Cafe Buono! / Buono!

Track Listing

  1. Cafe Buono!
  2. Nakimushi Shounen
  3. Renai Rider
  4. Honto no Jibun
  5. Baketsu no Mizu
  6. Garakuta no Yume
  7. Internet Cupid
  8. Last Forever
  9. Kokoro no Tamago
  10. Hoshi no Hitsuji Tachi
  11. Rock No Kamisama
  12. Kimi ga Ireba

Review

Buono! is a  group consisting of 1 member from C-ute (Suzuki Airi) & 2 members from Berryz Koubou (Tsugunaga Momoko & Natsuyaki Miyabi).  The group was formed to peform the opening & closing theme songs for the anime Shugo Chara!

Cafe Buono! is their first album & it was released on February 20, 2008.  It contains 2 previously released singles (Honto no Jibun & Renai Rider) & 1 b-side (Kokoro no Tamago).  The Buono! sound can be described as very girly pop-rock (if that really means anything).  It kind of falls in between what you would normally expect from an H!P release yet the bit of  of rock edge to the music that makes their tracks stand out from the usual H!P fare.  Songs like Nakimushi Shounen & Renai Rider are a good examples of what makes their songs different.

Not to say that there aren’t some good pop tracks on this disc.  Internet Cupid is a catchy Perfume-like track that makes use of vocoder effects & video game samples.   I believe I heard a bit of the Super Mario Brothers theme song in parts.  Other examples are Baketsu no Mizu, Last Forever & Kokoro no Tamago which give off varying degrees of sugary sweetness in comparison to the more Rock influenced songs.

I found it strange that there are only 2 ballads present, Hoshi no Hitsuji Tachi & Kimi ga Ireba.  Of these I prefer Hoshi no Hitsuji Tachi.  It has simple, understated production & the vocal arrangements are quite nice.

It’s rare to hear an album where there are no bad tracks on it, especially when it’s a debut.  I mean one expects a couple of crappy filler tracks the first time out, but there’s none to be found here.  That’s pretty impressive I think.

Buono! 2 / Buono!

Track Listing

  1. Early Bird
  2. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!
  3. Kira Kira
  4. Shoushitten -Vanishing Point
  5. Rottara Rottara
  6. co no mi chi
  7. Minna Daisuki
  8. I Need You
  9. Gachinko de Ikou!
  10. You’re My Friend
  11. Over The Rainbow
  12. Goal

Review

Buono! 2 is  Buono’s second full length album.  Released almost a year after their first album (February 11, 2009) it includes the previously released singles Kiss! Kiss! Kis!, Gachinko de Ikou!, Rottara Rottara & Co no mi chi along with the b-side Minna Daisuki.

After the perfection of their debut I expected the same or greater from Buono! & I was not disappointed.  The songs on this abum lean a little more towards the pop side, but there are a couple of rocking tracks such as Rottara Rottara & I Need You.  I Need You has an interesting arrangement.  During the verses it’s got a Reggae kind of vibe & then goes full blast rock mode during the chorus & break sections.

Of the more pop flavored tracks Early Bird stands out the most.  That song is 4 minutes of pure joy that instantly grabs your attention & never lets go.  Definitely one of the better starter tracks I’ve heard in a very long time.  It really gets you in the mood to listen to the rest of the album.

Much like its predecessor there are not many lower tempo tracks to speak of here.  Over The Rainbow is the only one that really qualifies.  It provides a nice change of pace, but I found the song to be just OK compared to their previous ballads.

The most intriguing track is the last one (Goal).  As I was listening to it I was thinking to myself,  “Where have I heard this kind of song before?”  Then the answer came to me…  Coldplay.   Yes it’s strange to think of Buono! singing a Coldplay type song, but it works in some odd way.  It doesn’t sound out of place at all when placed with their other  songs.  Definitely a curve ball thrown the listeners way, but a refreshing one.

This is another great outing from Buono!  The consistency of their output continues to impress me.