BINI shows no fear to ‘Feel Good’

By Kurt Alec Mira

Photo courtesy of BINI Official/Youtube

When talking about BINI, one might immediately think of their TikTok hit song, ‘Na Na Na.’ Or their catchy rendition of Ryan Cayabyab’s ‘Da Coconut Nut,’ which sparked their vibrant, sunshiny image as idols. In less than two years, they delivered a new impression to the rising game of P-Pop.

Understanding their own capabilities, the eight-member girl group isn’t afraid to test their prowess in vocals and moves by experimenting more with their music. They know what they want, which then is exquisitely manifested in their newest album, ‘Feel Good.’ Arguably the most popular girl group among its contemporaries, BINI was born to win so they can make us feel good with their sophomore album.

Released last Sept. 29, ‘Feel Good’ narrowly transcends the idea of simply feeling good. Armed with seven tracks, it’s a rollercoaster of different romantic narratives, from self-love, to falling in love, and back to loving yourself.

Taking the risk and getting it right again

Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

Before indulging in this quick affair, the album opener, ‘No Fear,’ is the appetizer you eat because “it’s just there”. Being both a dance-pop and an opening act, it feels a bit underwhelming. With its lackluster lyricism, the message of staying courageous wasn’t fearless enough to be memorable. Perhaps, this song was a wasted opportunity, especially when it could have been a dance floor banger.

But while it doesn’t have the same appeal as the other tracks, ‘No Fear’ still has its dainty charm similar to early 2010s teen pop. Regardless, BINI took the risk of having it as their first track because frankly, they know how to bounce back. All thanks to the second title in the album, ‘Lagi.’

The most feel-good-to-be-in-love anthem of the year, ‘Lagi’ doesn’t only give you the typical pink bubblegum pop. In contrast to ‘No Fear,’ this bubbly song imparts the idea of how love, in all its essence, can make life bearable all because of newfound love. In a similar fashion to what Anton Ego, from Ratatouille, felt after eating Remy’s version of ratatouille which led Ego to hark back to his childhood, listening to ‘Lagi’ gives the kilig we yearn to feel. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better because of its compelling chorus, the powerful vocals of Jhoanna and Maloi in the bridge are the pièce de résistance of this bop.

As much as I don’t want to sound biased, I must confess that ‘Lagi’ continues to be wired to my Spotify’s ‘On Repeat’ playlist ever since it was dropped a few months ago. No offense to the superior ‘Na Na Na’, but this gem should also have its much-deserved break on TikTok.

What romance feels like

Photo courtesy of BINI Official/Youtube

After singing and dancing from the kitchen down to the living room because you’re the main character, BINI brings you to paradise with ‘I Feel Good.’ If ‘Pit A Pat’ — BINI’s summer single that talks about being independent — has a twin which is a complete opposite, it would be ‘I Feel Good.’

This melodious track, while not as strong as the preceding song, can still serve as a moodsetter for the album. Bearing the album title, perhaps it’s one of the few mistakes Star Music committed in this comeback. ‘I Feel Good’ leans towards the group’s conversant pop sound, only with less energy. To those who are new to BINI, it could come out as easily dispensable — a too basic feel-good song for the group. But to some, it’s surely a grower.

What comes next is ‘Huwag Muna Tayong Umuwi,’ the fan favorite, and the piece that can further expose the regular radio listener to BINI. Although it is the longest track in the album which plays for almost five minutes, this is what it feels like to date someone in SM Mall of Asia. And speaking for myself, this will be the song that will play in my head if I ever start dating again.

Just like its message of staying longer on a date, you don’t want it to stop playing either, all thanks to BINI’s powerful yet angelic vocals. Looking past the group’s discography, ‘Huwag Muna Tayong Umuwi’ becomes their first ballad written in Filipino that isn’t about their dreams as idols.

Definitely, the song that you would listen to as you cram and chase deadlines, ‘Strings’ highlights the frustrations of working under pressure on the brink of breaking down. Co-written by BINI themselves, this electro-pop song hints at how the octet is a force to reckon with in terms of versatility and creativity. The epic harmonization in the chorus, not to mention the exaggerated amount of brass that reminds me of every BLACKPINK single, adds an astonishing flavor to their edgiest track to date.

The moment they made the music video for Strings public, which was the same time the album was released, I bet that Blooms — the name of BINI’s fandom — was thrilled for the girls. Of course, as a casual listener, never in my wildest dreams have I thought that they would turn into the “baddest of them all.”

To wrap up the album, BINI grants us alternative versions of Lagi and Strings, although I must argue that the acoustic version of ‘Lagi’ isn’t exactly acoustic. Nevertheless, it seems that releasing other versions of their artists’ singles became a habit of Star Music, which was clearly evident in BINI and in their sibling group, BGYO’s, debut albums.

Awakening of BINI

Photo courtesy of BINI Official/Youtube

In its entirety, ‘Feel Good’ is a journey of familiar love stories. One way or another, we can relate to the self-love ‘No Fear’ and ‘Strings’ bring, and the romantic love ‘Lagi, ‘I Feel Good’, and ‘Huwag Muna Tayong Uuwi’ portray. This short yet sweet album further solidifies their position as a top-tier p-pop group.

This is, without a doubt, the beginning of a new era. Blooms and non-Blooms alike should pay attention to what BINI can bring and achieve to the narrow roundtable of P-Pop — an industry dominated by men. Admittedly, I’ve listened to them more than casually, without knowing who sings what line. All of these said, yesterday was the right time to get to know them. But today is the perfect chance to be a Bloom.

With the steady momentum they’re gaining from each single, it’s beyond safe to say that they were, indeed, born to win. Let’s just cross our fingers that Star Magic really understands BINI’s potential to be a household name. Above all else, they received the moniker ‘nation’s girl group’ for a reason. Support BINI by streaming their newest album, ‘Feel Good,’ now.

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