Friday, January 22, 2010

CD Review :: BENI - Bitter & Sweet

CD Only Cover :



CD + DVD Cover :



Tracklist :

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 !!
7) stardust
8) KIRA☆KIRA☆
9) GO ON
10) Shinjisasete (Make Me Believe)
11) STAY
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 .


Blog Personnel









Karen Pang

# 10th Jan

# #1 BREAKERZ fan in Singapore since 2008 debut single ♥











# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

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# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

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# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

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# NEWS - NEVERLAND

# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

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# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

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# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

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# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

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# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

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# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

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# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

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# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

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# ayumi hamasaki - A BEST 2 -BLACK- & A BEST 2 -WHITE-

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

# The Best & The Worst Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !




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