Bennie K

Bestest Bennie K Show

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Bennie K only had five full-length albums to their credit prior, but the Bestest Bennie K Show is their second compilation of the year (earlier, they released Best of the Bestest). On this long compilation though, the duo (rapper Cico and singer Yuki) get to show off a wide range of abilities, tightly constructed pop mixes, and a sensitivity to both chart-making pop and to keeping collaborations under proper control. The album specifically compiles their numerous collaborations, which leads to a wider range of stylistic elements than their average album might reveal on its own. There's a surprising amount of English on the album, which works well to their pop sensitivities; they often switch back to Japanese for some of the rapping. The album opens with the one original track, a Pink-like collaboration with DJ Hi-Kick built around techno samples of a nice disco track. Moving on, a collaboration with a.mia opens into a peppy Latin track. Rapper Seamo makes his first appearance with a hard-edged sound uncommon to his solo work that complements both Cico's rapping accentuations and Yuki's rapturous vocals. Some more straightforward pop turns up as the album moves along, making full use of Yuki's vocal abilities and pairing them against some of the lighter J-urban male vocals from time to time. There are rappers, pop singers, and urban singers hiding amongst the mixes from time to time. The combination of rapper and singer within Bennie K works surprisingly well to counter any given sound, working in strong productions for a good overall effect. They're always pulling out a new trick, and never quite slowing down.

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