Beni Arashiro – new album ‘GEM’
Posted by redracer on May 3, 2007
Released on the 25th April, this is the latest album release from Benu Arashiro (安良城 紅), and her third album.
Another artist I first saw on the a-nation’05 DVD (this release has a lot to answer for !!!). She was born in 1986 in Kanagawa (like Ami Suzuki), an area just to the south-west of Tokyo, and her father is American and her mother a Japanese from Okinawa, hence her subtle mixed good looks. She participated in the 8th Zen-Nihon Kokumin-teki Bishojo Contest (National Beauty Contest), Japan’s largest talent contest, making it all the way to the finals without the benefit of any formal training – no mean feat in a country where the grooming of idols is a megabusiness. After that, she was chosen to be part of the musical/TV personality group Bishoujo 31. A demo tape was seen by the Japanese mega-music company Avex and they decided to sign her up in 2004, releasing 3 singles that year. The highest places single, ‘Here Alone’, reached #14. In February 2005, her first album ‘Beni’ was released, and it also reached #14. Also that year she was named winner of the ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the 19th Japan Gold Disc Awards.
Her second album ‘Girl-2-Lady’ only reached #87, and she has released 7 singles so far – whilst none have been big hits, Avex seem to want to sit back and wait for her full potential to be released, without doing too much promotional work. She also does a lot of modelling work, as well as advertising for some of Japan’s big name products like Kose Visee, Glico, Cecil McBee, Takara & Jockey. As a fluent English speaker, she has created a short television program, known as BeniTV, which helps people learn English in a humorous way.
The track listing is …
- Bad Girl
- Losin’ Control
- How Are U?
- Mirror mirror
- Sweet but Empty
- Koibumi (Studio Live Version)
- No pain, No gain (English version)
This album contains the two singles released since her second album ‘ how Are U?’ & ‘Luna’, so all the rest of the songs are new. She doesn’t write most of her material, but she did do the words to about half of the songs on this album, many of which are a mixture of Japanese and English, or all English.
As well as the CD version, there is also a DVD version, which contains …
- How Are U? (PV)
- Luna (PV)
- Koibumi (Special live Recording PV)
- CECIL McBEE -Trailer-
Her web site, if you want to find out more info, is http://www.avexnet.or.jp/beni/
Conclusion: I am not sure what to make of Beni. She is not certainly not unattractive with her mixed blood and has a good voice, but doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at the moment. As the album OBI says, it is a mixture of R&B, Hip Hop, Rap, Rock and Ballads, all of which she does well, but maybe she should concentrate on one are more and make it her ‘style’. of course, she is still very young, and the Cecil McBee fashion modelling footage on the DVD shows that she does have a very good future modelling. Also her command of English could be an advantage for her in some area. Still worth a listen if you want to hear something new …
The First Press edition I received included a large promotional poster, but strangely enough also included another copy of the CD booklet, the back cover and the OBI. I was told that they were included because the original had a misprint, but Icannot for the life of me see anything different between the two (except they both had other misprints that were not fixed) !!!