My opinion so far: outside >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> inside.
Inside is bad. Period. The only gem is on my way, the rest is either ok (bridget song, promise you, what's up, my fun), meh (yorokobi no kakera, stand by you) or bad (bring it on, sukideshita, kimi omoi). It's like she's cancelled all the growth she's had with the past 2 albums.
Outside...not outstanding like I was expecting but not as bad as the previews made me believe. 5 songs are killers (Insane, W FACE, Damn Real, Bassline, Shhh) Wicked Girls, Bangerang and Ultraviolet are okaysh, nothing mindblowing they have imperfections but in a 10 tracks album they feel lacking. Heartless is better than anything on "inside" but her vocals are too screechy, Kumi you're a contralto stop acting like a soprano, having said that it's great to hear her on such a raw ballad. Cupcake is ugly as ****
Overall I'd rate outside 7:5/10 and inside 6/10, the whole project together...maybe a 7/10, I don't know yet. The concept is cool but there's too much weak material this time around. WOML was such a fierce album with basically no fillers where each song, even the weaker, had a unique sound that set Kuuchan apart from her older self and her competition. Outside still has that fierceness but it sounds more calculated and contemporary, which might be a good thing especially with the release on spotify, it might get her a few extra fans.
Anyway, after 2 years of waiting I'm slightly disappointed but I'm happy she's done something different with this release and that the albums are available in 24bit (they sound AMAZING!). Kumi works hard every year and I know it was going to be hard for her to top WOML so I'll cut her some slack this time around.
After hearing inside I'm not really sure if I want to go to see her live this year...I don't want to save money and organize a busy trip schedule in Japan and squeeze a few Kumi dates in there. I don't think it'll be worth it if she promotes more than half of inside.
Anyway, working on a full scale review on our website, always great sharing our opinions no matter how different they can be.