Koda Kumi – BUT / 愛証 [35th Single]

December 28, 2007 at 5:48 am (Koda Kumi) ()

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Koda Kumi’s 35th single, entitled BUT / 愛証, was released on 03.14.07. The only tie-in for the single was “BUT,” which was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the movie, Step Up.

The single opens up with “BUT.” This song is by far one of favorite Koda Kumi songs. Since the song was used as the image song for the Japanese release of Step Up, a hot dance song was only appropriate. “BUT” showcases a “destructive beat” that compliments Kumi’s vocals well to create an unforgettable dance anthem. The most addictive part is the chorus, when she repeats “you know you love yourself” but truly the infectious rhythm continues throughout the entire song. My personal favorite sections are the chorus and following hook. This song was the perfect theme song for a movie on the subject on dancing because the song makes you want to dance yourself. In my personal opinion, this song deserves “Song Of The Year” of the Oricon Year 2007.

The other A-side, entitled 愛証, is a beautiful rock ballad. The true strength of this song is the raw emotion that is presented within her vocals. Kumi uses low vocals during the verses and are more powerful during the chorus. Another strength of the song is the lyrics, that tell a story that matches with the emotional atmosphere of the song. The story of the song is Kumi’s regret on letting someone precious to her go. A beautiful tale that is personnified strongly within this gem of a song.

The third track on this single is entitled BUT ~The Ghettobots Remix.~ The remix does nothing to change the song drastically as not to alter the amazing original. The beat is brought down during both the verses and the hook and is raised to stand out during the chorus. It’s not much of a change from the original but it does provide a nice change of pace.

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The accompanying PVs for both song are definitely unforgettable. In the PV for BUT, Kumi is chained by the wrist in a very colorful room. After attempts to break the chain, she is successful and enters the elevator. For the remainder of the video, she flirts and parties with the stewardesses. For a split second, she kisses one of the stewardesses, reflecting the theme of acceptance of homosexuality, that she states is covered within the song. In my personal opinion, this is the PV of the Oricon Year of 2007. The other PV for “Aishou” is amazing as well. It is simple yet very elegant, showcasing that true emotion that is presented in the song. It features Kumi in a dazzling kimono, reflecting a traditional Japanese element. Against the moonlight, Kumi looks amazing and the PV sparkles.

Single Ranking: A +

Both songs of this double A-side present such growth and strength in Kumi’s music, it’s hard not to love them. “BUT” definitely achieves it’s strength through it’s infectious chorus and hot dance beat while 愛証 is a beautiful love story with heart touching lyrics and a wonderful rock sound. The PVs for both songs compliment each respective song and this double A-side is certainly one of Kumi’s best efforts.

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