April 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM | Posted in KOKIA | 14 Comments

REAL WORLD is KOKIA’s 11th album and it was released on March 31, 2010. The album reached #44 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 3,121 copies. It was preceded by 3 digital singles: Kimi wo Sagashite / last love song, single mother / Christmas no Hibiki, and Kodoku na Ikimono / Ano Hi no Watashi ni.

EPIC COVER. The photoshoot for this album took place in Tunisia (a country in northern Africa).

♦ ♦ ♦

Creating visions of vast desert landscapes and endless blue skies, REAL WORLD is one of KOKIA’s most unique offerings. There is also some pretty epic stuff on here. The album’s overall theme, as well as 8 of the 14 tracks, were inspired by her trip to Tunisia. Let’s go over those first, shall we?

KOKIA shows off her songwriting skills and still keeps things fresh with these 8 tracks. Thanks to the ethnic and new age feel of these tracks, they stand out on the album. She incorporates sweeping strings, light beats and synth, and amazing vocal layering that is reminiscent of Enya. Love is Us, Love is Earth and the epic 7 minute long Dugong no Sora were the best examples of this. Some of the other tracks feature simpler arrangements but are still beautiful nonetheless. Birth, Watashi ga Mitamono, and Kodoku na Ikimono are gentle songs but KOKIA’s vocals make them radiant. The interesting chant-like chorus of Saishuu Jouei and acoustics in Oto no Tabibito give you a feeling like you’re really in the Sahara Desert, too.

The rest of the tracks were created before the trip to Tunisia. The most significant song would have to be The woman, the album’s main promotional track (a PV was filmed as well). There’s also Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest (the theme song for the video game Dragon Nest) and U-CHA-CHA, which has been around for years but finally makes an appearance.

While I do think the album is pretty astounding, I have to admit that it has a sleepy side. 2 of the digital singles, Kimi wo Sagashite and single mother, aren’t as interesting as the rest of the tracks (send your hate mail single mother fans). It doesn’t help that they’re clumped together either because they make up the weakest point of the album. Aside from that, REAL WORLD is her strongest album since The VOICE. After giving it a good amount of listens, I can say that it also tops her 10th anniversary “balance” albums by a considerable margin.

Pros: I loved the theme of this album. Did I mention that it’s EPIC!??!?! *side eye*
Cons: There’s 1 or 2 songs that are just average…but every KOKIA album seems to have them.

BASICALLY…it’s amazing what a little inspiration can do! A very refreshing album.

Overall Rating

5 stars


1. Birth
2. Road to Glory~for Dragon Nest
5. Saishuu Jouei (最終上映)
6. Love is Us, Love is Earth
7. Dugong no Sora (ジュゴンの空)
8. Kodoku na Ikimono (孤独な生きもの)
9. single mother
10. Kimi wo Sagashite (君をさがして)
11. Oto no Tabibito (音の旅人)
12. Watashi ga Mitamono (私が見たもの)
13. Kono Chikyuu ga Marui Okage de (この地球がまるいお陰で)
14. The woman

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!



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  1. Hm. Unfortunately I thought this album was pretty boring, even though I like “Road to Glory” and “Dugong no Sora”. I liked her previous 2 albums better :/.

  2. I admit I haven’t been listening to this album as much as I should be! D= Gorgeous review anyway~ <3

  3. I really love this album too. U-CHA-CHA is the best imo

  4. Haha, I knew EPIC was gonna show up in this review :) I had that same thought in my head

  5. I personally thought Kimi wo Sagashite sounded really nice.

    I have yet to find a KOKIA song which I really dislike… which is saying something because with every other artist out there that I’ve been listening to (eg. Chihiro Onitsuka, BoA, every little thing, melody., Eiko Shimamiya, etc) there’s always been at least one song that I end up not liking.

    With KOKIA’s stuff, however, almost every song is an instant favourite in about 30-45 secs into the song.

    Seriously, this girl’s music is just AMAZING.

  6. By the way, Lex… have you studied Japanese? Sorry if this particular question has been asked elsewhere on the blog, but I can’t find it anywhere.

    Or do you just love listening to the language in a melodic format? ^_^

  7. To be honest, I haven’t studied Japanese. I would really like to though since I think it’s a beautiful language.

  8. Hmm I listened to her album, “Aigakikoeru: Listen for the Love” a few years ago, but was uninspired. After reading the review I think I’ll give her another shot (esp. since I love Africa)! Would you recommend this one over “The Voice?”

    Great review btw ^_^

  9. So you don’t know any Japanese at all?

    Neither did I when I first started listening to Jpop, but when I first started hearing anime theme songs, I fell in love with the language.

  10. I think that REAL WORLD is equal to The VOICE. I could understand that you felt uninspired after listening to aigakikoeru. It’s not exactly one of my favorite albums from her. lol

  11. This album hasnt sunk in as much yet but ‘Balance’ still never grew old on me and i dont think it will anytime soon!!!
    Haha hate mails, but i thought ‘single mother’ was a pretty song and very genlte with her angelic vocals, it wasnt hard to like, well it does fall under the REAL WORLD topic therefore genius <3

  12. You’ve convinced me Lex. I love this album! I think I’m going to review it in the next couple of days.

  13. i love this album so much.. especially love is us, love is earth. Five stars in my heart
    i hope she come to Indonesia, Bali would best fit for her performance.
    anyway, thanx for the review.

  14. Wow! Great album, very creative with catching songs like: Saishuu Jouei , sweeping away in a chant, Dugong no Sora ,Road to Glory Y discovered Kokia while y watched the movie “Origine”.
    Then searched the Internet , discovered a lot of music , fell in love with here beautifull voice and the rest is history. Although y dont understand a word of Japanese( beautifull language by the way) the songs and the feelings realy kick inn.

    Love this album as do my 10 year daughter, and it would be nice to see Kokia perform some day in the netherlands.

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