Kumi Koda – new album ‘BEST ~Bounce & Lovers~’
Posted by redracer on March 29, 2007
Another release on the 14th March (there are a lot of new releases this month, including 3 from Kumi herself), this is the latest album release from Kumi Koda (倖田來未), and is her 8th album (and her third compilation release on a year and a half !!).
She was born in 1982 in Kyoto, and started singing and dancing from an early age. In her primary school yearbook, she wrote ‘I want to be a singer when I grow up’. In 2000, she auditioned for the popular girl group Morning Musume and also the competition ‘avex dream 2000’. Avex offered her a contract and her first release was in December of that year. This single ‘Take Back’ didn’t sell very well in Japan, but was also released in the US, and reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Dance charts. her second single ‘Trust Your Love’ was also released in the US and reached #19 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles sales chart and went to number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. However she didn’t follow up on this US success, but used the hype to generate more interest in Japan. Her first album ‘affection’ was released in 2002, but did not sell well.
Her first real success was the release of the single ‘real Emotion / 1000 no Kotoba’, and it’s collaboration with the Playstation game Final Fantasy X-2. Another successful single and tie-in was the song ‘Cutie Honey’ for the anime & movie of the same name. Other singles and albums only had moderate success until late 2005, when the best-of compliation album ‘BEST ~first things~ ‘ which contained all her previous singles was released, and sold over 1.8 million copies. She then announced an ambitious campaign of 12 consecutive singles (9 of which were limited to 50,000 copies), all to be released one after the other over a short period for the Xmas/New Year period. The first of these, ‘You’ became her first #1 and all the others reached at least #7 or higher. At times during this period she had several singles at the same time in the top 10!!! In March 2006, these singles were all put together on the album ‘BEST ~second session~’ which also sold nearly 1.8 million copies. Subsequent singles and albums have all reached at least the top 3. Kumi has now arrived on the scene in a big way, and is outselling Ayumi Hamasaki, the previous queen of J-Pop, and also won many awards during this period (see previous posts about Ayumi vs Kumi) 😆
Whilst this is another best-of compliation, it is also a departure from the norm by combining ‘lovey’ type songs only on the CD, and all different ‘dancey’ type songs on the DVD. The CD has a couple of new songs, and some are different versions to the original release. The highlight for me is the piano version of her first #1 single ‘You’, which has some really unusual jazz themes. The music videos on the DVD have all been previously released, but this time just show the dance footage only that was filmed for them at the time of their release. The track listing is …
- Ashita e (previously unreleased)
- Taisetsu na kimi e (B-side of ‘Butterfly’ single )
- Sen no Kobota ~Alternate Orchestra Version~ (from ‘grow into one’ album)
- Your Song (from ‘affection’ album)
- Pearl Moon (from ‘grow into one’ album)
- Rain (from ‘feel my mind’ album)
- Hana (from ‘feel my mind’ album)
- Hands (from ‘secret’ album)
- Saigo no Ame ~Time Heals Version~(previously unreleased)
- Promise (from ‘BEST ~first things~’ album)
- You ~Piano Version~ (from ‘BEST ~second session~’ album)
- Come Back (from ‘affection’ album)
- Kiseki (from ‘secret’ album)
- Walk (from ‘affection’ album)
- Get Up & Move!!
- Crazy 4 U
- So Into You ~Short Version~
- Candy Feat. Mr.Blistah
- Hot Stuff Feat. Km-Markit
- Live DVD Trailer From ‘Koda Kumi Live Tour 2006-2007 ~Second Session~’
- ‘Love Goes Like …’ from ‘Koda Kumi Live Tour 2006-2007 ~Second Session~’
- Dance ‘How To’ Video ~Get Up & Move!!~
Conclusion: I was originally a little reserved to buy this album, being just a compliation of previous material, but with the excellent version of ‘You’, and some songs off previous albums which I don’t have, I have changed my mind. Of course the true fan will buy anything that is released 🙄
… and I forgot to mention that it is a limitied edition release, and only available for 2 months (I think) after the release date !!