Black Cherry [Jacket A / w/ 2DVD, Limited Edition] Customer Reviews

Kumi Koda

Decent Album, But Too Long 3

This is Kumi Koda's best-selling album to date (not counting Best of collections), but I don't think I'd call it her best album. First off, the record has too many filler tracks, and is too long overall (18 tracks total). Second, some of the singles ("Juicy," "Cherry Girl," "Won't Be Long" - the latter of which is present in two versions) lumber along without too many catchy hooks or otherwise memorable moments. Oddly enough, Kumi falls flat more often when the songs are in her usual R&B-influenced pop style ("Puppy," "With Your Smile"; "Milk Tea," which Kumi both wrote and composed). That's not to say the album is bad. Singles like the sweet, upbeat pop of "I'll Be There" (probably the album's best cut) and "Koi No Tsubomi" instantly burrow into your brain and stay stuck there. Also, the album is really good when Kumi moves out of her R&B comfort zone, with pop ballads ("Candle Light," "Yume no Uta") and even hard rock songs (the single "Ningyo-hime") that are enjoyable. The DVD extras are even more of a mixed bag. The first DVD has the videos for the album's singles (which is nice, but some of the videos aren't so solid), while the second DVD is an utterly forgettable mini-movie starring Kumi ("Cherry Girl") that's little more than a take-off of Charlie's Angels. The movie seems to be little more than an excuse to put Kumi and her other female co-stars in as many revealing outfits as possible. This might be an album where you're better off getting the single CD version over either of the special editions with DVDs. You could do worse, but there are definitely better Kumi Koda discs to be had.

Could Have Been Good.... 2

After the awesomeness that was Best~second session~ and a bunch of great singles, I had very high hopes for Koda Kumi's 5th original album Black Cherry. She released so many a-side single tracks that I was convinced she was going to release two albums simultaneously by splitting the single tracks in half (including WON'T BE LONG and Futari de... that'd leave room for each album to have 5 single tracks). I really wouldn't have been surprised if she had done that, considering her publicity and sales stunts in the past (namely Best~second session~). The complete album that we ended up getting just doesn't feel right. The singles were very diverse, but could have been better handled on an album. Here, it just sounds like most of the tracks are fighting eachother to be remembered. I generally like the music on the album, but it just doesn't work. The tracklist sounds like someone just took a bunch of her material and hit 'random'. Such sloppyness and carelessness takes soo much away from some great pop tracks. It also feels like the album proceeds in chunks. Just so you get what I mean by that, I'll do a track-by-track review, but I'll separate it into the chunks. INTRODUCTION The album starts off with Kuu's typical "Shake Ya Ass!" introduction. I like the trancey type music behind the opening speech, and the beat for the rest of the song is pretty groovy, but there's really nothing terribly exciting or memorable about this. A lot of fans seem to be completely smitten with it though. Get Up And Move!! I heard a ton of great things about this song before I actually listened to it. Most people were saying that it was easily the best album track. The chorus is really catchy, and will probably make you move around some. The first line of the chorus "So get up and move your body!" is delivered really well, and I quite like it. Although the track isn't terribly original (what with the semi middle-eastern hip-hop production values she's been using lately, and the whispery offset harmony bits ~which do sound cool~) it's fun while it lasts. The track would be a hell of a lot more memorable if the next track weren't so completely different. It's not even fair to either track. ~with both of those songs I felt very detached listening to them. I didn't feel like someone listening to the music and enjoying it. I felt more like someone just hearing music.~ Ningyo Hime Awesome. One of the 4 hot wave singles. Easily one of Kuu's best tracks to date. The hard rock feel is perfect for her strong, slightly rough voice. Her vocal delivery is amazing exactly because it doesn't need to be perfect. The song is fierce and strong, but still catchy enough to pass as a radio track. Their really isn't much of a pop element to this song at all, it's a surprisingly heavy rock effort for a 'pop' artist, but I love it! The melody is strong, and very easy to sing to. You can even scream your face off to it if you want. The guitar really drives the song along, while Kuu sings over top with great intensity. The only problem with this track is that it's sandwhiched between two tracks that are so incredibly different from one another that it gets completely lost. The placement on the single was perfect. Listen to it there for the full effect. Yume no Uta Now, suddenly, a typical pop power-ballad. Seriously, who planned out the tracklist? At first I wasn't too fond of this song, but it grew on me after repeated listens. The live performances of this song really helped me to llike it more, as it gave Kuu the chance to really display her vocal forte. So, it's basically just a typical pop ballad, but it's quite nice. I really like to sing along to it, and the strings arrangement is lovely. The bridge is also pretty damn good, but Kuu does tend to overdo it just a tad at the ad-libbed "Wooah-ho-hoooooo!" bit. The vocal ad-libbing at the end is a bit much sometimes. You can hear her voice has improved a lot, and she's really going with it. It just wouldn't hurt her to pull back a bit sometimes. None the less, this is a solid track, and I like it. It also has a pretty decent transition into the next track. Tsuki to Taiyou This track is a laid-back love song. A sort of mellow ballad. It sounds like something that you could find on one of her earlier albums. It's soft and sweet, with a catchy melody. It sounds quite friendly, and makes me smile a bit. The use of the vocoder at the beginning is something I can't make up my mind about though. It's soo cheesey, but it works for the song. The bridge is probably my favourite part. The vocal layers sound great, and it ties the whole song together quite well. After that though, the song falls apart when she starts up her ad-libbing again. Ususally I don't really care if she does that, but she usually does it in-key. Something sounds very sour with her ad-libbing this time, and it drives me nuts. It's recorded in a studio! Take some time to get it right! Puppy Now, an up-beat hyper pop song. It's very cute and the beat is infectious. The best part is really the chorus, "You say babe, babe, my sweet heart..." The musical climax/ instrumental break is a bit long though. Maybe a vocal bridge could have worked better. I really like the background "I just la-la-love soo gooooooooood" parts. The scoop sounds great. I like the song when I hear it, but afterwards I can hardly remember what it sounds like. If this song were a colour, it would be bright pink with swirls of different colours around the edges. Koi no Tsubomi After the second session I decided I was really going to pay attention to Kuu, so when this single came out I was sold. It's adorable! A happy, up-beat, sweet pop song. It's bright and colourful, just perfect for spring! The strings arrangement just adds to the song. I can't imagine what it would sound like without the strings. Kuu is not at her vocal best here, but the music is just so fun it doesn't really matter. The song is just great. :) The PV on the other hand....I hated it. The message is disgusting and I just hate it. It's really too bad that the PV is so disgusting, it takes away from the song. WON'T BE LONG ~Black Cherry Version~ A dark, boring, very over-the-top hip-hop version of WON'T BE LONG that she recorded with EXILE. The original track was so fun, full and exciting, but this version sounds empty and very dark. The yelling guy is cliche and annoying. Completely forgettable.... Although it does flow well into another forgettable track. ~The album feels different from here on in. But it still doesn't mean that it's good.~ JUICY I really don't like this track at all. It uses the same kind of 'middle-eastern hip-hop' production we've heard from her before, but it's more annoying in this track than anything else. Most Kuu fans like this song a lot, probably because it sounds more like her older hip-hop type material. But I just think it's boring. It's hardly catchy at all....honestly, when I first watched the video I thought "the video is just an orgy, and the song isn't even good..." Well, I guess they had to take the weakest song and sell it somehow, so they had her sex it all up by taking a bottle and having an orgy on the floor in the PV. She looks like she was standing in the middle of a bukkake war when the video started...all glazed and just...ick. Boring. Annoying. My least favourite of the 4 hot wave singles. Candle Light So, from over-active crap pop to small piano ballad. When I think of this song, I always think that it's only a minute or two long (it's actually 3:16). It has the same problem as most of the other tracks on the album - it's squashed between tracks that are too different. The tracks on either side of Candle Light also completely overpower it though. It's so quiet and laid back that it literally gets drown out by the loudness and general noise of the surrounding tracks. Her vocals are interesting on this one. She shows good strength in her upper-register, but the "Oh I'm soo hurt I'm crying and can barely sing but I'm going to do it anyway!" 'emotion' is a bit much. The vocals and piano also sound like they were recorded seperately. It could be a lovely song, but its just a little bland...and its missing something. Cherry Girl I love the guitar intro to this song. When I first heard it I thought "This could be awesome!" I was wrong. It's really just a noisey pop song, with an incredibly weak melody. I serisously have trouble remembering the melody, even when listening to the song. The bridge is cool though, I like and remember that part well, but the rest just slips away every time. The track also has this really annoying, thudding, whirring bass sound that just drives me insane! I can't stand to listen to it on a good sound system. Overall, I don't get what the big deal is about this track.....the song ends way too early in itself. Kuu was just left to go off on her own with the vocals, and what little structure the song had to begin with just falls apart. Yuck. I'll be there Love it. A bright, relaxed, refreshing summer song. I sometimes can't decide if this or Ningyo Hime was the best from 4 hot wave. Vocally, this song is probably one of the best matches for Kuu. She's strong, happy, and comfortable. She doesn't over do it at all, and her voice really adds to the music. I love this song. It really makes me smile, and it's great to sing! The instrumentation is superb, and everything has a nice, lite, dreamy feel to it. Just like remembering a great summer. The placement in the album isn't so terrible either, which helps solidify it as one of the best tracks. Unmei Another ballad. I generally like Kuu's ballads, but this one.....not so much. The guitar introduction is nice, but the song plods along slowly just waiting to go somewhere. Finally, almost 3 minutes into the 4:21 song, it goes, but it's overdone, and feels like it was just thrown in there. It feels like someone said "Shit! This song needs a bridge or something....fuck...Here, try this....will it fit there? Yeah, kinda. Good enough. Let's go." The melody is nice, but something is really missing...I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's just that it's disjointed. It's enjoyable enough when you hear it, but there's really not a whole lot to get excited about. With your smile A happy, cute, upbeat, danceable song. I like it. There's really nothing terribly special about it. It's just fun, and added another dimension to the 4 hot wave single. Good beat, decent vocals, catchy melody, smiley mood. It might seem a bit too loud if you're not in the right mood, but it's awesome fun if you're into it. ^-^ Milk Tea The first song Kuu wrote! It's quite cute. Very short, but it doesn't seem like such a tiny song. I love the "la-la yeah-yeah, yoo-hooo" parts. Very catchy! For a first effort, I think this song is good. It's not amazing or fantastic or anything, but writting music can be incredibly difficult. Her voice sounds a bit nasal, probably her trying to put on a 'cute' voice. It might be annoying somewhere else, but it really works for the song. One problem: it ends soo suddenly it's almost startling. Just melts away very quickly. Oh well, it's still cute. :P ~and that's where the album abruptly comes to an end, unless you have the bonus tracks~ Twinkle ~English Version~ I like this song. It's really typical j-pop, but it's still good. Kuu's English has improved a lot, but her pronunciation of some of the words is still terrible. Not so bad that it's embarassing, but bad enough. The bridge is effective and just kinda cool. I dunno, I just like it. :) There's not much to say here, the beat is strong, the melody is catchy, the song is just fun. I think I might like the version recorded with Show better, but I'm not sure. GO WAY!! This track leaked quite a while ago. I think it was sometime before 4 hot wave was announced, so we all thought it would be her follow-up single to Koi no Tsubomi. It starts with a loud orchestra slamming sound, and continues on with way too much sound. Between the bass line, the buzzing whistle, the random percussion, the vocals and everything else, this track is just far too busy for most of its play through. It does have a bright demeanour, and can be fun if you're in the mood for over-produced, busy pop music, but most of the time it just sounds loud and a bit annoying. It's not terribly memorable really...and right now, it feels far too long. I guess that's one of the reasons it was a first press bonus for the album. It's just a bit too much. Oh, and hooray for the tiny, cheesy pop-guitar solo. Hahaha. WON'T BE LONG ~Red Cherry Version~ I have no idea why it's called the Red Cherry Version. This version of the song is basically the same as the single version, except Kuu sings her own parts, as well as all of EXILE's parts. It just sounds weird, and a little empty without the guys. It's still fun, but not nearly as much as the regular single version....why isn't that on this album anywhere? Ok, so overall, what we have on this album is a lot of music. "Of course, don't be stupid. There are 18 tracks, of course that's a lot of music." That's not what I mean. An album usually has an overall mood or theme to it. Most albums tell a story, or take a journey of some kind (either musically of lyrically). Black Cherry feels more like a Best Of as most of the tracks have nothing to do with eachother at all, and the fact that most (12 in one way or another) of the tracks were released before the album dropped. The whole thing feels disjointed and a little sloppy to me. I actually wish that they had released two albums at once. With the amount of material on this disc, they could have easily split it up and released two 9 track albums (although they probably would want at least 12 or 13 tracks, so we'd have some more new material and more incentive to buy). Not to mention, the musical themes of cute, ballad, and hip-hop could have been easily divided into two good albums, instead of everything being thrown onto one mediocre album. (I actually said that the albums were probably going to be black and white themes and split up a certain way and blablabla. Well, that didn't happen for Kuu, but it's exactly what happened for Ayu's second A Best release. o_O)

A "MUST" 5

BUY IT NOW! It's such a good album, but it while you can 'cause it's a limited edition one...I won't tell you how good it is 'cause you must hear it or watch it to appreciate the real worth of it,

MEXICO
Delicious 5

Black Cherry is one of Kumi's most versatile works yet. There are beautiful ballads, rock songs, pop tunes, and one of her best introductions ever (which was made into the full track "Black Cherry" for her Kingdom album). The bonus tracks are catchy, and Won't Be Long ~Red Cherry Version~ is specially pretty, with Kumi singing all the song by herself. The first DVD features all the PVs released for this album, plus one of Twinkle featuring SHOW, which is an amazing song! The second DVD features the one-episode drama "Cherry Girl". It is a very entertaining short story, but unfortunately carries no subtitles. However it is very easy to understand the story, and it is very nice to watch. The BGM includes songs from the album as well. A definitely great album that should not be missed!

ARGENTINA
Harley BEAR!!! on Black Cherry 5

I love the cover it is awesome!!! The music is great since it includes Juicy, Ningyo Hime, Get Up & Move!!, Cherry Girl, With Your Smile and the ballads Yume no Uta and Candle Light. Not a big fan of WHILE IT IS AVAILABLE!!!!

UNITED STATES
so good 5

koda 5th album is great! i really enjoy listening to this limited 3cds edition. Album contains such hits like "juicy", "wont be long" and much more! trully recomend that cd

POLAND
I Don't Know... 4

I really don't know what to say about this album, to me, it was kind of a disappointment; or maybe I need to spend more than two months trying to find out does Black Cherry strikes me, and it doesn't. My Favorite Tracks: Ningyo Hime Yume No Uta Koi No Tsubomi JUICY Cherry Girl Black Cherry doesn't have that umph! that all the albums before Black Cherry, or maybe I'm just crazy according to all the other reviews. I hope that Kingdom is far better than this. But I would still recommend if you're a Kuu-chan fan.

UNITED STATES
A Kuu-chan brighter than ever! 5

I'm one of Kuu-chan's newers fans and I love this album a lot!! every single song is special, I personally like: Tsuki to Taiyou, Candle Light and With your smile. And as I heard in her early works her voice was kinda weird but it has matured and now sounds great. About dvds, all the pvs are totally awesome and some may say she's looks like a s*** but for me she's just a singer with her own style knowing what she's doing and how to make her fanboys happier xD and wahhh I'd like to know japanese to understand the drama and the photobook too. Kuu-chan we're waiting for Kingdom!!

MEXICO
Black Cherry Girl - Koda Kumi 5

She did it, yes, she did it again! She made AWESOME album, on which every song is a BIG hit! I think it's my favouite KUU's album so far! Before it was BEST ~second session~, BUT Black Cherry beat it for me. There's my favourite ballad ever - Yume no Uta, it's simply georgeous! BUT except it, there's much MORE other awesome songs in different music styles: R&B, Pop, Rock , like I'll be there, Cherry Girl, Unmei, Koi no Tsubomi, JUICY, WON'T BE LONG ~Black Cherry Version~ & etc. In this edition, there's not only one DVD with adorable PV's BUT also first Koda Kumi movie - Cherry Girl!! It's very fun comedy/drama/action. KUU did it even in her movie - combiend so many styles, like in album! I advice you to buy this edition 'cause of fun Cherry Girl Movie, just don't expect very much from the movie and you'll like it. Only one thing dissapoined me in this edition, that Cherry Girl Movie doesn't carry any subtitles & it's also impossible to find them online... P.S.: Album sales for today is almost 1 500 000 copies!! Also 90% of the songs are the main themes for TV & Movies.

RUSSIA
Amazing! 5

Koda Kumi is the best singer! She is amazing on this cd! My favorite songs are Juicy, Cherry Girl and Koi no Tsubomi! The videos for them are amazing too!

UNITED STATES
Toe Tappin' Good 5

I mean it, my feet won't stop tapping while listening to this CD... I admit, I'm biased when it comes to Kumi's music, not sure why, just am. But this album I believe blows the first two BEST albums out of the water, it's got everything a music lover could want, your slow songs, your rock-y types, your pop and your soul... Another must have from Kumi Koda!

NEW ZEALAND
Great album 5

I love this album because it has all kinds of styles of Kumi's music. And the fact that she wrote the lyrics AND music for Tsuki to Taiyo. Im so happy I finally have the album. The music videos are great! The photos on the inside and out are beautiful. Now all I have to wait for is the Black Cherry Arena Tour dvd

UNITED STATES
Black Cherry 5

I truly think "Black Cherry" is a step up from her previous albums. For the longest time, Kumi never really had her spot in the limelight. Now, she finally has her chance, selling over 1.4 million copies of this studio album. Most of the songs are pretty good, but I personally recommend (ranked): 1. Yume no Uta 2. Unmei 3. Cherry Girl 4. JUICY 5. WON'T BE LONG ~Red Cherry Version~ 6. Get Up & Move!! 7. Ningyo-hime 8. I'll be there 9. With your smile

CANADA
Kumi shows off her real power! 5

This showed everyone how Koda can do it big even without the word "BEST", this album is amazing and so are the videos and the dorama! She showed to everyone that she has a real talent and can capture you with her music, this album is a very cheerfull one, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

ITALY
Black Cherry 5

Barely a month after launching her fifth studio album, <i>Black Cherry</i>, she announced that she would release three projects in March: A new single, a compilation album and a concert tour DVD. Unlike her past sexy covers, Kumi has gone for a covered-up, black widow look for <i>Black Cherry</i>. But the fans don't seem to mind. More than 920,000 copies of the album sold in Japan within a month and hogged the topspot on the Oricon chart for four consecutive weeks. But her top-selling album yet is last year's <i>Best-Second Session</i>. It has sold a staggering 1.76 million copies in Japan to become the best-selling female album last year. Kumi herself seems satisfied with her achievements. She told <i>Oricon Style</i> magazine: "This is my sixth year in showbiz and also the year that I've grown the most."

SINGAPORE
A must buy for Ku fans! 5

I was hesitant about this one at first cuz I'd heard some negative feedback, but the more I listen to it the more I love it. I don't get those people out there who diss her voice and want to compare her to Ayumi. Two different artist and styles and Ku's really works in this album. Juicy does get a little slutty, but if you pay attention you'll see that was the point. She was seducing the guys to steel there map. So if you don't like it hit the fast-forward.

UNITED STATES
ABSOLUTELY A MUST BUY!!!!!! 5

I LOVE this album I cannot get enough of it! There a lot of songs that I love on here and my favorite has to be Cherry Girl or Juicy! Nevermind all of them are my favorite. I liked the fact that there were a lot of music videos on the the 1st DVD. The drama was okay though, I think with a little practice she could be a very good actress. The fighting made me laugh because when looking at it I thought I was looking at a Japanese version of Charlies Angles. lol This is a must buy!

UNITED STATES
What can I say?? 1

Hail to fans who wanna buy this album....I listen to all the tracks in the album..well I should say Kumi is pretty n sexy, but I guess it a bit too much...N what is gd is her sexy dance moves, other than that, her voice is just so-so... Consider Ayumi....she may not be a gd dancer, but her voice has proven her worth...N her MTV r a great feast to watch..big production too.....Koda, pls know when to STOP..Too much revealin is not necessary a gd thing...

SINGAPORE
Her best so far 5

This has to be Kuu's best album so far! Each one of the songs is catchy and her vocals are amazing. Plus she is one of the hottest female vocalists in Japan and the videos show her beauty. This is also one of the best albums released in 2006 and I'm looking foward to her future work. It's a must have for all Kuu fans.

MEXICO
Bleh... 1

Worst album I've ever bought. I've been a Ku fan for 4 years, but really...this would make most (non-baist) true fans turn against her. Just really bad songs, scratchy -n- nasly vocals, and really revealing and over-the-top sexual pvs. The movie is also horrible, focusing mainly on making Ku look sexy. Just a disaster. :( never will buy another Ku product ever again.

UNITED STATES

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