Kokia [Songbird] (First Album)

March 19, 2009

Watashi wa Utau Kotori Desu; I’m a little songbird
Soyokaze Ga Sougen Wo Naderuyouni
I Catch A Cold
Shiroi Yuki
Hirusaragi no Toki
Live Alone
Aishiteirukara (Sincerely Version)

The album starts off with the lovely Watashi wa Utau Kotori Desu; I’m a little songbird. This is such a beautiful song; its so peaceful and washes over you in a sea of calm. The arrangement is just the piano and plays sparingly and is very appropriate. Kokia’s vocals are quite lovely, its like you can just sit there and listen to her sing solemnly all day. I love the whistling towards the end, such a nice touch. This song makes you smile from the heart.

The next track on the album is the just as calm Soyokaze Ga Sougen Wo Naderuyouni. This song really seems like a part two to ‘songbird’ because they both play so similarly. The arrangement is the piano yet again, nice and fitting and makes you think of nature and the sun. Kokia’s vocals are a bit more clear in this song and still just as good. This is a nice track, which also makes you smile genuinely.

The next track on the album is the piano-driven I Catch A Cold. This is such a cute song, I mean, wow, its really cute. I really love the innocent and simple playing of the piano, I wonder if Kokia was playing it while singing, because it really sounded like she was, especially when she let out that cute sneeze and the playing abruptly stopped and when she let out that little sigh. Kokia’s voice was just so ‘kawaii’ I had to use that word, because it was. It just sounded like a little girl singing about her dolls or something and the, ‘i catch a cold’ parts just kill me.

The next track on the album is the somber Shiroi Yuki. This is a really good song, I’ve never really paid any attention to this track which I find very strange. Its driven by the guitar and its so effective, because it snags your attention right from the start and doesn’t let go. Kokia’s vocal performance was one of the best I’ve ever heard from her, and she doesn’t warble or do any of those opera notes she’s so fond of, but she sings this song in a straight-forward, low and somber way and it just really captured me. This is definitely one of my favorites.

The next track on the album is the soothing River. This is one of the first songs I heard by Kokia, in fact I believe its the second. This is a really gorgeous song, lead by the tinkle of the piano and it just washes over you and makes you feel relieved and content. Kokia’s vocal performance was one of her most endearing, she really put her opera prowess to good use. This is one of my favorites.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Hirusaragi no Toki. This song is pretty slow and doesn’t really offer much and actually seems like an alternate version to ‘river’ well to me for some strange reason. The main instrument is the piano and its nice and so are Kokia’s vocals. I mean its a quiet song, and a nice listen, that’s really it.

The next track on the album is You. This song is a bit odd, because I’m not sure if its meant to be down-tempo, because of the arrangement or mid-tempo because of Kokia’s high vocals. I’ll go for its a little bit of both. This is a nice song, but not one I would listen too often from Kokia if only because of her vocals. I mean they sound good, of course, but they’re a bit sharp and its very obvious, it takes some of the enjoyment away from the song. Plus, the arrangement plays a bit awkwardly along with Kokia’s vocals, this song just didn’t play or really sound right to me.

The next track on the album is the rather good Live Alone. This is another one of those songs I’ve never really paid attention to and when I first listened to this album it didn’t really leave an impression on me. It sounds like an alternate version of ‘river’ or maybe that’s because I was thinking about that song while listening to this. The piano arrangement is really nice and makes me think of the forest in winter and a flowing river. Kokia’s vocals are the usual, but I really love how soothing and sad she sounds. This is a good song.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo Arigatou. This is I believe the first song by Kokia I ever heard and I’ve loved it ever since. This is actually my favorite song from her and it use to always touch me. The arrangement is pretty minimal, I believe all I heard was the piano. Kokia’s vocals were a bit somber, but content at the same time and I just love when she says: ‘arigatou’

The next track on the album keeps the down-tempo’s coming with Erika. I never really liked this song and it just never seemed to do much of anything, and use to always go completely over my head. It’ll play and I’d retain nothing, that’s still pretty much how it is now. I mean nothing about this song stands out, or is memorable for that matter, but I’m inclined to like it. I like Kokia’s soft vocals and the chorus.

The last track on the album is Aishiteirukara (Sincerely Version). This was a rather nice song to end the album on. The arrangement is of course the piano, but its nice. Kokia’s vocals are pretty content sounding, it really gave the song a warm and even sweet atmosphere. It leaves the album off on a good note.

Rating: *** stars

Kokia’s first album Songbird is good, though its one of the best albums I’ve ever heard, I find that I’m not as awed by this album as I once was. Its a pretty quiet listen and it offers some great tracks as well as a few of Kokia’s best vocal performances. It started off on a great note and ended pretty good as well. I Catch A Cold is one of the cutest songs I’ve ever heard, I love it. River is quite moving, it really is, I always love listening to it and the stand-out track is definitely Shiroi Yuki. This album also as I’ve stated has my favorite Kokia song on it, Arigatou. This is a gorgeous album, one of her best if not her best album, its such a good listen.


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