Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cuddle up with Kuu-chan...

This past week, I got my super limited edition pressing of Koda Kumi's new CD/DVD release, "Kingdom". I'm, admittedly, not really into this type of music at leage, but I really like Kumi (or Kuu-chan, as her fans refer to her). I don't know what it is about her. Most people I confess my adoration for Kuu-chan to say something along the lines of, "Eew! She looks dirty!" I don't think so. I think she's pretty, though it's obvious to me she's had some work done. She's kinda like the Japanese Christina Aguilera, another singer I like even though I'm not really into that type of music.

As many of you know, as far as Japanese Pop and Rock go, I'm firmly into the rocking side of things: Love Psychedelico, Kimura Kaela, The Pillows, Beat Crusaders and the like, but when Kuu-chan does her upbeat dance funk numbers, she really gets me pumped (her song, "But", was in high rotation at my home for a couple of months. Great song!). Sadly, I'm not really about her ballads, which are what her fanbase seem to really enjoy. I'm sure that has to do with my extremely tenuous grasp of Japanese. Ballads rely largely on lyrics, you see, while dance music relys more on the pelvis.

So, I get the 3 disc set and I'm impressed. Disc one is the music CD, Disc two is the "Kingdom" album on DVD as a series of PVs and the thrid disc is a live show DVD. The package is rounded out with goodies for the fans (photos, a poster and stickers).

Of the three discs, I'm most infatuated by the live one. The other two discs are good, but Kumi is best in her live element. The second disc of videos had a preview for yet another concert DVD coming sometime this year that promises to be even more spectacular than the one included here. I can't wait.

Here's the intro from the DVD:

UPDATE 2/10/08: I'd like to comment that I had heard about Kumi's "scandal" prior to the release of "Kingdom" and I think it's shameful. To the one's that don't know, a few days before the album's release, Kumi made an appearance on a late night radio show and was fielding questions from fans and such. One queston was if she would like to become a mother someday. She responded that she would, but before the age of 35, because, at that age, a woman's ambionic fluids become rotten. She said it with a laugh and the statement itself is quite absurd, but many Japanese women were outraged and were calling for her tour to be banned and for her sponsors to drop her.

This is quite distressing for me, since I (wrongly, I suppose) tend to hold the Japanese people to a higher standard than the rest of the world. I can't believe such an absurdist comment would cause such an unnecesary stir. Double shame should go to her record company for leaving her twist in the the wind like that. Kumi went on television to give a tearful apology (one that, I believe, she didn't need to give) a few days later.

Luckily, the incident didn't affect her record sales at all. She sold a very respectable 400,000+ copies of "Kingdom" the first week (not bad at all, especially considering the album was released in 3 formats ranging from $20 to $50 {US currency adjusted}).I know she doesn't speak English well at all and she'll not read this, but I still encourage Kuu-chan to keep the faith... and maybe start looking for another record label.

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