Songbird (Kokia album)

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Songbird
Kokia song.jpg
Studio album by Kokia
Released July 16, 1999 (1999-07-16)
Recorded 1998–1999
Genre J-pop
Length 48:18
1:03:01 (re-release)
Label Pony Canyon
Producer Toshifumi Hinata
Kokia chronology
Songbird
(1999)
Trip Trip
(2002)Trip Trip2002

The Voice
(2008) The Voice2008

Kokia Complete Collection 1998–1999
(2008) String Module Error: Match not found2008

Fairy Dance: Kokia Meets Ireland
(2008) Fairy Dance: Kokia Meets Ireland2008
Kokia Complete Collection 1998–1999
Re-release cover.
Re-release cover.
Singles from Songbird
  1. "Aishiteiru Kara"
    Released: April 29, 1998
  2. "Arigatō..."
    Released: June 17, 1999

Songbird (stylised as songbird) is Kokia's debut album, released on July 16, 1999 (1999-07-16).[1] It is her only album released under Pony Canyon, the rest being released with Victor Entertainment or Wasabi Records.[2]

The album was re-released in 2008, as Kokia Complete Collection 1998–1999, featuring the album as well bonus tracks from her Pony Canyon singles, "Aishiteiru Kara," "Tears in Love" and "Arigatō..."[3]

Kokia considers the lead single from the album, "Arigatō...," to be one of her favourite songs.[4] She wrote the song in the mid 1990s, about the death of her family's pet dog.[5] She has re-recorded it three times: on her 2006 greatest album, Pearl: The Best Collection, on the 2007 Japanese release of Aigakikoeru: Listen for the Love and on the limited edition of her 2009 second greatest hits album, Coquillage: The Best Collection II.

In 2003, the songs "I Catch a Cold" and "Shiroi Yuki" were used in the soundtrack for the popular Chinese drama At the Dolphin Bay.[6]

Background[edit]

Kokia released three singles before her album: "Ai no Field" (愛の輪郭(フィールド)?, Field of Love), "Tears in Love" and "Arigatō...".[7] "Ai no Field" was the anime Brain Powerd's ending theme song, and was produced by Yoko Kanno (however, it was released through Victor Entertainment and not Pony Canyon).[8] "Tears in Love" was released in November. The B-side from this single, "Blue Night," was played as a theme song for a radio show Kokia had on FM Hokkaido, Kokia Innocent Time.[9] This is the first release Kokia worked on personally, as she wrote the lyrics on both tracks.[9] Seven months later in June 1999, the final single, "Arigatō...," was released.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
CDJournal (favourable)[10]
Shunta Tanizaki (favourable)[11]

The album did not chart on the Japanese Oricon albums charts.[12]

The album was released in Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.) in October.[13] In Hong Kong, the album saw much more success. It was released simultaneously with Sammi Cheng's album "Arigatou," which featured a cover of the lead single.[14] Cheng's cover was a hit in Hong Kong.[2] Kokia's version of the song was later awarded third in the 1999 Hong Kong International Popular Song Award (香港國際流行音樂大赏).[2]

Reception by critics was positive. Music critic Shunta Tanizaki praised the album for Kokia's clear voice, and described the songs as "kind" and "tearing down the everyday."[11] CDJournal praised the album for its beautiful melodies, and felt that producer Toshifumi Hinata's production fitted well with Kokia's music. Special note was taken of her falsetto vocals, which were described as elegant, impressive and "overflowing with clarity."[10]

Re-release[edit]

In 2008, after Kokia had focused working with her new label Victor Entertainment for eight years, Pony Canyon re-released the album for her 10th anniversary. It was retitled Kokia Complete Collection 1998–1999, and featured three tracks not present on the original disc, but on Pony Canyon singles: "Blue Night," "Tears in Love" and the original version of "Aishiteiru Kara." Also featured was a DVD that included the music videos for "Aishiteiru Kara" and "Tears in Love."

The re-release charted at #254 on Oricon's album charts.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs arranged by Toshifumi Hinata.

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Watashi wa Utau Kotori Desu (私は歌う小鳥です?, I'm a Little Songbird)" Kokia Kokia 2:53
2. "Soyokaze ga Sōgen o Naderu Yō ni (そよ風が草原をなでるように?, Like a Gentle Breeze Stroking the Grasslands)" Kokia Kokia, Toshifumi Hinata 5:06
3. "I Catch a Cold" Kokia Kokia 3:08
4. "Shiroi Yuki (白い雪?, White Snow)" Kokia Kokia 4:21
5. "River" Kokia Kokia 4:21
6. "Hirusagari no Toki (昼下がりの時?, Early Afternoon)" Kokia Kokia 4:05
7. "You" Hinata Hinata 5:05
8. "Live Alone" Kokia Kokia 5:52
9. "Arigatō... (ありがとう・・・?, Thank You...)" Kokia Kokia 4:08
10. "Erika (エリカ?)" Kokia Kokia 4:04
11. "Aishiteiru Kara (Sincerely Version) (愛しているから?, Because I Love You)" Yukiyo Mizuno Hinata 4:54

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Japan July 16, 1999 (1999-07-16)[1] Pony Canyon CD PCCA-1351
Asia October 1, 1999 (1999-10-01)[13] Pony Canyon (HK) CD
Japan re-release September 17, 2008 (2008-09-17)[3] Pony Canyon CD+DVD PCCA-2748

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ポニーキャニオン - songbird:KOKIA" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  2. ^ a b c プロフィール (in Japanese). Kokia Web. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  3. ^ a b "ポニーキャニオン - KOKIA complete collection 1998-1999:KOKIA" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  4. ^ "KOKIA in Concert in France". JaME World. 2006-03-17. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  5. ^ ベストを発売いたします ♪. 'Otonami' Music Translator Kokia's Blog (in Japanese). 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  6. ^ "At The Dolphin Bay Original Soundtrack". YesAsia. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  7. ^ "KOKIA アーティストページ - TSUTAYA online" (in Japanese). Tsutaya. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  8. ^ "愛の輪郭 - KOKIA / オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  9. ^ a b "Tears in Love - KOKIA / オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  10. ^ a b "試聴記コメント/ガイドコメント". CDJournal. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  11. ^ a b "商品の説明 - Amazon.co.jp". Shunta Tanizaki. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  12. ^ a b "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-03-09.  (subscription only)
  13. ^ a b "Songbird (Overseas Ver.)". YesAsia. 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Arigatou by Sammi Cheng". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-03-08.