Koda Kumi – MOON [40th Single]

June 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm (Koda Kumi) (, )

Koda Kumi’s 40th single, entitled MOON, was released on 06.11.08. Much like her previous singles 4 Hot Wave (2006) and FREAKY (2007), this single features four different songs. Moon Crying was used as the theme song for the Japanese drama Puzzle. That Ain’t Cool is the long awaited collaboration with American artist Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. This song was used as a music.jp CM song. Once Again was written by J-reggae artist PUSHIM while Lady Go! finishes off the single on a happy and poppy note. Lady Go! was used as a song for a Visee CM. Moon Crying (Piano Version) appears as the first press bonus track for the single.

Moon Crying, a beautiful and emotional ballad with a certain element of magic to it, opens up the single. The song begins with some wonderful piano playing before the magical feeling of the song comes in. Kumi works through the verses with beautiful deeper vocals and the emotional atmosphere is strongly established. The chorus really allows Kumi to really show off her vocal strength and she sings higher and with more power. The pure instrumental section really emphasizes the beauty and the magical feeling that the music creates and blends with Kumi’s vocals to capture the emotion. The piano finishes off the song wonderfully with sweet instrumentation. Moon Crying is a beautiful ballad that shows off Kumi’s true vocal range and displays the emotional presence as strong as ever.

Kumi collaborates with American artist Fergie on the uptempo That Ain’t Cool. Fergie definitely gets her share of song time on this song and strangely gets much more than Kuu. That Ain’t Cool is almost entirely in English with the exception of a few Japanese phrases Kumi sings during her verse. The song opens up with Fergie singing the chorus, which is really addictive. Next Fergie delivers her verse with an almost talking voice that really shows off a certain playful arrogance that makes the song all the more fun. Her last line “when you hurt me, you really hurt yourself” really shows that concept off and makes for enjoyment. The hook is also pretty catchy despite it only being one line sung repeatedly. Kumi sings the second verse with a similar delivery to Fergie’s verse and sings almost totally in English except for a few Japanese phrases here and there. The song ends with a spotlight on the instrumentation, which is actually really interesting and catches the ear particularly during this section. Although Kumi doesn’t seem to have her fair share of singing on this song, the girls collaborate well to make a fun song with a very hot beat.

A venture into the world of reggae comes with the third track, Once Again. PUSHIM took creative control of this song as she wrote and produced it, taking Kumi into her world and Kumi sings through the song wonderfully. The song opens up with the hook over a relaxing and hopeful instrumentation. The English throughout the song adds a nice flavor to it as well. Kumi performs well during the verses with great vocals that work perfectly with the music to capture an enjoyable atmosphere. The chorus really stands out and she holds her notes on the singing of the title really makes those words pop. The third verse slightly changes things in terms of instrumentation to keep the song fresh and the uptempo sound really stands out as being strong. The song ends with the hook followed by the relaxing atmosphere of pure instrumentation. PUSHIM really delivered on Once Again and Kumi beautifully sung her way through it to make the song come alive. 

Lady Go! is a happy summer song that rounds off the single on a positive note. Lady Go! bears a similarity to some of Kumi’s previous summer songs, With your smile and girls, particlarly to With your smile in this case. The song begins with a fun instrumentation with almost a video-game like quality to it before going straight into the happy sound of the chorus that begins with Kumi energetically singing “Lady ready go!” and it makes the chorus really stand out. The verses are a bit more more mellow still with an interesting instrumentation as Kumi sings through effortlessly. The slight electronic sounds within the instrumentation really make the song pop and makes it a little different from her other summer songs. These sounds really come alive during the pure instrumental sections, which are always enjoyable. Lady Go! is an excellent way of finishing the single off as it’s happy and poppy and a perfect song for summer that Kumi keeps interesting and fun.

The first press of the single comes with Moon Crying (Piano Version), a version of Moon Crying featuring an instrumentation consisting entirely of the piano. This version isn’t that different from the original but it is a nice bonus for buyers and those who want to hear more of the piano playing because it really is beautiful. Kumi’s vocals stand out as strongly as on the original and it’s a nice change of pace from the original without straying too far away from the magical element that Moon Crying such an enjoyable song in the first place.

In order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for Moon Crying and the other for That Ain’t Cool.

The PV for Moon Crying really captures the emotions in the song perfectly. The PV begins with Kumi awakening to see a trail of presents that lead her to a beautiful yellow gown. The video consists of various flashbacks such as two occasions at balls and one particularly emotional scene where Kumi begs her love to wake up and unfortunately he never comes to, leaving the viewers to assume he has passed on. The ending scene where she puts her hand to the aquarium and tears up really brings home the emotional presence of the song and when he vanishes from in front of her eyes, it really is heartbreaking. The Moon Crying PV is an excellent visual portrayal of the song throughout the emotional eyes of Kumi. It’s an absolutely wonderful PV and Kumi performed fantastically in it.

Although Fergie has a lot more song time on That Ain’t Cool, the two get equal screen time on the PV for That Ain’t Cool. Sexiness is the central theme of this video and both girls bring it to the table. One scene that appears throughout the video is of Kumi and Fergie standing back to back in a parking lot as they sing. In addition to this scene. both Fergie and Kuu have their solo scenes. Fergie’s solo consists of her in a black catsuit as she stretches out on a table. One move that she does throughout the video is stretching her leg upwards until it is completely straight, showing off her flexibility. Kumi’s solo scene features her on her bed taking pictures of herself with her phone that she can show her ex-boyfriend. She looks absolutely great here and her look is almost remiscent of her look during the Butterfly era. The PV for That Ain’t Cool is pretty simple but it’s fun and enjoyable, just like the song.

The first press bonus for the CD + DVD edition of the single is a performance of Moon Crying on Kumi’s Live Tour 2008 ~Kingdom~ Tour. This performance in particular was performed on 05.15.08 at the Yogogi National Gymnasium. Kumi did a great performance of the song here as her vocals were spot-on with the studio recording and she portrayed the emotions well. The audience members really seemed to feel her emotions as they sung along and the sorrow was displayed on their faces as well while listening. It’s a nice bonus to see Kumi perform the song and gives a look into the Kingdom Tour.

Single Ranking: A +

After a controversial remark surrounding women over thirty-five and the rotting of amniotic fluids, Kumi certainly faced a backlash. Promotion for her latest album, Kingdom, was halted and her contracts with several endorsements were closed. Months after that scandal, Kumi came back with MOON, featuring four excellent songs that are perfect for her return after a small hiatus. Moon Crying is a beautiful ballad that shows off Kumi’s vocal talents and features an emotional instrumental that carries magic with it. Fergie and Kumi team up for That Ain’t Cool, a slick and sly track in which both girls bring that sexy element to the table. Kumi sails her way through the dreamy Once Again, written and produced by J-Reggae aritst PUSHIM. The sounds of reggae are new to Kumi’s music but she shows off those pipes like magic to make one amazing song. Finally Lady Go! finishes the single as a traditional happy fun summer song. This one has electronic sounds that make it stand out all the more and captures the sounds of summer perfectly. MOON is a fantastic single that features four different sounds that Kumi make come alive with her voice.


1 Comment

  1. boamyjewel said,

    I’m gonna review it soon ^^

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