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August 12, 2012

I ♥ Visualizm feat. Hatsune Miku - Album Review

Alrighty! *cue fangirl scream* This morning I found a sample of Machigerita's CD 
"I ♥ Visualizm feat. Hatsune Miku" here. As I said before, I had really high hopes for this album, especially the track with Gackupo covering for himself (Gackt)! 

So let the reviewing begin!

Track 1: 

The backing track was amazing. I'm not a huge fan of Megamasso but I still prefer their lead singer over Miku. Miku's girly voice just somehow doesn't feel right. I guess her voice is just too 'normal', it doesn't have the 'tang' of typical Visual Kei singers. For the first song of an album, I thought it didn't have enough 'pow' to draw the audience in. I guess it's a bit of anticlimactic. I was expecting so much of this album.

Track 2: 

A really cool introduction riff for a song with strong beats. Gumi's dark alto voice made me feel that she's fitting comfortably into the Visual Kei scene. I think this song is a perfect match with Gumi, in both character and vocals. The title of this song is fitting for describing Gumi - "Incomplete Sapphire".

Track 3: 

This arrangement of Vanilla made me smile so much. Adding Jazz elements, bending the notes and accentuating the syncopation, it made me shake my hips and tap my toes. Of course, no one can replace the voice of the real Gackt, but Gakupo did a decent job. Gakupo couldn't hold the long notes without sounding annoying. I could imagine Gakupo jerking around (with the Gackt-style dance moves) while singing this song with only his underwear on, and all the other Vocaloids hiding behind the sofa laughing or cringing in pain.

Track 4: 

A gentle tune that lets the audience feel the sense of longing and a hint of despair. Miku's wispy voice really suited this song and helped enhance the eerie mood.

Track 5:

Perfect. Rin's childish voice was perfect against the harsh strums of the electric guitars. I loved this song, perhaps this should've been placed as the first track rather than the middle of the album.

Track 6:

This track had an equal amount of impact as the previous song. I enjoyed how all the Vocaloids were used in this track. Especially the part where Luka and Gakupo were singing against each other - I swear they were made for each other. Their harmonies were charming. This song really gave off a 'Vocaloid family' feel. If only Kaito was here too. I'm glad though that VY2 was used. He's rarely used by Vocaloid composers.

Track 7:

There's no sign of slowing down! Yet another fast paced rock song covered by Len. I laughed out loud when Len's voice first came in. I guess I wasn't expecting that nasally voice compared to the original singer's voice. There's not much alteration or variation in the backing track when compared with the original song.

Track 8:

The flute and piano were a beautiful and calming addition to the backing music. However, at times I felt that the flute didn't really fit in and it sounded forced as it tried to merge with the other instruments. The tempo was slowed down when compared to the original song. This slow song made a contrast to the three previous fast songs. If only Luka could sing an octave lower, then it would've been perfect.

Track 9:

A medium paced song. Why does Luka's voice sound so different in this song and the previous song? Luka sounds so much nicer and normal in this track. I really want to hear Luka sing a fast song, unfortunately my wish does not appear to be granted in this album.

Track 10:

Gumi's voice is perfect for rock songs. Her dark timbre and even her image suits the role of a JRocker. And we're back with a fast paced song. I think that Machigerita should reconsider the lineup of the tracks in the album.

Track 11:

I'm sorry Miku, you are just not suited to be a VK singer. Her voice seems to take away the element in VK music that makes you want to head-bang.

Track 12: 

A beautiful and heavy song. Let's just repeat what I said in Track 5. Rin's voice is well suited to those 'spooky' themed music. It was a really good idea for Machigerita to include piano accompaniment as it complements Rin's vocals.

Track 13:

A slower paced song. Len, I love your voice. It's very calming. The feeling this song creates in me is one where you are about to say goodbye to someone you love and you have tears brimming your eyes.

Track 14:

Finally VY2 gets to sing! A rather fast paced song that gives off a futuristic feeling. It's a very cheerful song and VY2 sounds like a carefree character. 

Track 15:

While I think Len did a good job covering this song, being able to fully express the sadness of the lyrics, I didn't think that this was the right song to finish off the album. I would've preferred to have Track 14 as the final track. This is the slowest song of the whole album. This song sounds like a hymn - I wonder who died. It's too bad that Machigerita removed the drums that were present in the original song.

Overall: 

I praise Machigerita for this wonderful compilation album. His rearrangement of the backing tracks were beautifully composed. He really understood what elements make VK music awesome and incorporated them into his songs. I look forward to his future works!