Underrated #8: Bentley Jones

It was either 2009 or 2010 when I first heard Bentley Jones, and I honestly don’t remember how exactly I stumbled across his music. But since then I’ve never really been able to gain a truly solid opinion of what I think about him. I’ve heard a decent handful of his songs, and I’m comfortable with his playing style despite my preference for Rock music. But I’m decided to TRY and put him on my underrated list regardless, because he definitely is, and while I was discovering rock, I was pretty hooked on his songs. Unfortunately, realizing my taste for rock and metal after experimenting, I haven’t listened to Bentley as much anymore. Still, he’s good in his own way for a few reasons:

Anyway, here’s some of his uploaded songs (some of his older stuff):

Still, like I said, I’m not really sure what to think of Bentley, starting with what genre. But that’s actually one thing that makes him great. AT LEAST he’s versatile, not sticking to one style alone and incorporating different sounds without sounding like he’s trying. But of course, fans usually hate when musicians change their sound (just ask Metallica, KoRn, and Linkin Park), although since most people consider Bentley to be a pop musicians, I think he easily gets away with it. Most of his music however is more dance oriented (hence his favorable receptions on the J-Pop and Club Charts), sounding like a mixture of symphonic, dance, and electronic. Clearly, not my favorites, BUT like I said, the way he’s able to blend musical styles into his arsenal.

Bentley’s also known for his remixes by the Remix Factory (originally), and I personally liked his “Open Your Heart” Remix best, being a Crush 40 fan. But he “claims” to have produced (let alone remixed) for “Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole, Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, N-Dubz and Britney Spears”, although I’ve yet to hear these…

Here’s some more songs:

So in the end, Bentley makes great music. It crosses over into many different genres altogether, and vocally he’s a great singer. He’s not a bad rapper either, though that’s rare. Plus, he’s able to do remakes of mainstream songs with his own personal touch, and frankly, I like HIS versions better. He tends to do heaps of remixes on his own songs too, using the term “Phunkstar” (commonly written as PHUNKST★R) in the process. I honestly thought it was a branch of electric music at first, but seeing it’s mainly associated with him, I guess that makes him the “Phunkstar King”???

Now usually, I like to accompany a critique of a new album with my *rant* on the selected artist, but in Bentley’s case, that’s NOT gonna happen. And until I’ve heard his latest work, I doubt it ever will. At least I’d be very selective about it.

But Bentley’s versatility not only crosses melodic barriers (and apparently commercial barriers too, according to the site’s bio), but, unfortunately for me, he crosses over lingual barriers as well…

Seriously man. I’m not sure WHY exactly this happened. But apparently Bentley decided to “be the Last Samurai” for a few years, singing in Japanese and releases albums with 95% Japanese songs. Now, if I was Japanese, I wouldn’t be complaining, but being such a great English speaker, it’s hard to enjoy an album with non English lyrics. Of course, I was dumb enough to take up Japanese to understand Bentley’s songs, but of course I just learn it for fun now… He’s alleged to speak French, so hopefully I’ll get a bit of a heads up from the site before randomly spending on Itunes.

So at the end of the day, Bentley Jones is VERY underrated. Despite the thousands (in some cases, millions) of views he might get on YouTube, his name is not household. To me, he’s another Paul Gilbert… or better yet, another typical 80’s AOR band with extreme talent. They’re generally unknown on THIS part of the world, but are a sensation on the other side where good music is WELL appreciated. But of course, Queen learned that lesson years ago (at least until Live Aid): If you don’t have America, you’re nobody. Isn’t that a shame? It’s an even bigger shame that I can’t do a solid album review on his current discography without a miracle translation sheet. But still, I know many musicians who play for a Japanese (or basically non English) audience. However, out of all of them, only Bentley Jones was smart enough (and has enough class) to sing in their native language. Fortunately for me, Bentley is on fire when it comes to music releases. It’s virtually impossible to go three months without a musical update of some kind, and he even left me a reassurance on Twitter:

So in the end, Bentley Jones is still nothing short of legendary (all bias on my musical preference aside), and I really hope he continues to elevate upwards… (Mostly in English)…


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