BENI – Covers

March 21, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Posted in BENI | 2 Comments

ALBUM REVIEW
BENI -Covers

1. Ti Amo (BENI & Seiji Motoyama)
2. LA・LA・LA LOVE SONG
3. 瞳をとじて
4. 奏 (かなで
5. One more time, One more chance
6. Robinson
7. SUDDENLY ~ラブ・ストーリーは突然に~
8. もう恋なんてしない
9. 桜坂
10. ここにしか咲かない花
11. 今のキミを忘れない
12. いとしのエリー
13. TRUE LOVE

♦ ♦ ♦

Covers is the first cover album and ninth album overall by Japanese/American singer BENI. The album was released on March 21, 2012. It is a Japanese to English cover album that includes covers of songs by Japanese male singers, translated from their original songs to this album. The song Ti Amo was released as digital single.

And that’s the one we’re starting with: Ti Amo. I have been avoiding the PV so I would go into reviewing without prejudices. BENI is, as far as I know them, the only Japan based artist that can actually sing English because of her American roots. This first song makes me think of Latin music because of the acoustic guitar, but I like the flowing piano melody and soft percussion very much as well. I really enjoyed this song!

LA・LA・LA LOVE SONG appears to be a very popular Japanese song already, but this is my first encounter. I thought the arrangement was pretty funky and even a bit nostalgic, and it’s definitely a nice uplifting lounge song. The guitar riffs are my favorite part of the arrangement, it spices up the song just a bit more. BENI’s vocals and English are ofcourse flawless.

I fell in love with 瞳をとじて from the start, although the lyrics and melody give it kind of a sad ambience. This only becomes more clear when the background vocals and strings drop in, and BENI belts out her lyrics in a very solid and emotional way. If there’s one thing this girl can do perfectly, it’s putting the right amount of emotion in a song. What I also like about this song is how it builds up from something very simple and sweet into something strong and very emotional, with still a couple of intimate moments inbetween.

An uptempo song would’ve fit better after the previous song, but I’m not dissatisfied at all when I hear 奏 (かなで. Initially I thought it would be the same kind of song as 瞳をとじて, but it’s not a very emotional ballad. Rather a smooth slow song with a very nice arrangement, containing a piano, strings, an acoustic guitar and a nice percussion beat. I like the synth melody in the bridge, it adds more dimension to the song. BENI’s vocals are very strong in the chorus, oh how I love her voice.

I really like how One more time, One more chancestarts very simple and intimate with just BENI’s vocals and a cute, bittersweet high pitched keyboard melody. After about two minutes, percussion and guitars build around that and everything together (including beautiful background vocals) gives me chills all over. What captures me most is the melody of this track. My favorite up until now ❤

The first real uptempo track on this album is Robinson (fun name for a song by the way). The synths opening the song give it kind of an 80s feeling, if that isn’t a bit too far-fetched. I’m gonna praise BENI’s songwriting skills above all here, because these lyrics are so beautiful they caught my ears from the very first sentence. I can imagine BENI walking down a sunny street, just loving the world around her. Very uplifting song, and just what the album needed at this point.

SUDDENLY ~ラブ・ストーリーは突然に~ wasn’t written by BENI, but it definitely stands out for me because it’s a dance song. Most of the time I dislike this genre, but somehow BENI managed to make this bearable for me through staying away from vocoders (most of the time). Only the introduction was a bit weird, when her vocals are distorted when she sings ‘Suddenly…‘. But overall this song is also very uplifting and it has a great sense of flair.

I expected もう恋なんてしない to be a ballad, but it is in fact a nice midtempo song with a great sense of appeal to it! I fell in love with the arrangement; the song features a R&B flavor with some synths, but also some traditional instruments such as strings. I love it when BENI’s main vocals are combined with her own background vocals, it’s like perfection.

桜坂 starts off with so much emotion! The fragile piano melody together with strings, how much pathos do you want? In fact, this song reminded me a bit of ayaka’s ‘Mikazuki’, which I loved to death and still do. When a soft beat with fingerknips and a guitar join the piano and strings, I’ve again found one of the most perfect BENI ballads (well okay, it’s not really hers but at least she gave it a great personal touch!).

I know Kobukuro from their collabs with ayaka, so I was surprised to find at least one artist that BENI covered I know. ここにしか咲かない花 is another beautiful ballad, and at first I was stunned by how pretty the lyrics are: ‘I wait for the day when we reunite where the flowers bloom, for me and you‘. This ballad also starts off simple with just a ballad, but then percussion, guitars and synth riffs build around it to complete the song.

今のキミを忘れない could easily be one of BENI’s own song because it’s exactly her own style. The most exciting part of this song considering BENI’s vocals is the chorus, in which she belts out her lyrics and reaches high notes too. The lyrics are bittersweet, but the melody is very cheerful and the high pitched synth makes it a bit cuter if you ask me. I don’t know why, but I seem to love this song very much for its ‘BENI R&B qualities’, as I like to call it.

The first thing that pops into mind when いとしのエリー plays is ‘sensuality’. It’s a really smooth and relaxing song and it features some moments with a great melody that stand out in the track. Again, this is a song that could’ve been one of BENI’s so she really succeeded in making this Southern All Stars’ song her own. The synth riffs and the background instrument (please can someone help me out?) are the most exciting part of the musical arrangement and it makes the song so much nicer.

The last track is TRUE LOVE, and it’s another ballad on an already ballad-filled album, but it’s okay with me because BENI has already proved herself the Queen of Ballads. It’s filled with emotions, so this album is really gonna leave me with a big lump in my throat. The piano and strings make up a great arrangement and they even have a very own instrumental part to add even more drama to the song. BENI almost seems to sing in a bit of a deeper voice than usual, but still she can hit some pretty hight notes with her high feminine voice. ‘Sometimes the dreamin’ is to end‘. Sad lyrics, but perfect ❤

So I think it’s pretty clear what I think of this album, and that it’s perfect perfect PERFECT. I really have found about… well, no flaws at all this time and if this album was named differently and I didn’t know it was a cover album, I would’ve easily believed this album was purely a creation of her own. It fits the rest of her discography so well and she made every song her own, she definitely deserves that, as well as some credits for her amazing songwriting. I have a little playlist of BENI favorites, and I’m about to throw the entire album into it!

Favorite songs: 瞳をとじて | One more time, One more chance | Robinson | もう恋なんてしない | 桜坂 | ここにしか咲かない花 | 今のキミを忘れない

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

Advertisements

2 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Actually there are quite a few Japanese singers that are fluent English speakers.

    Ai was born in LA; Angela Aki’s father owns a chain of language schools, so she grew up learning English; Utada Hikaru has lived on and off in the US; Nishino Kana spent a lot of time in English schools; Crystal Kay is half American and tweets in English; and there are several members of AKB48 that can speak English, one having lived in Arizona. Oh, and MiChi is half English, and sings in both languages.

    • Thank you for the information! I knew about some of these singers, but not all of them =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: