Kurayami Monogatari

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Bentley Jones – Entourage November 21, 2011

Filed under: Bentley Jones — solarblade @ 5:35 am

Track Listing

  1. STUTTA
  2. Entourage (featuring Curtis Young)
  3. Joyful
  4. My Name is Bentley ~BENDAYO~

1. STUTTA

I love that Lee began the mini-album with something that he hasn’t really done just quite yet.  It’s nice that he’s combining both his native English with Japanese for the first song.  Arrangement-wise, it’s also a little different than before and I love the pseudo-rapping he’s pulling off in the song…classy!  It’s catchy and fast and most of the time the thing that stands out is ~to-to-to-tomaru~ yeah…XD

2. Entourage (featuring Curtis Young)

I was surprised that the title track is the second tune on the mini-album.  It kind of continues this edgier dance sound which is great!  Weird that this is a collaboration here but I’m not a fan of Curtis Young in this song, he just kind of messes things up and it makes getting into Lee’s part more weird.  I mean this song didn’t really impress me any and I just tuned it out.  It’s prolly my least favorite of the four.

3. Joyful

Joyful though is my favorite from the mini just because it manages to have a “Finally Free” kind of sound which still remains my favorite album from him.  I will say that the song comes at a good time since I found myself thinking it’s a good holiday-themed tune.  After a minute passes, the dance beats jump in and really turn this song into something impressive.  I mean throw in a guitar solo and you got a pretty much flawless tune.  Yeah, loving this song!

4. My Name is Bentley ~BENDAYO~

The final song is a bit weird.  Like “STUTTA”, My Name is Bentley meshes both English and Japanese and has Lee doing a little more rapping here which is still uncomfortable for me to be honest.  It’s a little unusual of a song including the parts where he actually sings.  I will say that I’m curious to why we have another me, me, me song when we have “U Won’t 4get ME”…

 

 

Well…it was bound to happen at one point of his carrer but I’m not exactly a fan of Entourage oddly enough.  Besides Joyful, the other songs really didn’t suit him well (I mean it could be because it’s his first try in dabbling in some hip-hop-ish kind of sounds and all).  I’m surprised there was only 4 songs as well since his last mini was filled!!!  Maybe next time!

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Bentley Jones – TRANS//LATION 2 June 3, 2011

Filed under: Bentley Jones — solarblade @ 3:50 am

Track Listing

  1. TRANS//LATION 2 (Introduction)
  2. Word Up
  3. Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~ (2011 English Version)
  4. JOINT
  5. Stay (featuring Liz Saunders)
  6. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
  7. Ameato
  8. Dreams of an Absolution (2011 Version)
  9. Michi~to you all
  10. GLAMOROUS SKY (2011 Japanese Version)
  11. All You Wanted
  12. Sunao ni Naretara (2011 Japanese Version) (bonus track)
  13. GLAMOROUS SKY (2011 English Version) (bonus track)
  14. Stay (featuring Liz Saunder – Fantazia Projekt Remix) (CD only bonus track)

1. TRANS//LATION 2 (Introduction)

Unlike the last cover album he did, Bentley opens up his second with an introduction instead.  I like the kind of groove it has mixing up synths and guitars together.  I like the different areas of the song and of course Bentley has short quips in Japanese and English to make it more memorable.  Cool intro by the way.

2. Word Up

~This should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential area~ that opening line made me laugh quite loudly.  Now unlike his last cover album once again, this album has a mix of JPN covers and now English covers especially in the case of this song where he’s covering Cameo’s one-hit wonder.  The thing that brings me back to the original was the unique vocals.  Bentley doesn’t have that, which does make it harder to enjoy, but the party atmosphere is there and it’s just as catchy as it was back then.  Good cover.

3. Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~ (2011 English Version)

I guess I should mention that there’s a few self-covers on here as well.  Remember this song from the first “TRANS//LATION”?  The thing that’s different is that it’s slower and instead of the synths we get more natural instruments.  I also like the fact that Bentley resang that song and gave so much more emotion through this performance.  If you liked his falsetto back in the original it’s out as well.  Great ballad version of an already great cover!

4. JOINT

I was pretty damn surprised that Bentley would go and cover a Mami Kawada song more or less JOINT since it’s one of those songs that should never really be covered.  It does seem weird that a different sounding gutiar opens the song up, but the energy is still just as epic and the use of a little more synths doesn’t hurt.  Bentley Japanese sounds pretty good still since he hasn’t really sang in the language for quite a while.  It’s actually pretty good, not surpassing Mami’s original, but it’s as good as it gets for a cover ^_^

5. Stay (featuring Liz Saunders)

There’s also a few songs where I don’t know the original is by like this song which is also a first for Bentley simply because it’s his first collaboration in his works.  I don’t know who Liz Saunders is, but she sounds really pleasant in this song since she has such a heavenly voice.  I know Bentley plays second fiddle but he’s also strong as well during his parts.  The song is pretty different from the normal, but it feels like he carried a little of his ethereal sounds from “Finally Free” onto here.  It’s just different and something I wasn’t expecting but friggin epic!  I guess after hearing it from one of the Bentley fans, it seems this is a cover of a Shakespeare Sister song that was famoun from Coyote Ugly…who knew he’d get that picky in song choice XD

6. Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

A cover of a 1985 Kate Bush song?  Talk about reaching back into the past!  Carrying the ethereal sounds again, Running Up That Hill sounds pretty cool and has a mysterious glow to it.  Add in Bentley’s dramatic vocal performance added to the pretty soothing sound until the second verse where things get edgy and dark.  It does slightly bore me towards the end of the song, but I think that’s because “Stay” was right before it since they have that same eerie glow to them.

7. Ameato

If I’m correct on this, I think this is an Ayano Tsuji cover.  This one feels a bit more simple after the last few tracks and sounds pretty basic which is a good move.  Sadly, there’s not much to really remember about this song which is kind of weird but whatever it’s there and I’m sure it has it’s fans ^_^

8. Dreams of an Absolution (2011 Version)

I love the fact that he caters to his fans quite a lot and seeing a new version of Dreams of an Absolution is always a plus.  I like how it begins with nighttime sounds and a short excerpt from Bentley before the music comes in.  It does seems like he meshed the original version with the LB vs. JS remix to get this one.  Awesome synths and epic guitar solos are found in here and Bentley resang the song as well making it feel so fresh after 5 years.  I still love the hell out of the different versions of it and this one is just as awesome ^_^

9. Michi~to you all

I do know this song was originally by alüto and was used in the Naruto anime so this was also kind of a surprise to me.  Bentley’s version is a bit more piano-based than the original’s pop/rock sound but it’s still nice nonetheless.  It does feel like it would’ve suited “Finally Free” a whole lot more, but then again he’s singing in Japanese so that wouldn’t really work.  Still it’s a nice cover.

10. GLAMOROUS SKY (2011 Japanese Version)

I’ll be honest, that after time had passed with “TRANS//LATION” I started to really dislike his cover of Mika Nakashima’s big NANA song GLAMOROUS SKY because it took a lot out of the original and kind of turned it inside out.  However, the 2011 version of the song is such an upgrade for me because it follows more like Mika’s rockin’ version and Bentley’s vocals aren’t tampered with here.  It’s really epic and one of the more stronger songs from the album.

11. All You Wanted

I’m a little surprised that Bentley actually decided to cover a Michelle Branch more or less this song.  I remember this song when I was younger and was a pretty great song.  Bentley’s version takes the pop roots out and turned it into a piano-based ballad and I kind of liked this take as well since it’s so solemn and sincere.  It does close the album though and it actually made a nice closing.  Nice cover here.

12. Sunao ni Naretara (2011 Japanese Version)

Finally we get a Japanese version of Sunao ni Naretara!  Even though the arrangement is based off the 2011 version.  I wouldn’t have minded the original version’s arrangement TBH.  It’s also a little strange to hear it in the real language because the vocal rhythms are so different.  It’s pretty interesting though and makes for a different take of one of Bentley’s more well-known songs.

13. GLAMOROUS SKY (2011 English Version)

Yup, as the 2nd bonus track, Bentley sings an English version of GLAMOROUS SKY….but question is….is it his version or is he covering HYDE’s English version of the song?  Likewise, I’m usually used to Bentley singing in Japanese instead of English for this track and I will stand by the original version he gave us on this album.  At least the lyrics sound good?  Yeah XD

Tracks Recommended

  • Dreams of an Absolution (2011 Version)
  • GLAMOROUS SKY (2011 Japanese Version)
  • Stay (featuring Liz Saunders)
  • JOINT
  • Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~ (2011 English Version)

Song of Avoidance

  • Ameato

As this is Bentley 2nd cover album, I must say the songs chosen here were pretty nifty but a lot of them I’ve never heard before which is cool.  It doesn’t really surpass “Finally Free”, but it does beat his first cover album.  There’s a few oddball songs like the English covers that really felt strange but either way, pretty good album ^_^

 

Bentley Jones – Finally Free December 5, 2010

Filed under: Bentley Jones — solarblade @ 7:45 am

Track Listing

  1. Introducing… (U Won’t 4get M.E. Prelude)
  2. ST4LK3R
  3. Waiting for Clouds
  4. Down in Tokyo
  5. Birdcage
  6. Sakura ~Beautiful Sadness~
  7. Road Trip to OBLIVION v²
  8. Sakura ~Reprise~
  9. Be It That Forever
  10. Waiting for Clouds (Live Piano Acoustic) (bonus track)
  11. So Much More… ~Ballad Version~ (bonus track)

1. Introducing… (U Won’t 4get M.E. Prelude)

Starting with a piano melody that comes from “U Won’t 4get M.E.” from his mini-album. “so much more…”, Introducing… is quite an interesting opening to the album with such an epic buildup that it’s just kind of feels different than what I expect from Lee.  Still a pretty cool opening for the album.

2. ST4LK3R

Being a part of the double A-side to represent the album, I was surprised that it carries such a demonic glow and it’s great to hear that Lee just changed his sound as well with the song because it has more electric guitars and less focus on the synths even though they are still present.  I’m so surprised though that the lyrics are cruel and to the point and very evil kind of like “Alpha Dog” but even more sinister and cussing FTW!  Very kickass song and great way to start the vocal songs.

3. Waiting for Clouds

As the secondary A-side to promote the album, Waiting for Clouds is a total 180 when compared to the previous songs and is a little bit more like the stuff I’ve grown to listen to him, but it’s interesting that it’s a ballad that uses strings and piano.  I like the simplicity of the song for sure and Lee’s vocals sounds really pretty and with the lyrics as they are, it’s definitely relatable.

4. Down in Tokyo

Of course we can’t pass up a song that let’s us know that Lee still loves Japan like crazy and with this song the energy has changed to his dance style that has been getting better and it’s true because it doesn’t sound like his usual trance sound and more focuses on dance/pop with a bit of a oriental touch that made it sound so good off the album.  It’s a bit strange lyrically, but it’s tolerable and it’s still very catchy!

5. Birdcage

Ok, beginning the song with a phone ringing and some conversation from Lee is a little bit corny, but it does lead into what I’d say is a pretty damn amazing song.  I loved the beginning where Lee repeats ~you once said you loved me~ and the background lines change with each time he says it.  It’s just a lyrically deep song and I find myself just paying attention.  I just ended up connecting to the song pretty quickly…wow good song!

6. Sakura ~Beautiful Sadness~

I’m actually confused about the next song Sakura.  I’m not sure by the song’s lyrics that it means goodbye to love or what, but it’s just emotionally strong like “Birdcage”, but the song is definitely not as powerful.  It’s still good to the ears and Lee’s vocals are a bit more stronger in this song than in…well others LOL.

7. Road Trip to OBLIVION v²

Coming from the same tie-in as “Swing Baby!” was, I was happy to see that Road Trip to OBLIVION make the album’s cut since it was another song that I definitely fell for before “so much more…’s release and it’s still in good shape since the new guitar riff is just epic as hell.  Even Lee in the chorus was just epicly awesome and with the synths playing around, it was just that amazing and so much better than the demo version from PROMAGEDDON hahaha.  I will admit that after “Sakura ~Beautiful Sadness~”, this was a little random, but still a great song.  I wonder though about the beginning because the chords and some of the melody was just like “Dreams of an Absolution”…was it intentional or what?!?

8. Sakura ~Reprise~

Kind of strange that the album’s only interlude came at a strange time after “Road Trip to OBLIVION” since this interlude plays a music box/strings instrumental of “Sakura ~Beautiful Sadness~” and I still think that like with “Introducing…” it’s just too grand and orchestral comparing to the other songs on the album…but I guess it does its job and it is pretty too!

9. Be It That Forever

As the last song off the album before hitting the bonus tracks, Be It That Forever has a more ethereal feel going for it and I love the wailing guitar playing in the background before Lee comes in and even then it still continues after he starts singing.  It does have the most amount of Japanese on the album which does also make it stand out, but to me the song still kind of pales under the other songs, but it’s alright for the most part. 

10. Waiting for Clouds (Live Piano Acoustic)

So we’re onto the bonus tracks, starting with a piano version of Waiting for Clouds and in some cases, I was kind of like did we need it since the original is already soft and pretty.  I like the fact that I can hear the lyrics a bit more though which is good, but iono this piano take doesn’t do much for me.

11. So Much More… ~Ballad Version~

I didn’t think he’d actually put So Much More… onto the album more or less the ballad version, but since it does fit the mood of most of the album it was a fitting choice.  While I still think the original blows this out of the water, I liked the mood switch for the slower take and Lee’s vocals sound really good and very much more emotional and since some of the notes are different, it’s a good sound!

Tracks Recommended

  • Road Trip to OBLIVION v²
  • Birdcage
  • ST4LK3R
  • So Much More… ~Ballad Version~
  • Sakura ~Beautiful Sadness~

Song of Avoidance

  • Waiting for Clouds (Live Piano Acoustic)

If you were coming into the album (like me…) thinking you were getting another dance album (like “TRANS//LATION” and “so much more…” you are terribly, TERRIBLY mistaken.  This album is definite change to a more softer and emotionally driven album and it works since the lyrics were surprisingly poetic and put to beautiful arrangements for the most part.  I was definitely surprised at the work here and I have to say once again *RECOMMENDED*

 

Bentley Jones – so much more… January 22, 2010

Filed under: Bentley Jones — solarblade @ 10:51 am

Track Listing

  1. So Much More…
  2. U Won’t 4get ME ~theme of Bentley Jones~
  3. Swing Baby!
  4. So Much More… ~Ballad Version~
  5. Alpha Dog
  6. So Much More… (Fantazia Projekt Radio Mix)
  7. So Much More… (Phunkstar Extended Mix)
  8. So Much More… (Fantazia Projekt Remix)
  9. So Much More… (Instrumental)
  10. U Won’t 4get ME ~theme of Bentley Jones~ (Dirty Version) (Exclusive Track)

1. So Much More…

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Bentley/Lee do anything for SEGA so it was pretty awesome that So Much More… is tied into Sonic & SEGA All-stars Racing.  It still not as epic as “Dreams of an Absolution”, but this is still pretty awesome because it’s got the same flair of all of his previous works rolled into one.  I think my favorite part of the entire song is the bridge leading into the chorus because it’s jsut epic as all hell.  I’ve always was impressed with his vocals so it’s no surprise I liked it here.  Definitely was happy with this song.

2. U Won’t 4get ME ~theme of Bentley Jones~

A rather new sound for Bentley comes up in the form of U Won’t 4get ME.  It’s definitely got an edgy sound with hard-driving guitar riffs and Bentley being pretty kickass for a song like this.  While, Bentley being this bad gives a new role to him, it’s enough to make me to like it more.  Definitely a pretty kickass song.

3. Swing Baby!

I’m not sure what to think of Swing Baby! because it’s totally different from what I’m used to from Bentley.  I mean it’s like an edgy swing styled song which is pretty cool if you ask me because Bentley actually fits in this song quite nicely.  Lyrically, it’s kind of cheesy, but in a kind of way that it’s prolly cuz of the music.  In the middle, Bentley has this solo line that makes me blush cuz it’s so naughty LOL.  Funny little track.

4. So Much More… ~Ballad Version~

I’m surprised that this version of So Much More… ended up getting the PV, even though there’ll be one for the main track as well eventually.  Taking the eurodance/dance out of the song, resinging the song and adding strings, this is pretty good for a ballad.  It flows quite nicely, maybe a little slow, but I’m surprised how good Bentley sounds in a more ballad fashion.  Hope he does more of this in the future

5. Alpha Dog

We get back into what we’ve known from Bentley, but it’s like this was amazing right here.  Bentley’s vocals are a bit robotic in the verses which is sad, but after the first part things get more interesting as time goes on.  The song remind me of a guy version of BoA’s “Look Who’s Talking” with the whole wanna be better than people kind of meaning.  It’s pretty cool though.

6. So Much More… (Fantazia Projekt Radio Mix)

The main thing that actually interested me in the EP before it was released, is the remix of the main song.  It sounds so much like the awesomeness of “Dreams of an Absolution” and I love the added beats and synths that were filling it all up.  To be honest, I prefer this over the original because it sounds more right and the bridge is still is as epic.  Even though the problem was that it ended way to soon IMO.

7. So Much More… (Phunkstar Extended Mix)

Another remix of So Much More…, this remix sounds like one of those meh club mixes when the opening just takes a little too long to get things going.  At least it’s not to bad becuase it quickly leaves the area and we here more of the arrangement flowing in.  Then when we enter the song, it’s basically just an extended version of the main track, I guess it’s alright…but oh well.

8. So Much More… (Fantazia Projekt Remix)

So we get an extended version of the remix two songs ago and once again, long startup.  I tolerated this as well because it got going, even more faster than the last song which is a blessing.  This time though, there’s some instrumental parts with the synths and piano which is amazing all the same.  It definitely worked a lot better with this song TBH, but still missing the 3rd run through the bridge near the end, oh well.

10. U Won’t 4get ME ~theme of Bentley Jones~ (Dirty Version)

Ok, so released exclusively across his site, the Dirty Version of his theme is what it is.  Just a lot more badness going on through the song so it’s not like surprising.  Though the ending isn’t mixed up, so the dirtyness is basically “I’m so bloody good!”.  Really?  that’s it?  oh well…

 

 

Since, Bentley left EMI Music Japan after the release of “TRANS//LATION” (which was an amazing cover album BTW), he took it upon himself and created his own label, which is pretty awesome cuz he definitely needed something like this.  so much more… continues to show his great techniques in music and I was pretty impressed with this.  So Much More… and Alpha Dog were of what we’ve grown to know from him, but it was the other songs that surprised me because they weren’t electropop, but dabbling in multiple styles and I liked that alot.  I can only wonder what’s in store from him next, but I already know it’ll be good!

 

Bentley Jones – TRANS//LATION April 1, 2009

Filed under: Bentley Jones — solarblade @ 7:07 am
Tags: , , ,

trans_lation_cd_front

Track Listing

  1. Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~
  2. Tsuyoku Hakanai Mono-tachi
  3. Kibun Joujou↑↑
  4. Don’t wanna cry
  5. Gekkou
  6. Dramatic
  7. TRANS//LATION ~interlude~
  8. DEPARTURES
  9. Depend on you ~Depend on me~
  10. WHITE LOVE
  11. Haru ~spring~
  12. GLAMOROUS SKY

1. Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~

The beginning of the album instantly begins with Bentley singing in English which is his main tongue.  As the digital single to really represent the album, FINAL NIGHT is definitly one of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard in a while.  There’s just a lot of energy and shockingly it’s one of my favorite tracks. Original Artist : JUJU and Spontania

2. Tsuyoku Hakanai Mono-tachi

Keeping the ethereal dance beat going, Tsuyoku Hakanai Mono-tachi is the first song to feature japanese lyrics and Bentley sounds pretty good for this being a foreign tongue.  There’s a pretty soothing perspective and he took it pretty well. I couldn’t find anything real bad about it and c’mon sweet track.  Song’s original artist: Cocco

3. Kibun Joujou↑↑

However, Kibun Joujou combines the dance style with a pretty heavy R&B beat which sounds good on paper, but the song was a bit strange because there’s rapping from Bentley which is odd…at least he goes into singing which is awesome, but the song was a little too slow for my tastes.  Interesting nonetheless.  Song’s Original Artist: mihimaru GT

4. Don’t wanna cry

Yes, the album is entirely made of covers of songs from other artists, but this was the first I recognized because this is a cover of Namie’s.  Strange for a guy to cover a female song.  His version is very 80’s sounding and pretty aggressive with the synths which is nice right?  He sounds so good in this song.  Good cover!

5. Gekkou

Gekkou is the next track I instantly recognize and it covers Chihiro Onitsuka’s 2nd A-side.  Taking the ballad of the original out was a risky thing to do, but luckily it still contains the most nicest of synths and keeps it ethereal for the first few seconds because then it turns into a trance-like song which surprises me for sure.  Even though it’s not the most faithful of covers, I love what he did for the song to make it upbeat.  One of my favorites.

6. Dramatic

Interestingly, Dramatic is more of a ballad with some appearances from the piano and guitar.  It’s got such a soothing feeling and of epic quality because it has climaxes.  I honestly think they really took the synth down after “Gekkou” just because it was starting to get a little stale.  This track does a great job to move things away. Song’s Original Artist: Momoe Yamaguchi

7. TRANS//LATION ~interlude~

Yep, we have an interlude in the album.  It sounds like Bentley is lost in the song which kind of fits the theme since it does have Bentley questioning what his other voice is saying.  After that little bit the song goes into dance mode for a bit with a pretty sweet melody to it.  Even though it goes back to what the album was before “Dramatic”.  The song reaches it’s climax and fades away into our next track.

8. DEPARTURES

DEPARTURES is once again a pretty dance track infused with some disco to make it more danceable.  I love the fact that Bentley’s vocals are put under a vocoder which sets the song apart from the others pretty quickly.  It might not be the most interesting track off the album, but it’s nice to listen once in a while. Original Artist: globe

9. Depend on you ~Depend on me~

Yep, another track I instantly recognize and is the earliest track known off the album.  Bentley decided to cover Ayu’s track from her debut album with avex.  Not only that, he covered it with new English lyrics which I found amazing.  It’s not the rock song I’m so used to from Ayu, but this was definitly another track that I really enjoyed because it is something risky and even Ayu loved it!

10. WHITE LOVE

To me, WHITE LOVE just sounds out of place on this album, because I’m guessing it’s originally a winter track and it doesn’t help that there’s brass in the song.  I know it’s a good track, but it just doesn’t fit at all with the album.  The only think that links the song is the fact there’s synth.  Original Artist: SPEED

11. Haru ~spring~

It makes more sense when he stuck a “spring” song right after the winter track.  Well there’s a guitar melody fronting the track and I actually didn’t enjoy this song that much.  Once again the song is just casual enough to bore me, but maybe not enough for the listeners.  I’ll definitly find time to like this. Original Artist: Hysteric Blue

12. GLAMOROUS SKY

You guessed it, it’s a dance cover of Mika Nakashima’s track.  I’ve always loved Mika’s version because was so raw and hard-rockin.  Now they decided to take away the rock and replace it with dance and a male vocalist.  At first, I liked his pronunciation tons more than the musical changes.  Maybe, I have to like it from a different perspective.  I’ll admit he did well for this cover.

Tracks Recommended

  •  Gekkou
  • Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~
  • Tsuyoku Hakanai Mono-tachi
  • Depend on you ~Depend on me~
  • Don’t wanna cry

Song of Avoidance

  • WHITE LOVE

Wow, for being a cover album.  Bentley definitly did himself very well for this album.  I mean he managed to make the covers all danceable in some way and I enjoyed it alot.  The seasonal songs were a bit strange, but everything else was just great.  The only thing it needed was “Dreams of an Absolution” and this album would’ve been perfect!