Koda Kumi – Dejavu

July 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Posted in Koda Kumi | 3 Comments
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The cover of the CD+2DVD edition

Dejavu is Koda Kumi’s 9th studio album and it was released on March 2, 2011. The album (barely) reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Chart and sold 204,227 copies. It was preceded by 3 singles: Gossip Candy, Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. / Anata Dake ga, and POP DIVA.

Seriously what is going on in this cover? Look at all that crap! Books, cakes, a trumpet…the only thing that it’s telling me is that Kumi is a hoarder and needs an intervention.

♦ ♦ ♦

In the Prologue to Dejavu, Kumi asks a simple question: “Why won’t you come with me to my Dejavu?” Sure, why not! The music is rather strange and seems to have a foreboding atmosphere so I think it works well as the opening number.

I used to haaaaate POP DIVA because I thought it had the most obnoxious chorus ever but I guess you could say that I’ve grown accustomed to it (well the rest of the song at least XD). If you do ignore the chorus, you have a pretty sleek and thumping track.

Fortunately, only one song from the Gossip Candy single is on here. Lollipop is silly goodness and I think the chorus is pretty catchy despite the funny lyrics about dodging bullets and such. At least neither of the “fishbowl songs” were included!

The first new full-length track is Okay, a cool R&B song with prominent synth. There’s also some Western influences in the music like the dudes in the background going “Ayyyy!” (like in BoA’s Eien) and that distorted English voice.

Next up is a mellow R&B track. Aitakute is very nice and trumps her previous attempts at songs of this nature (Tsuki to Taiyou and Your Love come into mind). It maintains a relatively calm vibe but manages to keep you interested.

We have another R&B inspired mid-tempo track but a male singer joins Kumi this time. In Passing By, I’ve never heard of this B. Howard person but his role in the song is undeniable. I don’t mind his vocals and he sounds alright for the most part. The chorus is where the song shines and his and Kumi’s voices come together, mixing English and Japanese.

Out of all the new upbeat tracks on the album, AT THE WEEKEND was my favorite. It has a lot of energy, a great beat, and Kumi sounds great. The chorus is a highlight as well.

Now we have the Interlude to Dejavu, which features the same music as the prologue. The main difference is that it has some more English lyrics like “This Dejavu drives me crazy” and Kumi going “Woo!”. XD As an interlude, it only prepares you for the upcoming ~kawaii song~. D:

And it’s a doozy (and it mean that in a bad way)! Melting just comes in and attacks you with disgusting cuteness. I honestly don’t like this song at all and I hate Kumi for getting that “La la la melting chocolate” line stuck in my head.

At least it smoothly transitions into a much better song. Hey baby! was released digitally in an edited version prior to the album and here we are with the full version…all 2 and a half minutes of it. The cute vibe is there but at least it’s masked behind heavy beats and synth on top of an aggressive chorus unlike the complete bubblegum pop heard in Melting.

Here’s some more fluffy pop for you! Choi Tashi Life isn’t bad and probably the most laid back of the pop songs on this album. I don’t have much to say on this one.

Two back-to-back ballads are up next, the first one being Anata Dake ga. This song is seriously beautiful and I now think it’s one of her best ballads. Kumi also gives one of her strongest vocal performances as well.

After that is Suki de, Suki de, Suki de., which has grown on me a little bit. Compared to the R&B and piano blend heard in Anata Dake ga, this song is more of an acoustic pop ballad.

One notable thing about this album is that it ends with upbeat songs. I was worried that Bambi was going to be like Melting (yeah I’m going to keep bashing that song) because it follows the same cute pop formula but at least we get a nice rockish sound in the music. This song is a lot more tolerable as well.

I thought I Don’t Love You !?? (why is it being presented as a question? lol) was a great ending track because it breaks the mold of her albums always ending with ballads. The pop synth arrangement is nice and the chorus is great. I also get a “classic Kuu” feel from this song since it reminds me of material from past albums like grow into one and secret.

With a title like Dejavu, I was wondering what direction Koda Kumi would take with this album. Luckily, there wasn’t a case of de ja vu because I thought a majority of the album sounded pretty fresh. Like past Kuu albums, Dejavu has a mixture of hot dance songs, upbeat pop tunes, and ballads but it’s presented in a cohesive format. The same can be said about her last album UNIVERSE but I thought the songs on here were better executed this time around. Honestly, the only song that I skip is Melting since it’s garbage but everything else is good.

Pros: This was a solid release. I could listen to the entire album except…
Cons: Melting! Kill it with fire! Give me Black Candy or even the fishbowl songs…just make it go away. *cries*

BASICALLY…if I didn’t like this album, I would call it “DejaBOO”! LOLOLOL /lame

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Prologue to Dejavu
2. POP DIVA
3. Lollipop
4. Okay
5. Aitakute (逢いたくて)
6. Passing By
7. AT THE WEEKEND
8. Interlude to Dejavu
9. Melting
10. Hey baby!
11. Choi Tashi Life (ちょい足しLife)
12. Anata Dake ga (あなただけが)
13. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. (好きで、好きで、好きで。)
14. Bambi
15. I Don’t Love You !??

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

3 Comments »

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  1. So glad you have you back, Lex! I’ve missed these reviews!

  2. I’m so glad you are back! Keep up the great work! Oh, and I agree with everything you said in this review!

  3. its really great music i really love this thanks for share this information


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