fierce infectious tracks, but it’s starting to all sound the same, there’s no sense of originality anymore to some degree. Some of her cutesy songs were catchy and nice, but only a few will be all that memorable. As for her ballads, it would’ve been nice to have another new phenomenal ballad, Passing By was probably the one song that really stood out as far as her new tracks go. There was some potential, but it feel flat in the end. She could have at least included more songs from her singles, like the fishbowl songs, they would’ve made the album 10 times better! Does this remind you of Ayu’s album that had some British inspiration??? And on one final note, this album barely beat Avril Lavigne’s album for the no. 1 spot in Japan, there’s something wrong with that picture….
Passing By || Okay || AT THE WEEKEND || Hey Baby! || Anata Dake ga