Single Review: BENI – “ずっと二人で”

zutto futari de Tracklist:
1. ずっと二人で (Zutto Futari de; Always Together)
2. stardust
3. With U
4. The Boy Is Mine feat. Tynisha Keli

BENI’s fourth single under Universal Japan was released on August 12, 2009. The single reached the 67th position on the Oricon Weekly Chart and has sold 1,251 copies.

First of all, I’ll start off by saying that ずっと二人で is, indeed, a very pretty song. The arrangement is soft and lovely and compliments BENI’s deep, husky voice quite nicely. However, there’s something about the music that’s very wintry, which makes it sound a little out of place considering it was released during the summer. BENI’s actual vocals are kind of average, although she tends to do this breathy thing during the chorus that can be distracting from time to time. I definitely enjoyed the laid-back elegance of this song, and I definitely recommend it.

stardust takes it up a notch from where ずっと二人で left off, with a faster beat and some delicious synth. I was very impressed at how well BENI’s voice suits the dance genre, as she never slows down or loses energy even in the high-paced (and brilliantly catchy) chorus. I found myself swaying in my seat because of the cool, slick production. Needless to say, I enjoy this song.

The next B-side, With U, has a more acoustic feel to it, and wow. BENI’s voice is really damn good on this particular song, and I love it. The lyrics are pretty standard J-Pop fare, but the English sections had a certain charm to them, due in no small part to BENI’s fluency. Oh, and that electric guitar at the end? Awesome. It disappoints me that this song won’t be on BENI’s upcoming album, because it’s really good.

Up next is The Boy Is Mine feat. Tynisha Keli, a cover of the R&B classic by Brandy and Monica. Considering that this is a cover, I was impressed at how faithful to the original this version was while still bringing it into the 21st century. BENI’s voice sounds great, and although Tynisha’s is a bit too high-pitched and childlike to truly mesh with BENI’s, its uniqueness made their rendition endearing and memorable. Their take on the dialogue in the beginning is also so cool and interesting to listen to. Whether you’re familiar with the original or not, I think this song has a lot to offer to everyone.

Summary: I’m really pleased to say that BENI is a real find. She’s just got a terrific charm to her, and her talent is pretty much undeniable. ずっと二人で, even with its seasonal impropriety, is a lovely song, and its subsequent B-sides do a good job of keeping the energy up throughout the single. I’m very excited to review BENI’s new album, as I’m quite sure that it won’t disappoint.

Single Grade: A

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