KOKIA – Karma [17th Single]

May 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm (KOKIA) (, )

KARMA

KOKIA’s 17th single, entitled KARMA, was released on 04.22.09. KARMA was used as the opening theme song for the anime series Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom.~

KARMA is a haunting number fit for a requiem.The song starts out with some vocalizing that has an eerie quailty to it before moving into the instrumentation, which definitely carries the element of mystery to it, really intriguing the listener. KOKIA then comes in and her vocals sound very good, keeping the haunting atmosphere for everyone to hear although those backing vocals become annoying after a while. Then the song becomes more grand and the instrumentation becomes more diverse, adding some complexity to the song. This song is a little on the long side so it ends up dragging on after a while. KARMA has great music and KOKIA sounds very nice but the backing vocals prove to be quite distracting.

Insonnia is a very good complimentary track since it has a very similar vibe. However this song has more of a lullaby feel to it rather than a haunting and eerie one. Again, the music is beautiful and so are KOKIA’s vocals. The length of the song is reasonable to prevent the feeling of dragging on and the backing vocals aren’t so prevalent so the listener can enjoy KOKIA’s vocals first and foremost.

Single Ranking: B

KARMA and Insonnia both very pretty songs. The first one focuses on a darkness while the second one on a gentleness. KOKIA’s style is shown off very nicely on the single and the two songs serve as a perfect combination.

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KOKIA – The VOICE [6th Studio Album]

August 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm (KOKIA) (, )

KOKIA’s 6th studio album, entitled The VOICE, was released on 02.20.08. Two singles were released prior to the album: Follow The Nightingale and 「私にできること」.

穏やかな静けさ~浄歌 serves as the album’s opener. She begins singing acapella over a slightly haunting instrumental, which automatically catches the listener’s attention. The first then begins and her beautiful vocals carry over the music perfectly and lead into a moment when she whispers “hush” repeatedly, which is an unexpected treat. KOKIA really delivers gorgeous vocals and the element of mystery that looms throughout the song keeps the listener enranced from start to finish.

Up next is Follow The Nightingale, which was released as a single prior to the album. The song starts off with a sweet piano instrumentation and some whispered smooth vocals that begin to grow louder. Soon the tempo picks up and the instrumentation becomes more varied as KOKIA captures the upbeat atmosphere of the song with the chorus. It’s very interesting how the lyrics are reversed here and only adds to the creativity of this song. However once the first verse begins, there is a softer and sweeter feeling as her vocals smoothly carry the music. With a variety of instruments and strong vocals, this song is very enjoyable and very ear-catching.

Following is Ave Maria, KOKIA’s version of the beautiful aria. A very sweet and soft instrumental takes the listener on a voyage and then she comes in with some wonderful vocals. She hits her higher notes strongly and with such emotion that the listener can just connect with her. The song features a lot of vocalizing and although beautiful, it does begin to feel like it’s dragging on a little. It’s a nice song but it does feel a little long.

The fourth song is 届きますように. A nice and sweet instrumentation begins the song and then the first verse starts. KOKIA’s vocals are soft and go perfectly with the song’s atmosphere by portraying emotion and beauty. The chorus is really pretty as she shows off a little more vocal strength while the instrumentation retains its simplistic beauty. This is an absolutely beautiful song that manages to stay simple and still connect with the listener’s emotions as KOKIA delivers vocals that really carry emotion. It’s definitely a standout nmber from this album.

song of pocchong ~雫の唄 is the next song to appear on the album. Opening the song is a sweet instrumentation with KOKIA singing with a slightly different tone than she has been for the previous tracks. She definitely hits her higher notes well but the song is very repetitive with KOKIA repeating the same phrases continuously. The song then changes gears a little more as a small pure instrumentation section helps introduce a faster tempo but unfortunately this doesn’t help anything. Basically the song starts off nicely but then its repetitive nature does not stand out to the listener.

Things slow down with ごめんね。The song begins with a nice instrumental with a clear beat and KOKIA delivers some very sweet vocals. The title of the song stands out and is sung with strong vocals to make the chorus stand out to the listener although it is a little simplistic. As the song goes on, the instrumentation becomes slightly more varied and it’s a nice little change although there is still a little to be desired. This one is nice and KOKIA gives great vocals as always but it isn’t as capturing.

Lacrima, an acoustic ballad, is up next. The guitar starts off the song beautifully and once KOKIA’s vocals come in, the emotions immediately come out. The chorus is a little lacking compared to the verses but her vocals remain sweet and able to carry the emotions well. KOKIA sounds beautiful throughout the song and the emotions come out so strongly that the listener is hit with them from the first moment she begins to sing. This song is definitely one to check out.

Things pick up with the next song, 何もかもが星になって. The song starts off with a nice upbeat atmosphere and KOKIA gives great vocals to capture the listener’s ear. Instrumentally, the guitar is the standout piece here and it helps spur the music on. Although it comes after a few ballads and is a nice change of pace by picking up the tempo a little bit, this song is somewhat forgettable.

KOKIA tries her hand at Italian on the next song, il mare dei suoni. The song starts off with beautiful vocals that take on an opera feel that carry emotion and beauty as she hits her notes with strength. The music begins to grow and KOKIA then goes back to her smooth and sweet vocals and follows the musical direction so well. This song is very memorable as she is able to effortlessly transition from her opera voice to her smoother voice and the instrumentation remains interesting.

Going from Italian to English, everlasting is a sweet track. Opening the song is a very pretty instrumental with a certain uplifting atmosphere. Her vocals have an echoing feeling that hold a sort of haunting effect that really sounds perfect. KOKIA definitely is able to give some vocal power that keeps with the music to make this song stand out to the listener.

小さなうた is the album’s semifinale. The opening English phrases possess a certain fragility to them that stands out to the listener nicely. The chorus stands out as she delivers some more great vocals in the higher octave and the vocals that run through the background sound great as well. As an upbeat track, this song definitely is a great change of pace from the album’s various ballads.

Closing the album is 「私にできること」The song is another upbeat song but it really isn’t very memorable and is definitely not the proper closing track.

Album Ranking: B +

KOKIA is able to deliver some absolutely beautiful vocals on each and every track on the album and the instrumentation really stands out on songs like everlasting, 小さなうた and 届きますように. Some songs aren’t very memorable but worth the first listen. Overall it’s a beautiful album and one worth checking out.

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