Jewel was BENI’s 3rd album under Universal Japan. It was released on December 8, 2010 and reached no. 11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 14,752 copies sold. It was released in a CD+DVD edition, as well as CD-Only edition.
1. Jewel Intro
3. Toki wo Tomete
4. Daisuki na no ni
5. Lovin’ U
6. Heaven’s Door
7. See U Again
8. First Time
10. Don’t Let Go
12. Kimi to Nara
13. Wasurenaide ne
Needless to say, I was ecstatic to hear that Beni would be releasing a new album so soon; but then it occurred to me, it’s barely been six months since she released Lovebox. That being said, the album does feel a bit rushed, especially since there were only two singles released prior to the album; at least Ayu would wait 11 months or so, and the singles wouldn’t be released so close to the album. Anyway, I guess we’ll have to see how good this album turns out.
As usual, Beni’s intro’s are always incredible. Seriously, Jewel Intro very well could have been a legitimate song. It’s very calm, synth driven, and sung in English, not really all that surprising. And oddly enough, it served as a great intro to her album, as well as 2FACE. Despite being a rather generic song, it’s pretty damn fierce. Gotta love Beni and all her hot dance music. Up next is a semi-ballad entitled Toki wo Tomete. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds nice, but at the same time, it’s pretty generic. It’s your typical synth driven ballad. It didn’t stand out to me all that much, that’s just my opinion.
Keeping with the synth theme is Daisuki na no ni. It’s slightly up-beat, but the rhythm overall is a little slower than I would like. This song doesn’t sound all that original either, sounds like some of her past songs. While Lovin’ U does sound pretty similar to her other songs so far, it does sound different. It’s more R&B driven, which is the most redeeming quality of the song. All the little, child-like beats and synth riffs really do nothing for this song; it could have been more catchy.
So, we now come to the first single of the era, Heaven’s Door. I can honestly say that I still don’t care for this ballad all that much, but, it does sound a hell of a lot better compared to her unoriginal songs that all sound the same. At least See U Again is somewhat an R&B ballad. It definitely sounds more original and new compared to her other tracks. Yeah, there is a lot of synth, but it’s not as pop sounding as the song’s counterparts. It’s not the catchiest thing either, but still decent. When I heard First Time, I knew I would love it. This song is synth backed, but it’s different. This song stands out a lot more than any other. The synth is somehow edgier, and more infectious, and faster. The fast tempo probably makes it stand out the most, that and the fact that the song is infectious. And I thought her vocals were great here as well.
IMO, Heartbreaker continues where the previous song left off. It’s synth driven, but it’s a lot edgier and more aggressive. This time though, the mid-tempo rhythm enhances the song. All the synth riffs and the vocals make one great combination, especially when distorted and altered. Quite catchy in some ways, and it’s different which is refreshing. Sadly though, she returns to bland and boring with Don’t Let Go. It’s another semi-ballad, driven by synth. This song is so boring, and it reminds me of the other song that’s a semi-ballad, if only I could remember the name. Either way, it’s boring and sounds so unoriginal. And then there’s Smile. This synth driven little tune is pretty up-beat. Not the catchiest, but it’s still fairly catchy.
The final tracks are both ballads, which is good. As much as I love synth, there’s just been way too much of it for my taste. Kimi to Nara is more of your traditional ballad, for the beginning at least. It’s pretty normal and classical sounding, with some R&B beats and additions present throughout, but beginning around the half point, it starts to get more synth driven. But, because this is a ballad, it’s amazing and actually original. The final song is Wasurenaide ne. It’s basically another Beautiful World-esque song, so you know it’s amazing. Synth driven, but still R&B like, as well as pop. It’s probably the most epic new song on the entire album. And Beni’s vocals were great, and there was even a bit of power.
Basically, this entire album is just a mess, not a hot mess, just a mess. I think the major problem was that this album was released just six months after her previous album. And realistically, there were hardly any songs that could’ve been released as singles. The songs are too mediocre and too boring. And most of the sound too similar!!! I love synth as much as the next person, more so I bet, but most of the songs over killed the synth and sounded way too unoriginal. The only songs I can remember right now are the singles, and two others, everything else is a blank. This album is definitely a miss, as was the cover. I would’ve rather had another year of nothing, then have her release an album like this. At least the album wasn’t a complete flop though, there were a few select songs that were decent, but still. Next single please!