BENI – ずっと二人で [12th Single]

August 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm (BENI) (, )

BENI - Zutto

BENI’s 12th single, entitled ずっと二人で, was released on 08.12.09. This is her 4th single under her new name. The title track was used as a theme song for Recochoku while With U was used as an Orion Beer CM song.

ずっと二人で continues the trend of slow songs as A-sides for BENI. It begins with a nice pure instrumental to start things off on a natural and relaxing vibe, seeming to fit the beginning of autumn quite nicely. The chorus features some great vocals from BENI and the instrumentation has such a sparkling aura about it, that it can’t go unnoticed by the listener. On the first verse, she keeps up the good vocals and the music stays pretty. Although it’s not as strong as the preceding A-side, it’s still quite enjoyable and has BENI giving those great vocals.

The first B-side is stardust. It features an interesting upbeat sound and although BENI’s vocals are quite nice, it feels as if the song would have been better suited for someone else’s voice. Otherwise, it’s nice but there’s just that magic spark missing between the vocals and the music.

With U, a very pretty midtempo number, is the second B-side. There’s such a natural atmosphere about the song that resonates with the listener and BENI provides strong vocals as usual. It’s a winning combination and allows the listener to really get into the feel of the song.

The third B-side is a cover of The Boy Is Mine by Brandy and Monica, now delivered by BENI and Tynisha Keli. BENI actually does a pretty good job with this one in that her pronounciation is good and her vocals seem to capture the energy of the song. Tynisha, on the other hand, gives some questionable vocals since her voice just seems a little too high for this style. As to why they chose to cover this song, it’s a bit of a mystery and they might as well not have done it.

In order to promote the single, 2 PVs were made: one for ずっと二人で and one for The Boy Is Mine. The ずっと二人で is quite simple, just featuring BENI at different beautiful settings. There really isn’t much to say about the video but it fits the sweet simplicity of the song very well. The Boy Is Mine PV features the same style as the original with the girls confronting each other and ultimately leaving the playboy by himself. It’s not that great but it does fit the song well.

Single Ranking: B

Well it’s another slow number from BENI. The last A-side was very strong so this one falls flat in comparison. It’s still a nice song though and worth the listen as is With U. Hopefully her album will show more of what she can do besides slow songs.

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BENI – 恋焦がれて [11th Single]

June 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm (BENI) (, )

BENI

BENI’s 11th single, entitled 恋焦がれて, was released on 06.10.09. It’s the third release under her new name BENI, under hew new label.

恋焦がれて, a sweet midtempo number, is described as a love song perfect for summer. The song begins with some vocalizations from BENI that sound beautiful and the sweet sounds of the guitar. They form such a good combination and make for the perfect opening. Then comes the first verse and her vocals sound very pretty here, carrying emotion to make the listener really fall into the sound of the song. As expected, the chorus sounds great and she brings even stronger vocals to make this section stand out even more. 恋焦がれて is definitely BENI’s best song under her new name and is one of the strongest songs in her discography.

CRUISE the WORLD is a nice change for BENI as it’s an upbeat pop song with a pretty interesting instrumental. It’s cute but it also carries a cool element to it that will have the listener playing the song on repeat. With all of the A-sides from BENI thus far being slow songs, it’s nice to have her do something different even if it’s only for the B-side.

FOREVER 21 is the single’s second B-side. It’s a nice song although it doesn’t particularly stand out like the other two songs on the single. Her vocals are quite nice but the music is just pretty uninteresting.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 恋焦がれて was made. The video fits perfectly with the song, featuring a couple in love. They spend time apart and are longing to see each other, wondering if it’s the right decision. BENI also appears in the video as she stands outside in the rain. Although she’s not directly involved in the plot of the video, it’s as if her message reaches the two people and brings them together.

Single Ranking: A –

Without a doubt, 恋焦がれて is BENI’s best single. The title track is a beautiful midtempo track with emotions that come through strongly. CRUISE the WORLD is an excellent B-side and it would have been a fantastic A-side. It should have been a double A-side with these two songs. Forever 21 is a little forgettable but overall, it’s a great single and one to be remembered.

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BENI – Kiss Kiss Kiss [10th Single]

May 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm (BENI) (, )

beni1

BENI’s 10th single (2nd as BENI), entitled Kiss Kiss Kiss, was released on 04.08.09. Kiss Kiss Kiss was used as the Kao Biore Body Deli CM song.

Kiss Kiss Kiss is a sweet midtempo song about youthful love. The song begins with a very American sounding instrumental with BENI repeating the title of the song. Admittedly, her vocals sound kind of strange here but when she goes into the first verse, she sounds a lot better. With the piano standing as the central instrumental, BENI supports the atmosphere perfectly and it feels like she’s telling a story. That repeating “kiss kiss kiss” comes back in the chorus and the whole thing just sounds so American and very familiar.

beni2Signal has a more dance-friendly sound and it’s definitely where she excels. It’s the chorus that really stands out because BENI delivers so much attitude and her vocals are very sleek and commanding, particularly on that last line: “turn me on, turn me on boy.” At some points, she reaches a little deep and those points don’t come across as smoothly but she remains delightful throughout the entire song. Signal really should have been the A-side because it is definitely the superior track.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Kiss Kiss Kiss was made. The video mainly features scenes of BENI just singing and looking pretty but the lyrics are supported as it shows BENI falling in love. It’s sweet but it could have been a lot better when it all boils down to it.

Single Ranking: B

The problem with Kiss Kiss Kiss is that it sounds so American and unoriginal. It actually does bear a sort of resemble to Eien by BoA except nowhere nearly as good since BoA took it to the next level. Signal really sounds better and should have been the A-side. It would be nice to see BENI try a little more and experiment with other sounds so we can see her diversity as an artist.

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BENI – もう二度と… [9th Single]

December 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm (BENI) (, )

mounidoto

BENI’s (a.k.a. Arashiro Beni) 9th single, entitled もう二度と…, was released on 12.10.08. This single is BENI’s first since her name change and is a response song to the smash hit もう二度と… (Dohzi-T featuring Arashiro Beni).

もう二度と… is a sweet and painful love song. The song begins with the chorus and her vocals are very pretty here, really capturing the sadness of the song. The use of English phrases also really make it pop, showcasing BENI’s strong vocals. Although the instrumentation is very simple, it works in putting the spotlight on her voice and the emotions. The verses are a little bit slow as both the vocals and instrumentation calm down but each time the chorus comes around, the listener gets hooked again. So it’s a nice song but it would have been much more enjoyable had the verses been stronger.

In order to promote the single, a PV for もう二度と… was made. Unfortunately, the video is really boring as it just features BENI standing in a train station singing. There’s just nothing going on in this video so in this case, simplicity was not the key.

Single Ranking: B –

I was hoping that BENI’s comeback would be amazing but having it just be an answer song was just not a very wise idea. Hopefully she’ll be doing more upbeat music in the future since that’s where she shines or at least a very pretty slow song a la Mellow Parade.

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