(Koda Kumi)
January 30, 2008
Oricon Peak:
First Week Sales:
United World Chart:


Introduction for Kingdom

The albums starts off with a brilliant high note, by someone. I believe that they want me to believe that it’s Kuu… but they’re not fooling me. An R&B beat accompanies Kumi doing some ad. lib.-ing and saying “Love…” many times. And… that’s actually about it. It’s just a pretty peice of composition.

Last Angel ft. 東方神起

For a complete review of ‘Last Angel’ and it’s B-side, ‘Dear Family’, see Last Angel ft. Tohoshinku I thought it was an interesting selection for the first real track on an album. Sort of lackluster as a single and in this position. Like she’s still trying to convince people it’s a good track. As you can see, my opinion of this song has changed slightly since my first listen. It grows old at an alarming pace.

(Amai Wana)
(Sweet Trap)


A bit of a Turkish inspired dance track that more than makes up for the mediocrity of ‘Last Angel’. With a high melody and cool harmonies, ‘甘い罠’ is one of the hottest tracks on Kingdom. The beat is low and seems to pull your body back and forth, like a snake charmer. It’s an updated, streamlined version of JUICY.



A quiet piano opens up this song which quickly turns into a slow R&B jam. It feels like it got pulled off an Ashanti album or something. It’s filler through and through. Annoying little voice saying, “Oh, boy” is very cliché. The melody is very one-dimensional and rather boring. It’s boring. I’m not saying it’s bad, hardly anyone releases bad music anymore. Especially the likes of Koda Kumi.

(Ai no Uta)
(Love Song)


For a full review of this song, along with its counterpart ‘Come Over’, please see 愛の歌. After another mediocre track, we get slammed (in a good way) with Ai no Uta. I rather enjoy this track and it leads us down a lighter street and into…


The review for this track and it’s sister, ‘Bounce’, may be found at anytime [single] A good transition from power ballad to sweet, unassuming pop. But the transition to the next song is crazy! Completely different genre. But, it does serve to wake you up. Don’t, for a second, think this is a boring album because the album tracks that are good, are excellent.


‘Under’ sounds like the best dance track imaginable. With a beat that’ll break your neck in five places and an understated melody, this track delivers like the milk man. The melody is so understated, in fact, that at first listen, the chorus is hard to discern from the rest of the song. But, it’s awesome. One special thing I noticed was it seemed like a bit of a call-out to Namie, and I only say that because it has a lot of similarities to ‘Violet Sauce’ (if you listen closely, you will hear the minor tinkling progression found on the song) and the telephones ringing from ‘Hello’. Okay, its probably all in my mind, but it seems like Namie and Kuu do a lot of the same things… anyone else?


This is a masterful place for this song as it fits the same mood as ‘Under’. If ‘Under’ didn’t do it for you, ‘BUT’ sure will…
You may find the review at BUT / 愛証.

(Koi no Mahou)
(The Magic of Love)


This up-beat song, I think, would have been better after ‘anytime’, but, I would have changed the order of most of these tracks. ‘恋の魔法’ is an up-beat pop melody with a charming atmosphere and synth to spare. The melody is pure heaven, high and cute, but just right. The tight harmoy sang in a cappella is really beautiful. I found it to be a very enjoyable listen and not mediocre! Exciting, huh?

(Proof of Love)


For its review along with it’s double A-side partner, ‘BUT’, please see BUT / 愛証. This is an odd place for such a power ballad. Doesn’t really do much for the transition into…

(Anata ga Shite Kureta Koto)
(What You Did for Me)


This is another R&B number with a bit more pizzaz. This song is good. Nothing really special, just shy of mediocre. I liked the speed of the words in the verses. The chorus is slower, more relaxed, but carries the energy well. The bridge is nothing special, unfortunate because it would have been a great song with more energy there. It fades out into…


A speedy track. Cutesy, to the point of saccrine, especially considering the sharp, Ai Otsuka-like vocals. The chorus is cute and fun and fast. The song seems to speed by like a bus painted with rainbow stripes going ninety miles-an-hour down I-95. Sure hope it doesn’t get any sugar on ‘FREAKY’.


For a full review of ‘FREAKY’ along with her double A-side, ‘RUN FOR YOUR LIFE’, and B-sides, ‘空’ and ‘girls’, see FREAKY. I was disappointed that the other songs from that single were not included. There was ample room for them.


What, from the title, I thought would be another dance track, I get a lump of coal. Another badly executed R&B number. It’s like an old school Namie Amuro reject. Cheesy gospel choir to boot. And that’s exactly what I think about it… I’d like to boot it off the album. And the dissonant harmonies don’t help, Kuu!

Black Cherry

As much as I actually enjoyed this song, I have to say that it doesn’t fit on this album. It belongs on Black Cherry. It’s a good, slow dance track. The chorus makes you wanna’ dance, but the verses make you want to get close to somebody. All the while, unprepared, they throw the end at you. It’s a rip-roarin’, anthem-like beat change that leaves you wanting more…


As I just stated about the song ‘Black Cherry’, Kingdom, in general, leaves you wanting more. The dance tracks on the album were amazing, but there weren’t enough of them for my tastes. The Pop/R&B songs definitely left something to be desired. Overall, Kingdom was a slight disappointment because of all the hype and waiting. Every single she released for the album was top-notch (with the exception of Last Angel, and not even that was what I would call bad) and it made me feel that this would be even better than Black Cherry. It wasn’t. On the other hand, not comparing it to Black Cherry, we find that it is a superb album from Kuu and well worth you money.



~ by vinyabarion on January 29, 2008.

7 Responses to “Kingdom”

  1. if you’re gonna analyze a huge artist like her. you should at least use spell check and the right grammar “I believe that they want me to believe that it’s Kuu… but there not fooling me.” it’s they’re. there is “go over there”

  2. Wow… uh… Hottie, is it? lol… uhm… I actually already knew that, you see, I graduated from high school. But, if you don’t agree with the review and that is the one thing you pull out, a very minute grammar detail, then I would very much enjoy why you would find it so hard to pick something more substantial. Like, I don’t know, have an actual point. Did you like the review? Was there something you didn’t agree with? Or have you just come to bash me? If you decide to actually start the grammar police, I suggest you contact someone who cares.


    P.S. Capitalization, if I remember correctly, was almost as important as the ‘there’ argument in school. In fact, I believe it’s more basic, fundamental, if you will. I would think it would be very important for someone correcting someone else’s grammar, to have *their* own grammar correct, also.

    P.P.S. I already knew about it and was seconds away from changing it when I saw your comment.

  3. Kingdom WAS a bit of a dissapointment – especially on the first listen. Luckily, I find this to be one of those albums that grows on the listener slowly. My only problem was, as you said, the filler (and there was alot of it.)

    Also, am I the only one who didn’t like Ai no Uta? XD
    It’s all good though, because this album has BUT on it.

    I swear, that song single-handedly made me like this album. It rocks XD

    Another nice review. Keep it up! =D

  4. Boo for Kingdom, most of the tracks were really underwhelming, especially after Black Cherry. I wholeheartedly agree that “Under” is the best dance track on the album, and it’s interesting to note the similarities it has with Violet Sauce.

  5. I thought the review was fine. dont have to get all defensive over it. though I thought it was wierd to see a review that was typed out so…eh okay. but anyway…

  6. Under was a dance song, I thought it was…unique, I didn’t really like it that much. I just thought that there was no climax to it at all. But I agree with the disappointment part, Black Cherry was better.

  7. […] hit dance singles, ‘That Ain’t Cool’ sounds more like a watered down version of ‘Amai Wana‘ than anything especially cutting-edge. Vocally, Koda Kumi not only takes second fiddle to […]

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