Buono! 2 is Buono!’s 2nd album and it was released on February 11, 2009. It reached #7 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 19,857 copies.
1. Early Bird
2. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!♠♠
4. Shoushitsuten -Vanishing Point-♠
5. Rottara Rottara♠♠♠♠
7. Minna Daisuki
8. I NEED YOU!
9. Gachinko de Ikou!♠♠♠
10. You’re My Friend
11. OVER THE RAINBOW
Kicking off Buono!’s sophomore album is Early Bird. While it does make for a great album opener, the song itself is for the most part forgettable. It does have a lively, fun mood to it and some interesting synth during the verses but it’s essentially ruined by its weak chorus, noisy, high pitched vocals and an overall generic sound reminiscent of Buono!’s first era(in a bad way, of course).
The first single to appear is the ever ear-friendly Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!. Being the first single of the era, it was released back in May of 2008 but still manages to sound really fresh and establish the harder rock sound Buono! was taking for this album.
KiraKira may have the most aggressive opening from the entire album but the song itself isn’t that impacting, but instead has a more progressive sound from the guitars and drums with a calmer chorus due to the girl’s softer vocals. A pretty good song overall but mostly worth it for the rockier instrumental.
Another new track and one of my favorites is Shoushitsuten -Vanishing Point-, and no, not because it’s the song of the album focused on Miyabi’s vocals. It may actually be the softest song on the album since it makes use of some strings here and there, bells, soothing background vocals and a nice piano. That combined gives result to a very enjoyable and well arranged track.
There’s no doubt that Rottara Rottara is still the most catchy thing Buono! has(and probably ever will) released. It’s not just the chorus that traps you but also those lotta love, lotta love, lotta love bits from the hooks. If you’re going to want to get into Buono!, this is the song for you.
Their latest single co・no・mi・chi follows and you can’t help but think it feels just slightly underwhelming after that last track. I still think it’s the worst single released and it actually gets overshadowed by some of the new album tracks.
I was surprised to see a b-side on the album but was relieved to find out it was the one from the Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! single, Minna Daisuki. While it is the most pop sounding song from the album, it holds its own with it’s insanely catchy chorus and overall cute H!P sound.
The bizarre I NEED YOU! follows. Don’t be fooled by its smooth, almost tropical sounding verses as the song has what is probably the roughest, aggressive chorus on the album. Even though the change is a bit insane, the girl’s pulled it off well. The entire song just goes up and down in rhythm the entire time for a very interesting listen.
The final “old” track to appear on the album is Gachinko de Ikou!, the song that began Momo’s leadership of Buono! and that also solidified their rock sound. It fits right in with the rest of the tracks on here and serves as a nice transition between the songs before and after.
Buono! finally begins to slow things down with You’re My Friend. Still keeping up with the rock sound, the verses this time feature an acoustic guitar along with drums and the girls solid vocals. I really enjoy the way this song flows from the verse, bridge and chorus as it offers just a little bit of each instrument in various parts while still flowing perfectly.
Another slow track is the almost ballad, OVER THE RAINBOW. The intro to this song is very pretty with acoustic guitars, drums and pretty strings but the verses are actually the best even if there very minimal on instruments. The melody of this song is very nice and a refreshing change of pace from the upbeat nature of the rest of the album. Another well made new track.
We reach the end of the album with Goal and while the last two tracks could have also done a good job of finishing the album, this track’s enigmatic nature when compared to the rest of the album not only makes it the best album finisher, but also the best song on the album overall. The verses and bridge are composed entirely of a repeated electric guitar note and the girl’s ethereal-like, echoed vocals. This simple combination sounds just perfect together and when combined with a thumping beat and background vocals as the song progresses makes it a simply beautiful listen. The chorus is obviously the highlight of the song combining bells, epic string work and smooth guitar chords. No matter how much this song sounds like Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, Tsunku definitely let himself influence in the right way, composing what is probably one of the best Hello! Project tracks in the recent years.
Compared to their first album, Tsunku directed Buono!’s musical style to be more rock oriented. While this did make them stand out from the rest of the H!P groups out there, it also brought out more unstable music releases compared to their first era, which was almost entirely filled with catchy tracks and an addictive album. Now this album while it did have it’s flaws with songs like co・no・mi・chi and Early Bird, it also showed that Buono! can not only offer a more serious sound(OVER THE RAINBOW) but also pull off something completely foreign to their style of music, as was done with Goal. If you’re wondering which Buono! album to start off with, choose this one if your more into their rock sound and don’t mind having to skip a few songs here and there.