BONNIE PINK – ONE [10th Studio Album]

May 13, 2009 at 7:57 pm (BONNIE PINK) (, )

BONNIEPINKONE

BONNIE PINK’s 10th studio album, entitled ONE, was released on 05.13.09. The singles released before the album are as follows: Ring a Bell, 鐘を鳴らして and Joy / Happy Ending.

The album begins with the sweet song, Won’t Let You Go. The song starts off with a very calming and laidback instrumental although those first vocals sound really strange. Then comes the first verse and there’s just something natural and sweet about the way BONNIE sings so the listener gets into her performance. With the backing vocals on the chorus, this section of the song stands out and you can believe her when she sings “won’t let you go.” The whispering is a nice touch as well since it feels like a private moment between a couple. On the pure instrumental section, the guitar comes out to play and it spices up the music a little bit so it is welcomed. Won’t Let You Go is a good opening number and starts the album off on a smooth and calm note.

Up next is フューシャ フューシャ フューシャ.  A very pretty and slightly French-sounding instrumental opens the song, taking the listener into the story of the song. When BONNIE sings on the first verse, she sounds nice but it feels like there’s something magical missing from it. It probably lies in the music, which doesn’t really stand out even on the chorus. Truthfully, the best part of the song is when she sings the title of the song but the rest just sounds a little dry.  It just sounds weak compared to the first one and doesn’t follow up well.

Princess Incognito, the first all English song, picks up the pace a little bit. That opening music section has a few rock elements here and there to make things a little more interesting. It’s really surprising to hear her sing “I know a lot about him, I don’t know shit about him sometimes” since that doesn’t sound like something she would say but it does switch things up a little. BONNIE is usually very articulate with her English but it’s kind of hard to understand her at points and the music barely changes at all so it does drag on a little. So as for Princess Incongnito, the idea and lyrical theme of the song was nice but the execution is lacking and leaves much to be desired.

Joy is one of the sweetest songs and because of its natural quality, it’s one of the best songs on the album. The song begins with a very pretty and calming instrumental that catches the listener’s ear. Then comes BONNIE with the first verse and she sounds great, making the story of the song come alive. What makes this song so addictive is the chorus, particularly when she sings “joy, yes you give me joy.” It’s clearly one of the best sogns and it hasn’t lost any of its magic from its single release.

She then changes gears with the next song, 妄想 Lover. The song starts off with a pretty instrumental highlighted by the guitar. There’s this continuing sense of darkness that works well in establishing an atmosphere for the listener. She sounds good on the first verse and the contrast between the music and her voice is one that catches the listener’s ears. It’s kind of hard to notice when the chorus starts but the general flow of the song is good so it doesn’t particularly matter. This is one of the better songs on the album and deserves a listen.

Finally she goes upbeat with 鐘を鳴らして. The song opens up with a rocky instrumental with the drums and guitar ready to pump some energy into the album. Her vocals on the first verse are very smooth, staying with the tone of the music perfectly while separating enough to catch the ear of the listener. However it’s the chorus that makes the song so memorable with the music getting slightly more aggressive. It still isn’t as strong as its English counterpart but it’s still very catchy.

BONNIE moves into ballad territory with One Last Time. Beginning the song is a very mysterious instrumental that soon becomes a relaxing one, with the piano standing out strongly. Her vocals seem deeper than usual on the first verse but she definitely portrays the emotions of the song well. As the song goes on, she continues to sound strong and when the chorus comes up, she gives those vocals a step up and there is a “raw feeling” that comes through. This is especially true when she belts out “say that you love me one last time.” One Last Time is one of the best songs on ONE as BONNIE brings out the card of emotions for the audience to truly understand.

She then moves back to the uptempo sound with Rock You Till Dawn. It’s kind of a cute number, which isn’t really BONNIE’s strength. The vocals sound a little strange at points although the music does sound interesting. There is just something missing so the connection between the two doesn’t come across right. It’s just very repetitive and not very catchy.

BONNIE PINK teams up with Craig Davis for the next song, Fed Up. Craig Davis’ voice is kind of whiny so it’s not the most enjoyable one to listen to but BONNIE sounds great. The only problem is that her vocals don’t always match the energy of the music so that she comes off as sounding a little uninterested and not connected with the true emotions of the song. Also, the chorus ends up sounding repetitive with the continuous “just because you’re fed up.” It was a nice try but it doesn’t come across as good as it should have.

Luckily things pick up with the interesting track, PLAY & PAUSE. The song starts off with a very cool upbeat instrumental that will easily catch the attention of the listener. BONNIE stays in the higher range on the first verse and it actually makes the listener pay attention and she sounds great when she sings “I stay here.” The combination of her voice and the music sounds particularly strong on the chorus and everything just comes together. It’s a funny moment in the song when she sings “google me tonight” since it just sounds so weird but somehow likeable. Now I’ve never heard BONNIE try to rap before and she actually does a pretty good job of sounding slick and cool here so she gets points for that. PLAY & PAUSE is a true gem of this album and needs to be listened to.

秘密 is the next track. Beginning the song is a nice and midtempo instrumental that seems to tell a story. With a clear beat, BONNIE sings along and gets the listener excited for what is to come as her vocals are very smooth and go nicely with the music. On the chorus, she sings in a higher tone and the music comes together more strongly for everyone to enjoy. This song may not be the most complicated but it’s nice for what it is.

BONNIE PINK’s albums traditionally have two English songs and the second English offering is Try Me Out. Unfortunately, the song is very dull and it’s hard to tell she is even singing in English at points. The instrumentation is simple, just the guitar so it doesn’t come across as being too interesting. It doesn’t grab the listener in any way and it would have been better left off the album.

Happy Ending was extremely boring when it was released as a single and it’s still boring. Like many of the other tracks, it just fails to leave an impression on the listener with a subpar instrumental and okay vocals. Perhaps if it were sung with more emotion, it would have stood out more.

Get on the Bus is the album’s semifinale. The song is yet another midtempo relaxing number which is nice but in the context of the album, gets a little old since there are so many others like it. It has no particularly grabbing instrumental to set it apart but it’s nice.

Included as a bonus track is Ring a Bell, which was the first song on the album. It’s much better than 鐘を鳴らして and has a good flow to it so it’s good to see that it’s been included on the packaging, even if just as a bonus track.

Album Ranking: B –

Thinking Out Loud was a great album and it’s pretty disappointing to have ONE follow that. The album has far too many similar songs that take on the midtempo vibe. More variety would have definitely improved this album because that’s where the true problem lies.

Most Memorable 5 Tracks: PLAY & PAUSE, Joy, 鐘を鳴らして (or Ring a Bell), 妄想 Lover, Won’t Let You Go

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11 Comments

  1. adamant_cocoon said,

    I like this review. But I kind of disagree with you comment on ToL because I think it’s worse than ONE. ONE, on the other hand, is decent but still as half-assed as its predecessor. I really am underwhelmed by BONNIE’s work lately ( ever since, say, Anything for You?) and this doesn’t change that. Would she at least make a Heaven’s Kitchen retread someday? Nope. Hardly possible for her now that she has lost a lot of charm in her music and especially in her voice. Then again, I still like your review!

  2. amaiyume said,

    Thanks for commenting!
    we all have our tastes so it’s all good 🙂

    Thinking Out Loud had better standout tracks like A Perfect Sky and Lullaby but this one didn’t really…I like Joy and PLAY & PAUSE…but…

  3. adamant_cocoon said,

    Yeah. I liked Lullaby. Both albums (ToL and ONE) do have their respecive standout tracks. As a whole, though, ONE is slightly more than the sum of its parts.

    Well, I can’t wait for other reviews on this album…yours is a good start!

  4. amaiyume said,

    Well I can see where you’re coming from although I prefer Thinking Out Loud 🙂

    I’ve heard some mixed reviews on the album so I think you’ll get a lot of variety from other reviews!

  5. adamant_cocoon said,

    Well, evil & flowers is her best album anyway…hehe~

  6. adamant_cocoon said,

    Excuse me,amaiyume, but is there by any chance you understood the lyrics to Try Me Out? I’m kind of scratching my head throughout the song! Thanks if you did…

  7. adamant_cocoon said,

    Wait…I’m working on it! This is fun!

  8. amaiyume said,

    lol, I actually looked up the lyrics online so I didn’t figure them out myself
    I can try to find the link for you if you want 🙂

  9. adamant_cocoon said,

    Did she just say “chrono-lo-GIC-al order” and “girl with a fadafathatoo”? lol….sure, that would be nice. I’m trying to decipher most of the lyrics and so far “guy with Barbie in hand” and “fadafathatoo” are the most baffling parts. The lines that are cleared out now actually sound well-written. Bonnie still has some writing chops after all!

  10. amaiyume said,

    I looked up the lyrics and I think these are the parts you’re talking about

    “A guy with a puppy in hand”
    “I’m the girl with a butterfly tattoo”

    hahaha
    I like her lyrics although I actually didn’t like them as much as some of her lyrics from other albums

  11. adamant_cocoon said,

    Really? My…the word did sound like it had b’s instead of p’s so I assumed the entire line was a “You’re the guy with the ‘Barbie’ in hand”.Bonnie’s enunication of ‘butterfly’ was very unclear, too. This is frustrating—what happened to her English? haha..oh well…thanks for the info!

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