Kumi Koda: ‘Affection’ – Album Review

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Released: March 27, 2002

Way before Ms. Kumi Koda was one of the most prominent J-pop hotties of like, this century, her rise to success wasn’t a well-received one. Labelled a pedestrian singer to the oh-so-cute Kawaii Japanese culture, and bearing an unattractive appearance due to her weight and street-wise looks (which to this day I have no DAMN justification as in why!?), her debut record Affection was not one to be placed on everyone’s journal for pure anticipation. At first listen, it wasn’t really an exciting album to even begin within; the production was too laid-back, there was not enough thrill within the songs composition, and at times, Kuu-chans vocals sounded out of place with majority of the deliveries.

Fast forwarding nearly 15 years since its original release, Affection is a record not to be overlooked. To be fair, this album is the primary influence on Koda today; a hot club-urban poppin’ diva with irresistible charm and presence… key words; urban and hot. This 14-track collection emphasized a variety of uptempo R&B/dance numbers such as juvenile “Trust Your Love”, the funky “Color of Soul”, the hip “Till the Morning” (with Verbal), and the timeless and memorable hit “Take Back”. “Take Back”, in all honesty, is an example of some of the best Japanese R&B in decades; its Western-like synths and early 2000s R&B sound is nostalgia at its finest. One of the best things about this record is in fact the slower numbers, mainly because Kumi doesn’t run the bloody track dry with overbearing vocals or additional sounds; jams like “Your Song”, “So Into You” and “Walk” are some of the breezier and calmer editions to the album.

Although the album doesn’t have anything bad, there are some numbers that don’t meet up to the other tracks expectations, mainly the gospel acapella dump “Best Firend of Mine” or the boring songs “Can’t Lose”. Despite these fillers, Affection is a cute little package of glittering teenage fun that showcases a numerous amount of talent by Kumi Koda. Although it doesn’t rank being one of her most accessible entries or best, it definitely is a good album!

Track List (Bold means best tracks):

  1. Atomic Energy
  2. Trust Your Love
  3. Go Together
  4. Your Song
  5. Feel Me
  6. COLOR OF SOUL
  7. Best Friend Of Mine
  8. My Dream
  9. So Into You
  10. Till Morning Comes (feat. Verbal)
  11. Come Back
  12. TAKE BACK ~Liam’s favorite~
  13. Can’t Lose
  14. Walk

 

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