CD Review :: BENI - Bitter & Sweet
CD Only Cover :
CD + DVD Cover :
1) Bitter & Sweet Intro
2) Kiss Kiss Kiss
3) Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us)
4) Koi Kogarete (Yearning For Love)
5) Dakishimete (Hold Me) Feat Dohzi-T
6) Anything Goes !!
9) GO ON
10) Shinjisasete (Make Me Believe)
12) nice & slow
13) Beautiful World
14) Mou Nido to ... (Once Again ...)
15) Kiss Kiss Kiss DJ HASEBE REMIX (Bonus track)
Bitter & Sweet is BENI's 4th album . It was released last year on 2nd Sept .
Despite being BENI's 4th overall album , this's her 1st record that was released under Universal Music Japan & also under her 'new' stage name BENI as before that , she was releasing material on the avex trax label under the name Beni Arashiro in which Arashiro is her mum's middle name .
The 1st 5 singles & 2 B-sides that BENI released under Universal Music Japan can be found in Bitter & Sweet .
After a 1:17 mins Bitter & Sweet Intro , BENI dives straight into 3 singles in which the 1st being her 10th single Kiss Kiss Kiss .
Kiss Kiss Kiss was used as the theme song for the Kao Biore BODY DELI ad as well as the theme song for Recochoku .
This was the song that I 1st heard of BENI & which also got me interested in her music/voice . I still like the song even up to now as it's 1 smooth R&B tune .
Zutto Futari de (Always The Two Of Us) is her 4th single & it was also used as the theme song for Recochoku .
This's one really nice ballad . The mood that it displays as compared to Kiss Kiss Kiss is a really nice contrast & I can understand on why she chose to put both songs side by side together .
Koi Kogarete (Yearning For Love) is BENI's 3rd single & it was used as the theme song for Nippon Television Network series Warriors Music MUSIC FIGHTER POWER PLAY .
I like the guitar riffs going on in Koi Kogarete . It's also a lot more poppier than her other singles too as it doesn't have that much of a strong R&B flair / flavour but this's 1 song that I definitely give the thumbs up .
Dakishimete (Hold Me) is the 1st album track you can find & this one features rapper Dohzi-T & it's also the only collaboration single you can find in Bitter & Sweet for that matter .
I really like Dakishimete on 1st listen . This's 1 really smooth & mid tempo no. & I do think that both BENI & Dohzi-T's vocals be it singing or rapping harmonise themselves very nicely/well in Dakishimete .
Anything Goes !! is the next album track & to me , I didn't find anything wow about this song . It's just a typical standard R&B no. that has quite an Americanised flair to a certain extent .
I guess this was probably slotted in the album for the sake of doing so but this might be a song that you can plug it loud & proud in a party / club .
stardust is the B-side of BENI's 4th single Zutto Futari de .
Wow compared to the A-side , stardust contrasts Zutto Futari de very well . I never heard the B-sides for the 5 singles in Bitter & Sweet . As such , I was very surprised & yet impressed when I 1st heard stardust .
It's catchy , poppy & you can hear some synth beats thrown in for good measures . BENI probably had a lot of fun recording this peppy song & I sure do have good vibrations after listening to stardust .
KIRA☆KIRA☆ is her 5th single & it's a recut single from the album .
Other than song titles association , I'm not going to lie that I really like KIRA☆KIRA☆ & I kind of understand on why this was chosen to be a recut single from Bitter & Sweet .
Basically the song's pretty , no questions asked .
GO ON is the next album track & this took me quite a while to remember as I did not find it as memorable as I was hoping for .
Having said that , after a few more listens , as compared to the other songs on Bitter & Sweet , GO ON can be considered to be more simple/flashy in terms of the overall mood / feeling it presents .
Not to mention , you can feel the emotions well going on in the song coming from BENI herself .
Shinjisasete (Make Me Believe) is track #10 & the funny odd thing's that I had Kiss Kiss Kiss vibes when I 1st heard Shinjisasete .
Except in this case , Shinjisasete is a lot more slower than Kiss Kiss Kiss & even the other album tracks too .
I don't know if this's a good or bad thing but just like GO ON , Shinjisasete tried to keep things as simple as possible & it frankly does work to a certain extent .
nice & slow is 1 hot track that I really like & it's probably 1 of my fave album tracks on Bitter & Sweet .
This has really nice sleek futuristic beats & the synths going on in here are very pretty .
I really like nice & slow & it seems to get better as each listen goes by which's fabulous .
STAY is the B-side song of BENI's 1st single Mou Nido to ... (Once Again ...) .
Just like nice & slow , both songs have the same vibes that they gave off & seeing that I do know how the A-side sounds like , I say STAY contrasts Mou Nido to ... very well/nicely .
Beautiful World is another great album track & this's probably the most unique song you can find in Bitter & Sweet .
The reason why so is because it has gospel influences which's unusual as I think this's something you usually don't get coming from BENI .
A combination of Gospel and R&B might sound like a music recipe for disaster but surprisingly it works in BENI's favour & it's evident when you listen to Beautiful World .
Mou Nido to ... is BENI's 1st single & the final single in the album . This's actually an answer call song to the long charting hit Mou Ichi do ... which she collaborated with Dohzi-T .
The song's also her 1st single release under Universal Music Japan too .
Mou Nido to ... is probably the only single that's not heavily R&B/synth emphasised & also it's mainly acoustic guitar driven which I really like . I do not know how Mou Ichi do ... sounds like but I leave as it's .
Found as a bonus track in BITTER & SWEET , it's the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Kiss Kiss Kiss .
It's an open secret in this blog of mine that I'm not that of a big fan of remixes & I'm quite handicapped when comes to commenting/reviewing about remixes/interludes .
Anyway , compared to the original , the DJ HASEBE REMIX of Kiss Kiss Kiss sees a much more heavily R&B melody & also you can hear some cool DJ beats in the backdrop too .
Bitter & Sweet is the 1st album that I listened to of BENI & I have to say I'm quite impressed on what she has to offer .
I thought she might be another pretty typical R&B singer/songwriter but there's just something different on what she has offered in Bitter & Sweet .
I wasn't impressed with a couple of the album tracks on the record as I believe those are slotted in for the sake of doing so but aside from that , the singles , B-sides & the other album tracks are really something & worth checking out for .
I might have been a bit late in discovering BENI's music but it's better to be late than never .