4 TIMES was Koda Kumi’s 50th single. It was released on August 17, 2011 and debuted at no. 6 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 54,773 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 64,310+ copies. It was released in a total of 4 editions, a CD-Only, CD+DVD, CD+Postcards Boxset, and a CD+Qlix Digital Camera. It is the first single in her new Era.
1. Introduction ~sunny time~
2. Poppin’love cocktail feat.TEEDA
3. Interlude ~sunset time~
4. IN THE AIR
5. Interlude ~midnight time~
7. Interlude ~time to…love~
I can’t believe that this is Koda Kumi’s 50th, that’s right, 50th single! It seems like it was only a few days ago that she released Kingdom and then said some true but controversial things, hard to believe it was over 3 years ago. She basically rose to popularity back in 2005 and it’s been 6 long years since. Every year since 2006’s 4 hot wave, she’s released a multiple A-side, summer single; and this single is no different. This also happens to be the first single since 3 SPLASH to feature PV’s for all of the songs. I kinda lost faith in Kuu after her disaster of an album, but I feel like this single has renewed my love of her (if only Ayu could do the same).
So for some unknown reason this single features an intro and three interludes, all of which just sound like the song they come before, and as a result, I will not be reviewing them. Think of it like 4 hot wave, the interludes just featured some instrumentals from the songs, same thing in this case.
The first A-Side is none other than her collaboration with TEEDA, Poppin’love cocktail. Hearing the title reminds me of alcohol, maybe love, and possibly fun; when I listen to the song though, it’s different. It’s 5 minutes long, and it’s honestly such an annoying song. I hated TEEDA’s vocals, they were obnoxious, loud, and terrible. Kuu’s vocals, when in Japanese, were actually enjoyable, I still wonder what she was trying to say when she sung in English. The song did sound very summer appropriate, featuring an up-beat arrangement with some great percussion and guitar riffs. But I just didn’t like the song. Some people may like it, but I certainly don’t. You might find it fun and sexy, but just because you use those words doesn’t make it so.
IN THE AIR though, happens to be one of my favorite tracks on this single! This is the second longest track on the single, and it’s one of the best IMO. This song seems laid-back and relatively carefree, yet features an almost rock ballad, mid-tempo arrangement. It’s similar to Sora back from FREAKY in 2007 in that way. The song also sounds like it has a magical quality to it, in part to the piano chords, guitar riffs, and synth riffs. I really loved her vocals in this song too, they were so crisp and clear, and she even showed what a power house she is. This is clearly the ballad of the single, if you can call it a ballad, either way, it’s a wonderful addition to his discography, I just hope it shows up on her next album.
While the first A-side attempted to sound sexy, V.I.P. actually sounds sexy. This song is what I’d call a hot mess. There’s so much going on in this song, it’s quite insane, yet good. It’s relatively short for a Kuu song, clocking in at a little over 3 minutes. So how to actually describe this song? It features a dance/club arrangement, very heavy in vocal distortions (think POP DIVA), and high pitched vocals. There’s a lot of English in this song, and it’s not really all that bad. That being said, the song is incredibly repetitive. I wish there was more to this song, it sounded good, but it was kinda a one note song. That and the computer vocals were just weird; at least the music sounded amazing.
So we come to the final song, and I still can’t decide if I like KO-SO-KO-SO better or UP IN THE AIR. This song got publicity for having a PV that’s so racy that it’s going to be banned from TV. I can definitely imagine why. This song oozes sexy appeal and fierceness, even though you can only hear it (unless you watch the PV). It’s sexy is a soft and noticeable way, I feel like V.I.P. was trying to show off, but this song it comes across more smoothly and softly. The song itself, while very sexy, is rather soft and tame, and that amazes me, that it’s soft and quite reserved, yet still sultry. Everything about this song just sounds perfect and messy, once you hear the music you’ll see why. There’s a lot going on music wise, and it really adds to the song’s likeability. Definitely the most infectious track on the single, you can definitely move to it. Not a bad song for the club either, considering this song is mostly pop that borderlines dance. It borders TABOO on infectiousness, but just needs a bit of a boost. My only complaint is that this song isn’t longer, 3 minutes is way too short!
I have mixed feelings when it comes to this single. On one hand, I really love two of the tracks, one is relatively good, but the other is just really bad. I guess you could say that there’s only one bad apple in this bunch. Overall as a single, I’d say it’s pretty good, it’ll appeal to just about everyone in one way or another. I think the one track could have been a lot stronger, and I feel as though V.I.P. tried too hard to be sexy, but it doesn’t make me dislike the single. The first song tried too hard to be fun and to channel Summer. The second track was pretty much the ballad of this single, and sounds just heavenly and up-beat. The third track tried to be sexy a bit too much, and the final track was pretty much the hottest thing to be released this summer. Just scrap the first song, and make the third sound a bit more effortless and you’re set! Still a good release, and another fine edition to her Summer singles. I wonder what this will mean for her next studio album. And might I also add that it appears that Kuu is channeling her inner Pussy Cat Doll with this single. She’s looking quite fierce.