Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Koda Kumi – feel my mind [3rd Studio Album]

Posted on: June 27, 2008

Koda Kumi’s 3rd studio album, entitled feel my mind, was released on 02.18.04. The album features more dance numbers than her previous albums and her ero-kakkoi image began to emerge with the release of Crazy 4 U. The singles released before the album were Gentle Words, COME WITH ME and Crazy 4 U.

Break it down is the opening song on the album and a very strong track. The song begins with Kumi checking her messages as a woman speaks and once the message plays and the man says “K.K., it’s time to bounce again,” the song’s true sound begins. An more mellow dance instrumental begins the song with some vocalizing from Kumi that sounds great. The verses feature some rather soft vocals that work with the twinkling instrumentation. The chorus stands out as Kumi shows off a little more vocal power and the repetition of “I just wanna break it down” really stands out. The third verse features an unidentified man rapping in English and honestly, his presence is definitely not needed. The song begins much like it began with Kumi doing some vocalizing and makes for an excellent finish. Break it down is a bit simplistic but a song to look for and a great opening song.

The album’s strongest song, Crazy 4 U, is the second track. The song begins with a great R&B dance beat with Kumi doing a little vocalizing before the real beat comes in. During the verses, Kumi’s vocals are a little deep but the lines are sung with a certain attitude that really stands out. The chorus is the most addictive part of the song as Kumi’s vocals are strengthened and the little English phrases “crazy for you” and “only for you” really stand out. The pure instrumental section is a perfect breakdown as the coolness and slickness of the song is spotlighted. Crazy 4 U is a hot dance track that is the album’s best offering and definitely a song to look out for.

Rock Your Body is an uptempo dance number that is very catchy. The English used in the song in the background “rock your body, move your body, on the dance floor, don’t hurt nobody” is a very nice touch and appears along with the opening instrumentation. The verses feature some slightly deeper vocals that work well with the music. The hook begins the song’s addictiveness with the English phrase “boy if you wanna down with me.” The chorus stands out as Kumi shows more vocal power and the English makes the song pop nicely. The unidentified man from Break it down returns on the song and his presence does get annoying after a while but Kumi keeps the energy up. Rock Your Body is a very nice dance song with some pretty interesting lyrics and if nothing else, the chorus is very catchy.

Rain is the album’s most beautiful and emotional ballad. The song starts out with beautiful instrumentation before the first verse starts. Her vocals during the verses are somewhat deep and they capture the sorrow of the song perfectly. It’s the chorus that really stands out as Kumi sings her heart out. She sings with power and she hits the higher notes flawlessly, enhancing the song’s sorrowful atmosphere. The pure instrumental section sounds great as it really puts a spotlight on how key the music is in maintaing the song’s sorrowful magic. The final line is said with such emotion and fragility and segues perfectly into the ending instrumentation. Rain is a beautiful song that can bring the listener to tears, truly one of the album’s best songs.

Without Your Love is a great dance song that is very catchy. The song opens up with the sound of a car being started up and then a siren is set on before the song’s catchy instrumentation begins. After a few moments of vocalizing from Kumi, the first verse starts. Her vocals are a little deep and the English words such as “sorry” and “magic” really pop and make the listener pay attention to her voice. The hook, which consists of both English and Japanese begins to introduce a more varied instrumental. She finishes it nicely with good vocals as she “my love is on the way” and the echoing of “my way” is a nice touch. The chorus is especially as Kumi shows off more vocal strength and the beat remains addictive, finishing with Kumi singing “baby boy come and knock on my door.” The third verse breaks things down a little as the music goes softly and Kumi’s vocals go with them in a softer tone and after Kumi delivers a little rap in English as she repeats “I’ll bee going crazy without your love my baby.” This same rap sequence brings the hot song to a close with the sound of helicopters overhead. Without Your Love is a very nice dance track and one of the standouts on feel my mind.

Cuteness emerges on the next track, Talk to you. The track starts off with a cute and interesting instrumental before Kumi’s vocals really bring out the cuteness as she sings the title of the song. During the verses, Kumi sings her cute voice and it fits perfectly with the song’s overall atmosphere. The chorus stands out with the English phrases that pop as well as ker kawaii voice. Following is the hook, which is what opens the song. The pure instrumental section is really interesting as more elements than just the kawaii comes out. Talk to you is the album’s cute track and Kumi does a great job of bringing the kawaii atmosphere that makes the listener follow her throughout the song.

華 is one of the album’s true ballads. Beautiful instrumentation opens the song up along with some soft vocalizing from Kumi. Kumi’s vocals after this begin deep and soon they gain a little more power in order to capture the sorrow and emotion set forth by the beautiful lyrics. The song has a relative structure that is created mostly by the vocals as the chorus features stronger and more emotional carrying vocals and the verses are deeper. The moments of pure instrumentation are wonderful as Kumi’s soft vocalizing mixes perfectly with the music to capture the song’s atmosphere. The final line of the song is a perfect finish and is a very beautiful way of bringing the song to a close. 華 is one of the strongest album tracks and is a track worth listening to.

Get Out The Way is one of the album’s catchiest dance tracks. The song opens up with a cool and fun instrumental before Kumi sings the first verse. Her vocals have enough power to make the listener pay attention to her voice but soft enough to not clash with the music. The hook is somewhat of a bridge as the instrumentation stands out a little more, as an introduction for the chorus. The chorus really stands out as Kumi’s vocals are slightly stronger and the beat becomes even more key and retains its addictive quality. The pure instrumental section is accompanied by a man speaking in the background in English as well Kumi doing a little vocalizing. It’s a nice breakdown before the hook comes in again. Get Out The Way is one of the more memorable tracks on feel my mind and is definitely a track that should not be missed.

Sweet love… is one of the blandest songs on the album. It’s a nice upbeat track with some very nice vocals however it doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the album. It has a nice atmosphere but nothing particularly noteworthy and it doesn’t fit very well with the overall sound of the album.

Gentle Words is a sweet love ballad that stands out on the album so strongly. The song begins with a mellow and peaceful instrumental, which comes before the first verse. During the verses, Kumi’s vocals are somewhat soft and the phrase “Hello, hello” really stands out. As the verse progresses the instrumentation begins to build and become more varied in time for the chorus. The chorus is strong as Kumi’s vocals are slightly more powerful and capture the song’s atmosphere perfectly. The pure instrumental section is very pretty as it spotlights the softness and fragility of the song with a few great adlibs from Kumi to make it pop. The same instrumentation which opened up the song also brings it to a fantastic close. Gentle Words is a pretty and sweet song, which Kumi’s vocals really bring to life.

magic, the semifinal track, is the album’s weakest song. The song starts off with nice instrumentation before the first verse. Her vocals are very low-pitched here and they seem a bit dry. The chorus features some nice vocals but it’s not memorable at all. magic is the album’s dryest number and what sounds like a choir backing Kumi up is not enjoyable. magic definitely should have been left off the album because it’s not a very good fit with the rest of the album’s sound.

COME WITH ME, the song that perfectly captures the sounds of summer, is the album’s closer. A fun and exciting instrumentation opens up the song before the first verse. The verses feature English phrases such as “hear me vent my best friend” as well as some nice vocals. The chorus is very memorable with Kumi’s stronger vocals and the way she holds her notes as she sings “come with me to the sun” is brilliant. The pure instrumental section puts an emphasis on how fun and exciting the music really is. COME WITH ME is a wonderful album closer and certainly a track not to be skipped.

Album Ranking: A –

feel my mind features more dance tracks than her previous album and on these songs, Kumi sounds perfectly comfortable. Tracks such as Crazy 4 U, Break it down and Rock Your Body show off Kumi’s flare over hot beats. Kumi does bring the emotions on the ballads such as Rain and Gentle Words. The album has its flaws, such as magic, but overall it’s worth the listen.

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