Single review: Kumi Koda - 3 splash

Single review: Kumi Koda - 3 splash
Not one to do things by halves, Kumi is gracing her fans with a triple A-side single for the summer. I initially thought "Oh, here we go!" One overly urban club joint which rips off about 4 popular US club bangers withint he space of 4 minutes, one cutsey pop track which has Kumi screeching and a ballad. But she's gone and blind sighted us. Well, me at least. Because 3 splash is 3 tracks of pop, pop and more pop! So much so that Kumi should be the face of Hubba Bubba and Wrigleys.

Let's start with the only song I think is good. "Lick me". I was surprised when I first heard this song because I expected it to be a forced club track, which throws too many R&B cliche's into the mix. With Kumi talking about how she wants a man to taste the flavour of her ice cream and lick her body up and down like a lollipop. But in a complete twist the song is a cute 'n charming uptempo number, relatively free of smut and sex. "Lick me" is a really nice song, accompanied with a really cute video too boot. Pop suits Kumi's voice more than the R&B tinged numbers, which is why vocally I think she shines. I couldn't help but think that Ayaka would've done the song better though. It's the kind of song she'd pull off with ease and sound amazing on, chucking some grit into the slick pop proceedings in the process.

"Ecstasy" is just a mess of beats, electric guitars, filtered vocals and multi-tracked auto-tune. The song is a 3 minute and 20 second mess; sounding like a really bad version of Ayumi Hamasaki's "Rollin'". It genuinely sounds like she tried to rip the song off - only Kumi failed, where Ayumi succeeded. The song serves as nothing more than a chance for Kumi to pussy, booty and chest pop in the music video and in live performances. It's trash.

"Hashire!" has Kumi pushing the pedal on the funk. The song itself isn't bad. I give Kumi props for trying something new, but this isn't a style that entirely suits her. Kumi's voice is just too annoying on the chorus for the song not to grate. "Hashire!" comes off like Kumi is trying a bit too hard to push that funky rock chick vibe. She doesn't sell this song as well as "Lick me", or even the doo-doo-fest that is "Ecstasy". Great production, hot music, just the wrong chick handling the vocals. But it is a nice song. It comes off better witht he music video than it does on its own.

3 splash works on one level because its sound is at least consistent across all three songs: adopting a rock-funk vibe fused with a lick of polished pop. But on another level it doesn't work, because for each song on 3 splash there are ladies in the Japanese music game who would do each of them better. I also couldn't help but have Ayumi Hamasaki come to mind as I listened to the songs. Kumi seems to be on that 'let's try some rock and electro shit!' tip that Ayumi seemed to have been on with her Next level release. And as with Ayumi, she doesn't really sell it. As with Next level, 3 splash has short track interludes which have cool bits of music which would've made great full length songs. It's a shame the short outro that utilizes "Lick me"'s melody wasn't made into something more. As the sound is really nice.

3 splash is nice, and has a good summer sound. But it's not amazing, and Kumi's strongest single release by a long shot.


Song highlights:
■ Lick me J's fave
■ 12:00AM (Outro)

1 comment:

  1. I still think Ecstacy was the best song because it was more upbeat for me compared to Lick Me and Hashire.

    I just wish it would come out tomorrow on my birthday.

    Lick Me was the second best because it was cheerful yet, different. Reminded me of Koi no Mahou a bit.

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