Single Review: BENI – “恋焦がれて”

 Tracklist:
1. 恋焦がれて (Koi Kogarete; Longing for Love)
2. CRUISE the WORLD 
3. FOREVER 21
4. 恋焦がれて (Instrumental)

BENI’s third single under Universal Japan, 恋焦がれて, was  released on June 10, 2009. The single reached #70 on the Oricon Weekly Chart and sold 1,266 copies in total.

I’m a newcomer to the music of Beni “BENI” Arashiro, but I really dig what I hear on 恋焦がれて. Something about the combination of the R&B beats, mellow guitars and synths, and BENI’s sultry voice just draws me in. It’s obviously a summer song, but the lyrics speak of one-sided love. It’s a great relaxing jam for the season.

CRUISE the WORLD is pretty much the total opposite of the A-side. It’s got a very electronic Perfume-type sound. BENI’s deep voice really stands out against the background synth. If you’re into Lady GaGa, this is the song for you.

Confession time – when I first read the title of FOREVER 21, I thought, “What, like the store?” Anyway, it actually does sound kind of like background music for a clothing store. Up against 恋焦がれて and CRUISE the WORLD, this B-side just kind of falls flat. The verse blends in with the chorus and it’s all very forgettable.

Summary: So BENI is really good. Now that I know this, I will definitely be looking forward to her future releases under Universal J. Meanwhile, I’ll be playing this single on repeat to get in the summer mood. RECOMMENDED.

Single Grade: B+

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