BENI – LoveboxJune 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Posted in BENI | 7 Comments
The cover of the CD only edition
Lovebox is BENI’s 5th album and it was released on June 2, 2010. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 22,528 copies (congrats, bb!).
She’s too pretty…and her rings spell out BENI. XD
♦ ♦ ♦
I’ll take you to a place you’ve never been before.
So open up your heart, it’s called the lovebox.
It’s been less than a year since the release of Bitter & Sweet and here we are with a brand new album. There’s no complaining here because Lovebox is a great follow-up. Naturally, I’m going to compare the two albums because they’re both similar in sound and production (thanks to Daisuke Imai). However, Lovebox is definitely the more “romantic” album.
While I do think this is a good album, it took longer to grow on me than Bitter & Sweet did. On the plus side, there is more balance between the upbeat and mid-tempo tracks with fewer ballads thrown into the mix. The main issue is that some of these songs are hard to distinguish at times. For example, most of the new tracks sound good but don’t really stick with you. The first half of the album contains mid-tempo songs like Hitomi Tojite and Kimi Ja Nakya which require multiple listens. I was expecting they would be catchy like Gimme Gimme♥ and a million jewels was the only other song. The one new track that I didn’t care for was Girl’s Night because of JAMOSA’s funky, nasally voice (have you seen her boobs, though? OMGZ).
I really liked the upbeat A-sides from this era like Yura Yura and bye bye so I was even more impressed that BENI stepped it up with the songs MOVE and break the rules. They are arguably her most “urban” songs to date because of the aggressive, sensual flair surrounding them. Besides Sign, the album closes with nice, slower paced songs. he is mine has weird sound effects that I thought were distracting but luckily My Friend and Message are better. They’re both sincere songs, the latter track being more of a ballad. To top things off, a gorgeous “unplugged” version of Zutto Futari de ends the album.
In conclusion, how does Lovebox fare against Bitter & Sweet? I would say it’s pretty close but I find myself favoring Bitter & Sweet. While being a relatively slower album, it has variety and the songs are more memorable. Like I said, Lovebox is a grower but boy does it take a while. It certainly differs in overall theme and the abundance of upbeat songs is a good thing so I think the album can stand on its own. Personally, I’m not disappointed with Lovebox because it’s a strong release and once you do get familiar with the material, it’ll stick. That’s the endearing thing about BENI’s music. It’ll grab you sooner or later.
Pros: Excellent upbeat songs. It’s Bitter & Sweet but without the bitter side.
Cons: The first half of the album is really “same-ish”. Things gets better after Kimi Ja Nakya though.
BASICALLY…I have opened the Lovebox and I like it! =D
1. Lovebox Intro
2. Yura Yura (ユラユラ)
3. Sign (サイン)
4. Hitomi Tojite (瞳とじて)
5. Gimme Gimme♥ (ギミギミ♥)
6. Girl’s Night feat. JAMOSA
7. a million jewels
8. Kimi Ja Nakya (君じゃなきゃ)
9. bye bye
11. break the rules
12. he is mine
13. My Friend (マイ・フレンド)
15. Zutto Futari de unplugged version (ずっと二人で)
Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!