CHAIN was BONNIE PINK’s first mini-album. It was released on November 26, 2008 and reached no. 41 on the Oricon Charts and has sold over 5,715+ copies.
2. Wonderful Christmas Time
3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
4. Let It Snow
5. CHAIN ~The Birth Cry~
6. The Christmas Song
BONNIE has outdone herself yet again, this time with a Christmas themed mini-album. And on this mini-album, there’s only one original song on this, and that one is CHAIN. The song is pretty laid-back and features some smooth jazz elements along with some strings, the piano, brass, and finally some percussion. It’s nostalgic in a way to those old Christmas songs from way back when. Things were really gentle and calm until the chorus where BONNIE displayed her excellent English along with her incredible vocals. Not to mention the fact that the instruments became stronger and seemed to take a greater role than before. All the jazz elements were quite beautiful in a way.
One of the many cover songs on this mini-album is Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time. At first I thought I didn’t think I had heard this song, but after listening to it longer I realized I had, and that I loved the original. The original featured a synthesizer but this rendition instead features marching band-like drums and some brass. The piano is used in addition to the xylophone, which gives the song that infamous Christmas twinkle sound, and Christmas bells. The melody is just as jolly and as a memorable as before and BONNIE’s modern spin on it makes it one to remember. I really can’t believe how well she handled this song, she did one heck of a job.
I have to admit that I like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, but only the more modern versions. The original was sweet I guess, but some of the covers are just horrendous. This up-beat version features the percussion and the ever so happy jingle bells. And although it’s not an amazing cover, it’s certainly nice. And her English is perfect, no “Santa Craus!”
Still somewhat true to the original classic is Let It Snow! Frank Sinatra’s version was pretty jazzed up and this version is no different. It does feature some more brass than the original and is a little faster, but good nonetheless. Although I do wish that BONNIE would have sung the song a bit slower, or that the song would have been a little slower overall. The instruments seemed to play a lot too, especially during bridge, which was pretty long, but I didn’t mind the brass, the base guitar, or the piano.
The second song that’s not a cover is just another version of CHAIN entitled ~The Birth Cry~. This version just adds some jingle bells and an organ, giving it a very midnight mass feel, very religious. While the piano is still present, the jazz instruments have been replaced for the most part. I think I prefer the original, it’s more up-beat and cheerful for sure.
The final track is BONNIE cover of The Christmas Song. The electric guitar is featured, but it just strums for the most part, nothing too loud or overwhelming. It’s very laid-back, smooth, and calm but it’s lacking some needed instruments. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s not all that good. It’s too bland for my tastes. And I remember a cover that BoA did of this song, and I honestly have no idea who’s worse. BoA might have had some terrible Engrish, but at least the music was nice; BONNIE has some fantastic English, but the music is lacking.
Overall Review: CHAIN was Christmas perfection with a splash of jazz! Bonnie has definitely diversified her style with this mini-album. Despite the change though I do like it. It’s nice to hear some new Christmas covers, and I’m still waiting for one particular super popular, no. 1 Japanese album bilingual artist to do a few covers, but Bonnie really did well. The new songs were great too, hopefully they’ll make it to her album. The jazz feel was pretty nice too, a nice twist on those classics. I don’t think there was really anything to complain about except how one or two songs could have been tweaked a bit. Anyway this is one hell of a mini-album, Bonnie has outdone herself this time.
Final Grade: 93B+