Review by David Cirone
Summer EP release Summer Trip is a fun, welcome back treat for Koda Kumi fans. Matched together with the postcard-like cover, it’s a message that says “Having fun. Be back home soon.”
The focus of Summer Trip is image. no doubt. The 3-song EP is a strong smack in the face to anyone who had doubts after Koda Kumi’s pregnancy. The cover photo is beautiful. gorgeous, and strong. Yes she’s back, and she’s as sexy and high-energy as ever.
I’m still not a fan of “Rock” Kumi, and “LaLaLaLaLa” doesn’t do much to change my mind. But the dance-oriented “Is this Trap?” and “Touchdown” are exciting, replay-ready tracks. “Is this Trap?” brings in an overdub, club music style that channels Namie Amuro’s signature style. “Touchdown”‘s spare, clean beats and seductive vocals score a bullseye. Crank this one in your car next chance you get.
As a concept, Summer Trip falls flat. The fake DJ delivers a flatline English intro between songs, talking in pseudo-hype-speak about “Japan’s Pop Diva, Kumi Koda.” The facade is completely see-through in the intro to “Touchdown,” where the DJ abandons talking about the music altogether to remind you to watch the music video to see the singer’s “beautiful, in-shape” hot body and five costume changes.
The special edition DVD includes the music videos for “LaLaLaLaLa” and “Touchdown,” plus an 18-minute “Making Of” digest showing Kumi braving freezing beach winds in Malibu to finish her photo shoot and rrehearsing with director/choreographer Fatima Robinson. Both videos look great, but the vacation photo style of “LaLaLaLaLa” tries too hard to show Kumi having fun with her generic American casting extra friends on Venice Beach. “Touchdown,” on the other hand, has a slick and stylish look that fits perfectly.