BENI – COVERS 3

December 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Posted in BENI | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
BENI – COVERS 3

1. Konayuki
2. Namida no Kiss
3. Ai Uta
4. Hana
5. Zenryoku Shounen
6. Wine Red no Kokoro
7. Kaede
8. WON’T BE LONG
9. RUN AWAY
10. Shimanchu nu Takara
11. WOW WAR TONIGHT ~ Toki ni wa Okose yo Movement

♦ ♦ ♦

COVERS 3 is the third cover album released by Japanese/American singer BENI on December 18, 2013. The album debuted at #2 on the Oricon Charts.

Konayuki was released as a single last month and I think it’s perfect to start the album with this song, since this made me wonder if the rest of the songs on the album would be as good as this one. The song is a midtempo winter ballad, perfect for this time of year with the little chimes in the background. Still it has a little edge to it with the synths and beats and BENI’s powerful vocals.

The second song is Namida no Kiss, and just as with the rest of the songs on the album I have to admit I’m not familiar with the original. This track is very smooth and slow, with a groovy tempo. I love the bass and guitar here and how they influence the overall sound, but BENI’s vocals are a little too harsh for this ambience. True, she sounds lovely, but her volume was a little too much.

Ai Uta might be the third ballad in a row, but this is the first one with a more emotional touch that really gets to you. BENI’s vocals and input are perfect here, softly singing along with the piano melody. The emotional feeling in the song builds up, leading it into a highlight with more powerful vocals as well.

Hana really got me surprised from BENI’s very first note. There’s more edge to this song than to the previous three, with synths softly building up in the background before unleashing an amazing percussion beat that I adore. The little piano notes in the background make it a little groovier and very catchy, I can see myself loving this song even more in time.

Apparently we headed into a little uptempo section on the album, since Zenryoku Shounen incorporates a lot of synths and beats in its arrangement. The lyrics that BENI wrote probably bring up an entire new subject for the song since it doesn’t talk about a ‘powerful boy’ but more about herself finding a new beginning. Still, it all fits together and this song really kicks ass!

Ah, if I’m not mistaken Koda Kumi also has her version of Wine Red no Kokoro and if I remember it well I didn’t really like it because it was dragging like hell. BENI on the other hand really made this her own again and made it an acoustic guitar influenced ballad that is way more accessable for me. It’s not the best song I’ve ever heard since it’s very simple, but still, BENI wins. Again. *thinks back to Chiisana Koi no Uta*

Kaede is one of the longest songs on the album at a little over six minutes, and although it takes its time to start up it gets really interesting once the chorus comes along. It’s better than Wine Red no Kokoro and it gets even better when the song reaches the bridge. The real highlight kinda stays out, but the arrangement is very enjoyable and close to perfection. It just flows a little too well, if you know what I mean.

ARE YOU SERIOUS??! Omfg. WON’T BE LONG, the song that Koda Kumi made two versions of for her Black Cherry album in 2007 and apparently now it’s BENI’s turn. I can’t take this seriously, but okay, I’ll try. It bears a lot of similarities to Kuu’s version, but BENI’s version is higher and solo for that matter. I must say this version is much better than the Kuu version I have known for years, so this just proves one thing: Kuu can pack her bags, plz don’t make another cover album and just leave it to BENI to slay everything.

When I saw the title, I was afraid this was going to be the RUN AWAY that was also featured on the Satsuki Ame single. I can’t remember why I gave that single five stars, since I don’t think this song was perfect or anything. Okay, it has a lot of sass and edge to it with those swirling synths and fast beats, it’s playful, but there’s just so much missing in the chorus. I don’t like the melodies. Anywayz, not a disaster but still.

Shimanchu nu Takara takes it down a notch with a softer ballad approach. This just screams BENI’s personal style because of the fingersnaps in the beat and soft synths and bass luring in the background. This could have been just another ballad that passes me by without me really noticing it, but I like the melodies in this song and BENI’s soft vocals. Her lyrics are amazing as well, they actually have meaning!

WOW WAR TONIGHT ~ Toki ni wa Okose yo Movement closes the album, and it has a very appealing sound from the start. It has a clear R&B sound with some minor hiphop influences in the beat. Later on, some synths and even better percussion join in to make it perfect. BENI’s vocals show a certain amount of energy throughout the song, really dragging you into it. It’s a song with an interesting pattern, but it’s soooo good. One of my absolute favorites. BUT WTF WAS THAT STRANGE YELL AT THE END O.O

Most of the time, I’m not much into cover albums, especially not if I don’t know any of the songs. Well, I knew three out of eleven (xD), and this is BENI’s best cover album out of the three she has released up until now. It’s a little ballad heavy, but songs like WOW WAR TONIGHT and Zenryoku Shounen tried to balance out the album. I liked her other COVERS albums too, but those songs never really stayed with me, and I think this album definitely has the potential to be more memorable to me personally. I’d like to see BENI release some more original music soon though, since RED wasn’t what I was craving for this past year. If she would release something like this with original compositions, I’m sold.

Favorite tracks: Konayuki | Ai Uta | Hana | Zenryoku Shounen | WON’T BE LONG | WOW WAR TONIGHT ~ Toki ni wa Okose yo Movement

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarblankstar
4 stars

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