CDs Review :: Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~
W FACE ~inside~
CD + DVD
CD + Blu-ray
1) BRIDGET SONG
2) Bring It On
3) Yorokobi no Kakera
4) Stand by you
5) Suki Deshite
6) Kimi Omoi
7) On my way
8) What's Up
9) Promise you
10) My fun
W FACE ~outside~
CD + DVD
CD + Blu-ray
1) W FACE
4) Damn real
7) Shhh !
9) Wicked Girls
10) Cupcake Feat AKLO
W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ are 2 joint 13th & 14th albums released by Koda Kumi which were released on the same day last month on 8th March .
Koda's last studio album was 2015's WALK OF MY LIFE .
6 album tracks had music videos made which 2 songs were from W FACE ~inside~ & while the other 4 were from W FACE ~outside~ .
Subsequently , a video was made for W FACE but this's not included in both joint albums as the DVD is only obtainable if the album(s) is/are purchased at the concert venue/s of KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2017 ~W FACE~ .
Pronounced as double face , the theme of W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ centres on duality . The joint albums' concept is 2 faced with intentions to show 2 different sides of Koda . The promo photo also depicts this as 1/2 of her face with a mild expression representing W FACE ~inside~ & the other 1/2 represents W FACE ~outside~ with a powerful expression .
W FACE ~inside~ review
This album focuses on emotional ballads & uptempo pop songs . Kicking things off in the album is BRIDGET SONG which's 1 of 2 songs in the record that had a video made .
BRIDGET SONG is a nice chilled out guitar driven melody & Koda sounds at ease while belting out this track . And it was interesting that she's also whistling prior to the end of the song which I thought is pretty cool .
Bring It On was chosen to be used as the official song for the Sagan Football Club . Influences of BACK-ON can be felt here as they co-wrote the song with Koda while they composed & arranged it .
Yorokobi no Kakera was 1st released digitally on 1st March prior to the physical release of both joint albums & it was used in the ads of AOKI .
This song is 1 of my favourite tracks in W FACE ~inside~ & I think it's a pity that a video wasn't made for it as it's a heartfelt no. that has a grand sweeping orchestra melody .
Stand by you & Suki Deshite are the 2 songs that I feel are the weak links in W FACE ~inside~ .
What put me off for Stand by you is the length as it's almost 6 mins long & while it has a nice piano melody , I feel there're other better shorter tracks in W FACE ~inside~ .
Similarly with Suki Deshite , it's a pleasant mid tempo song but aside from that , given a choice I would skip it .
Kimi Omoi was originally found in Koda's 2014's promo mini album FEVER KODA KUMI LEGEND LIVE & it was also included as the B-side in her 59th single Shhh ! .
I had no idea Kimi Omoi is really popular & for it to be re-included in another Koda release , I think it means something .
On my way was 1st released digitally on 22nd Feb & it was used as the theme song for Fuji TV's drama Mahiru no Akuma which starred Tanaka Rena .
Just like Yorokobi no Kakera , On my way is another favourite song of mine in W FACE ~inside~ & likewise I feel it should have received a video as it's a lovely heartwarming track that I enjoy a lot .
What's Up is the only upbeat rock driven song in the album which follows in the same vein as past Koda songs like Poppin' love cocktail , LALALALALA , Hashire! .
I know some don't like Koda to sing rock songs but I'm ok with it & What's Up is a fun song to pump up the crowd so no complaints here .
Promise you is the 2nd album track that received a video & it was used in the ads of Eyeful Home .
In addition to make things special , Koda wrote Promise you specially for her son .
My fun is the last song in W FACE ~inside~ & Chara co-wrote the song with Koda while she was in charge of composing & arranging the track .
This's an interesting no. to conclude the album as not only this psychedelic driven no. is a music style that Koda hasn't tried before & background vocals wise , Koda's son also can be heard in the backdrop too .
W FACE ~outside~ review
This album explores new territory through a variety of sounds including avante-garde , dance , hip-hop & R&B . W FACE ~outside~ showcases the more aggressive and sexy sides of Koda through dance songs , J-Urban & a soulful R&B ballad sung only with a piano .
Sharing the same title as both joint albums is W FACE which's a cool sexy track . Even though the lyrics for this song is questionable , I'm still glad that Koda made a standalone video for it as this forms the basis of both albums .
Ultraviolet was 1st released digitally on 22nd Feb & it's the 1st of 4 songs in W FACE ~outside~ that has a video made .
This track was teased as the ending song at the end of KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2016 ~Best Single Collection~ as it was supposedly going to be released as Koda's 60th single .
Nonetheless , I enjoy Ultraviolet as it's a fun catchy song .
Insane is the 2nd track in the album that has a video made & there's rap included in the song .
This track is 1 of the standout no.s in W FACE ~outside~ as it's outright & aggressive . In addition , it has been quite a while since Koda last rapped in a song too .
Damn real is a slow mid tempo R&B driven no. and after 3 back to back uptempo songs , it's nice to slow things down a bit .
Heartless is the most simplistic song in W FACE ~outside~ as it's the only track that Koda sings together alongside with a piano . While I appreciate the simplify of Heartless , vocals wise I don't think it's Koda's best as her pronunciation got lost along the way .
Bassline is the 3rd album track to get a video & this's a sultry jazz driven no. which I enjoy a lot . And just like Insane , Koda also raps in Bassline which I thought it's really cool .
Shhh ! was released last April as Koda's 59th single & in a way I'm relieved this's included in W FACE ~outside~ as I do enjoy
Shhh ! when it was released last year .
Bangerang follows in the same music vein as Bassline but in this case , Bangerang is a lot more upbeat with trumpet beats to boot .
Wicked Girls is the last track to get a video in W FACE ~outside~ & it was 1st released digitally on 1st March .
This song centres on a woman's daily life & it's the same person who worked on Bon Voyage's Winner Girls hence the music similarity between both tracks .
Cupcake is the final song in W FACE ~outside~ . It's the only track that featured a collaboration (in this case AKLO) & it's also the shortest no. from both joint albums .
Not only that , Cupcake has the strangest melody as you can hear cats meowing in the backdrop which creeps me out & lyrically , it's quite raunchy as well .
Koda Kumi explores the 2 sides that form oneself with the simultaneous release of 2 albums , the emotional W Face ~inside~ and the aggressive W Face ~outside~ .
After switching up her music release pattern over the last 2-3 years , I was real surprised for her latest music release Koda released not 1 but 2 joint albums on the same day .
I'm the rare few that really enjoyed WALK OF MY LIFE when it was 1st released & last year Koda was the least active music wise as she focused a lot on touring & likewise she's going to do the same thing this year once more .
For Koda to release 2 joint albums , it's no mean feat & I feel overall on whole , W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ are pretty good in their own respective right .
Both albums have their own strengths & weaknesses . Prior to listening to W FACE ~inside~ , I thought it was going to be an album that I would be bored with but turned out I was wrong .
Between both albums , I prefer W FACE ~outside~ a lot more , not that I don't like W FACE ~inside~ . And for once , I don't have any problems regarding the sound consistency of Koda's albums as that was always a problem I had with her albums and this time round , Koda did not include any opening/interludes which made her go straight to the point on what she wants with both albums .
All in all , Koda managed to accomplish what she wanted with W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ . The only thing I wished she could have improved were the quality of the videos as for the 1st time , they do not elevate the status of the songs which I thought it's a big pity .
And initially , I thought 3 songs from each album would get videos in order to make thing fair but considering that songs from W FACE ~outside~ had more videos made , it's quite evident that the focus is on W FACE ~outside~ a lot more than W FACE ~inside~ .
If I could , I feel that either Yorokobi no Kakera and/or On my way should have a video made while a video shouldn't have been made for Wicked Girls (as much as I like the song , I don't think it's video worthy) .
That said , even though both albums are not 100% perfect , each album offer something different for Koda's fans to enjoy and on that note , I'm real proud of what Koda achieved with the release of W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~ respectively .