Bi-monthly? More like whenever the hell I feel like posting it.
ZAQ – Noizy Lab
Originally, I didn’t like ZAQ very much. I didn’t even have much exposure to her, but I put up with what I heard. There was one song of hers I really did like though. The ending to Straight Title Robot Anime, Jiyuu to Iu Riyuu. For a long time it seemed like this particular song wouldn’t have a full version. Then I heard about ZAQ releasing he rfull album and had to hope it would be on it. Sure enough it was. This gave me reason to check this album out and you know what? I ended up loving it.
Of course there are her Sasasmi-san and Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai songs, Alteration, Sparkling Daydream and VOICE (which is my favourite) but it’s all the other stuff that’s so good. I wasn’t familiar with her Highschool DxD New track beforehand, Gekijouron, but I ended up really liking it.
hypnotize is just, well, hypnotizing. It’s such a relaxing song to listen to. long for you is another laidback, slower song and she sounds really lovely in it. I don’t particularly like the ending of it so much but the rest of it is really nice.
Nai is kind of a funny case because listen to Outer Science and tell me that beginning doesn’t sound like Outer Science. You can’t. They sound identical. Every time I think I’m listening to a cover of that song instead. Well, regardless it lacks a certain amount of oomph (and also I’m always let down because I’m not actually listening to OS) but it’s not awful.
ClariS – Party Time
I’m sure most are familiar with ClariS and their numerous works for SHAFT. They were kind of a group I check in every now and again to see what’s up and usually it’s nothing that interests me too terribly. This album was a major (surprising!) exception. It was completely fun and a perfect send off to this duo.
Drawing reminds me of mid early I’VE stuff a la Lia and KOTOKO and that’s pretty great vibe to have. The chorus felt a bit out of place at first but it still works because it’s a good song. I figured Click was an anisong because their anisong all has a similar vibe to it while their original stuff is way better. That being said, Colorful is okay. I didn’t like it when I first heard it but seeing it in the movie with the visuals of the movie opening really endeared it to me. It’s no Luminous though.
For instance, Time and RESTART. My two favourite tracks off the album. Time doesn’t have the pop feeling of RESTART but those doki dokis and when it breaks down a bit like dang it’s got such a great and exciting feeling to it. And like I said, RESTART has a more bubbly pop feel like their anisongs do though not as played up and bland and boring as those anisongs sometimes are. Kakurenbo is a different kind of track for them, being much slower and kind of ballad like? They do sound really great though so it’s a surprising treat.
DECO*27 – Conti New
This is probably an album that deserved its own post. Definitely maybe. It was one I was really excited about for sure. DECO*27 had ventured away from VOCALOID music and while his releases with actual vocalists weren’t bad… well, they didn’t have the pizazz and special something that his VOCALOID hits did. So when he returned, I was obviously overjoyed. But alas, I was as lazy as I was overjoyed.
妄想税 was the first new song I heard from DECO*27 before I knew anything about the album. I was beyond excited that he had returned to his roots and not only that, it was as addictive as his VOCALOID songs had been years ago when he first started. Nisoku Hokou isn’t my favourite for nothing, after all. Tons of energy but most importantly, it’s super catchy.
A track I didn’t expect to like was 音偽バナシ because the intro sounded pure acoustic and I groaned but it’s actually really cool? There’s the very slightest hint of real vocals that give this song an interesting edge, not to mention the instrumentation is a lot cooler than I originally was going to give it credit for.
And I didn’t see the super cool PV for ストリーミングハート until after I had listened to this album a bunch of times. I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the PV and the song’s meaning and point of view it’s fun to see that kind of thing again? It seems like its been so long. This is one of those songs that shows why DECO*27 is such a pro at VOCALOID though, he manages to do so many interesting things with it and still get a great sound from Miku. It’s a bit sad there wasn’t any GUMI since I always link the two together but if you’re going back to the classics, you really go back to the classics.
Really, a solid release. Regardless of whether he’s going to do more or if this was just a one off thing, I’m glad this happened. There’s something for everyone on it. Lighthearted tracks, pop tracks a la Ai Kotoba and songs full of intensity and emotion. If you’re looking for a good VOCALOID album, you can’t go wrong here.
Helblinde – Life starts at 200bpm
So like a bit of back story on this one. Helblinde released a preview for Gateway to Psycho and being the Psycho-Pass fan I am, I was really excited about it. However I missed out on the album during pre-ordering and though I desperately wanted to hear the full version of that track, it was never really clear if I could buy it later.
It’s my understanding that this recent release on bandcamp is the same album? Well, regardless it’s great and Gateway to Psycho is on it and it’s my favourite track and I’m glad to finally hear it fully in all it’s glory.
For real, Helblinde was probably the artist who inspired my lost of super over the top sampling in songs because of things like Ritsuen from way back when. He’s real good at what he does.
Picks from the album beside the aforementioned? Pretty Girls with Mental Disorders, Imagine Breaker and Memoria Reborn are all pretty sick. Requiem was a shock though. It’s a slow piano piece through and through. Pretty enough… just surprising. Dreams Come True gets a mention of course because any Cardcaptor Sakura remix is an instant 10/10 for me. And it’s precisely why I love this guy so much. It’s got so much character close to the original and is so damn fun. not just untz added to an illfitting song, he makes it work and boy does it ever.
Available for $12 on Bandcamp. What a steal.