Ai wo Tomenaide
Ai wo Tomenaide was Koda Kumi’s 51st single. It was released on September 21, 2011 and debuted at no. 6 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 30,828 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 37,246+ copies. It was released in 3 versions, a CD+DVD, CD-Only, and CD-Only Movie Edition. The title track was used as the theme song for the movie Second Virgin.
1. Ai wo Tomenaide
2. You are not alone (CD+DVD, CD-Only Edition)
2. Anata Dake ga (Strings Version) (CD-Only Movie Edition)
3. Anata Dake ga (Music Box Version) (CD-Only Movie Edition)
At this point I really wonder what’s happening to Kuu’s career. She had her 50th single, and it’s spot on the charts was the lowest since 2005, before her peak. I’m starting to get the sense that she was huge in late 2006/early 2007, and now she’s just a has been. Granted sales were a lot better back then for everybody, but still.
It’s that time of the year again, and as we excepted, she’s released another fall ballad. However, when it comes to Ai wo Tomenaide lit. Don’t Stop the Love, I just really don’t like it all that much. It’s definitely a ballad alright, it’s features an inspiring ensemble of strings, acoustics, and various other instruments. And yes, it doesn’t sound all that bad. But it doesn’t really command that same respect as previous ballads, like Yume no Uta or Ai no Uta. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible, but I think she could have done a bit better. The one thing this song has going for it though are her vocals. They sound so crisp, so powerful, and vibrant; most definitely the best aspect of this song. Perhaps I just don’t like up-beat sounding ballads? Certainly not even close to her worse, but still far enough from her best.
A lot of people seem You Are Not Alone, but for reason I can’t stand it. I’m normally a fan of up-beat, pop releases, especially a song like this, because it’s so cheery and happy. And while the verses don’t sound all too terrible, I just find the chorus so obnoxious, mostly just that first “You are not alone, not alone.” It just sounds really annoying and almost childish. It’s not horrible to the point where I hate it, but I just can’t get over that first part of the chorus. Other than that the song is fine, even enjoyable. It definitely could use a tweak or two though.
We now have the two versions of Anata Dake ga. As you might have guessed, the Strings Version is an acoustic, Strings based version of the song, who would’ve guessed??? This rendition is rather good and enjoyable. The original is still superior though. And we finally have the Music Box Version. I initially thought this was going to just be a music box instrumental, but it’s a legit track with a music box providing music. Kinda boring and dull compared to the original, but it’s just a music box after all.
Not sure what’s going on with Kuu’s sales, but I think this single could have done a lot better. As for what I think of this single overall? It’s not bad, but then again I don’t recall it being all that amazing either. It’s slightly above mediocre. Definitely a good release, but I won’t go as far as to say that it’s an great release. I like the variety of it, up-beat ballad with an up-beat pop track. I doubt I’ll be able to remember it after reviewing it though, and that’s usually a good predictor of the quality IMO. I wonder if we’re going to see an album next, she’s getting ready to release another single in November.