Koda Kumi [Feel My Mind] (Third Album)

March 12, 2009

Break it down
Crazy 4 U
Rock Your Body
Without Your Love
Talk to You
Hana (華, Flower)
Get Out the Way
Sweet Love
Gentle Words
Come with Me
Yume with You (R. Yamaki’s Groove Mix)
Cutie Honey

The first track on the album is the thumping Break it down. I always find this song surprising no matter how many times I listen to it. The arrangement really pounds into you, though it doesn’t really do much, it still manages to get its point across. Its also quite a sexy beat if you look at in that way. Kuu’s vocals are pretty good in this, love the husky use of her tones. This is a pretty darn underrated song from her, she should really take advantage of it during one of her tours.

The next track on the album is the up-tempo Crazy 4 U. This has never been an up-tempo rnb laced song from Kuu that I’ve ever particularly cared for, because though its pretty good, it always come across as plain to me. The arrangement has a bit going on with it, but sounds generic and though its dominantly rnb in composition, I never really got that vibe. Kuu-chan’s vocals are all right, but they just didn’t absorb me. Its an all right track, but she has better a-sides than this.

The next track on the album is the sort of up-tempo Rock Your Body. This is just like ‘crazy 4 u’ in terms of being one of those up-tempo tracks from Kuu that I don’t care for. This plays more on the mid-tempo side because it never seems to get fast enough in my opinion and for a song with a good premise, its pretty plain and doesn’t do much of anything to catch my attention. The chorus is pretty all right, but I don’t know, this song kind a bores me.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Rain. Wow, I’ve never really liked this ballad from Kuu, but its pretty darn good. The arrangement doesn’t give off a feeling of rain, so much as a feeling of intense loneliness, its very effective. Kuu-chan gave such a good vocal performance, I mean its not her best vocal performance, but I mean she really managed to get her point across and I found, especially during the chorus, that I could connect with her. This is a good Kuu ballad.

The next track on the album is the wasteful Without Your Love. I either expected this song to be down-tempo or mid-tempo, its a mixture of both really, but the song is bad so it wouldn’t have mattered which because I wouldn’t have liked it either way. The arrangement is throwaway and sounded a bit half-assed, because it clashed with Kuu’s rather awful vocal performance. Kuu sung this song is such a bad and awkward way, it really blew my mind. I was so glad when the song ended, utterly forgettable.

The next track on the album is the pop/rnb-ish Talk to You. This song leans a bit more towards rnb, but the sparkly quality of the arrangement can not be overlooked. This song is a bit plain and doesn’t really do much, but I find that I like it. This song just gives me such an oldschool vibe and sounds quite familiar. It also make me think of Ayu’s It was in terms of underrated tracks. I also really liked Kuu’s vocal performance.

The next track on the album brings the pace down a bit with Hana (華, Flower). This is definitely one of her weaker ballads and it doesn’t stand out at all, but it definitely has a gentleness to it that seemed to capture my attention even though I really wasn’t all that interested in the song. I thought Kuu gave a pretty good and rather sincere vocal performance as well.

The next track on the album brings the pace back up a bit with Get Out the Way. Ah, this song is a bit stale. It stays around mid-tempo, never getting any faster than that. Kuu’s vocal performance is fine, but I found just like with ‘rock your body’ that I don’t really care for it. Its generic and a bit boring, though it does play better than ‘rock your body’.

The next track on the album is Sweet Love. This song is pretty long, but it offers nothing. I was actually wondering when it was going to end, because it played rather stiffly. The arrangement is rnb with a light dose of pop, but it sounds watered down and plays more like background noise. Kuu’s vocals were decent, but I don’t know, the chorus was good, but I got such an awkward vibe from this song. I mean maybe it’ll grow on me, at the moment though, I don’t too much care for it.

The next track on the album is another down-tempo, Gentle Words. This song is pretty similar to the previous track, except that its a lot better and the vocal performance from Kuu-chan seems a lot more sincere. This song doesn’t stand out and though Kuu’s ballads are pretty hit or mess, she has a slew that are better than this. Its a nice listen though, most notably the chorus.

The next track on the album is the gospel-esque Magic. It really gave me that vibe, especially Kuu’s vocals. The arrangement is really quite the synth, but its nice and mellow and went with the whole flow of the song. Its not depressing, but its not happy either. I really liked Kuu-chan’s vocal performance during this track, the deep, low tones, perfect. I also liked how she sounded genuine and I definitely like this more than ‘sweet love’ I did expect this to be more around the mid-tempo or up-tempo range, with a more upbeat air.

The next track on the album brings the pace back up with Come with Me. This song seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was a bit refreshing. It took a minute for this to grow on me, because it sounded a bit too airy and chaotic and I honestly didn’t get where Kuu was trying to go vocal-wise. I do like how lively the arrangement is, it definitely keeps you focused on the song. Kuu-chan’s vocals are decent, but she does strain an awful lot during the: ‘come to me, into the sun’ parts.

The second to last track on the album is its first bonus Yume with You (R. Yamaki’s Groove Mix). This was an all right remix, but I don’t like how clunky the arrangement is, or how repetitive Kuu sounded. The backing vocals also sound like Ken Hirai singing and this track seems oddly long.

The last track on the album is its second bonus Cutie Honey. I’m really wondering why this is included on this album at all, strange. I love this song, but I won’t go into too much detail, especially since its featured on my favorite studio album from her, Secret.

Rating: *1/2 stars

Koda Kumi’s third album Feel My Mind is pretty disappointing. I don’t know, the last time I gave this album a listen, I pretty much liked it. I now find it one of the most underwhelming listens ever. It just doesn’t offer much of anything and there’s not much I can say, other than this album has quite possibly my favorite piece of cover art. I did like how the album started off, Break it down has to be one of the most underrated songs ever. The down-tempo tracks were pretty good as well and I enjoyed Crazy 4 U, Talk to You and Come With Me despite them offering nothing. I’m not sure what went wrong this third time around, but her debut album Affection was a better listen in my opinion, this album is forgettable.


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