I had previously mentioned the musical voice synthesizer, Vocaloid. However, you didn’t get to see, or rather hear, the full extent of what you can do with the program, because I focused on the March 9 concert. I plan to rectify that with this post though. The Vocaloid program is so versatile that it can be used to produce or reproduce any number of songs, including “Fleeting Moon Flower”/”Setsugetsuka”, “Fate: Rebirth”, GACKT‘s “RETURNER ~Yami no Shuuen~”, and “Phantom of the Opera”.
I’ve heard many a Vocaloid song within the last 2 months or so, some good, some bad. The one thing that still surprises me though, about the good and even the mediocre songs, is how professional they sound. For the most part, I even forget the voices are synthesized.
Last March, Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun uploaded a 13:35 news special about the Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku, to its YouTube channel. Much like my previous article, this special, which I just found while working on the list below, explains what Vocaloid and Miku is, how popular “she” is, as well as Miku Miku Dance and other video programs.
Narrowing the list down to these 10 (or 12) was very difficult, because there are so many good songs. In addition, I tried to find English subtitled versions so you can understand the lyrics (I even found an English subtitled version of the news special), but I digress. Here are my top ten Vocaloid songs, that are on YouTube:
10. “Ievan Polka” (Hatsune Miku)
The song that started it all. This cover of the song of the same name, originally by the Finnish quartet, Loituma, is arguably the one that made Vocaloid such a hit.
9. “Meltdown” (Kagamine Rin)
The lyrics and video are a bit scary but I really like the song. The young girl is the childish side of Rin, while the older one is her mature side. The composer says the lyrics and video represent conflicts of inner psychological world.
8. “Just Be Friends” (Megurine Luka)
A beautiful, yet heart-wrenching song. Its upbeat and danceable tempo is a stark contrast to the heartbreaking lyrics. The music itself, I’d say is on the same level as Daft Punk, which is a plus. I really like this song, and I’m not the only one. There’s a live-action cosplay version of the above video.
7. “Magnet” (Megurine Luka & Hatsune Miku)
A love song unlike the norm for us Americans. This one is about forbidden love, and given that it’s a duet with 2 female Vocaloids, yeeeah… Personally, I applaud this decision, because while what’s implied is a touchy subject, it does need to be put out there.
6. “When the First Love Ends” (Hatsune Miku)
A song I can really relate to, having given unrequited love on a number of occasions. Listening to this song brings back so many sad memories of when (in my case) the girls left.
4. “World Is Mine” (Hatsune Miku)
A really cute song about a rather demanding “princess” telling you how to treat her, with just a pinch of affection. The ending of the video also makes me giggle.
3. “Last Night, Good Night” (Hatsune Miku)
A really beautiful song. There’s just something about it that makes me really like it so much, but I don’t know what. However, I do know that this is one of my favorite Vocaloid ballads that I have heard. Because the quality of the subtitled version isn’t all that great, here’s the link to a better version (sans subs), and as an added bonus, here’s a version by GACKT’s Vocaloid, Kamui Gakupo.
2. “Double Lariat” (Megurine Luka)
A powerful song about the trials and tribulations that an auditioning/up-and-coming singer has to face. I like the song so much that when I first heard it, I made a playlist on my iPod, with nothing but this one song, 15 times.
1. “Love Is War”/”Koi wa Sensou” (Hatsune Miku)
Another powerful song, this time about trying to make someone you have a crush on notice you. After failing a few times, you finally decide to buckle down, and try harder, maybe even resorting to drastic measures. The video is pretty awesome too, it’s cel-shaded. This song has its own playlist on my iPod too. Here’s a different version of the song with the male Vocaloid, KAITO.
“Umbrella” (Hatsune Miku)
This is a cover of the song of the same name made famous by Rihanna. While the video itself is kinda pointless, the song’s very good. The creator says it’s hard to get Miku to sing in English (so we end up getting Engrish lol), but still in my opinion it’s well done.
Not even a Vocaloid song, but this is from the first Vocaloid video game for PSP, Hatsune Miku -Project DIVA-. The song is arguably 2008’s catchiest song among anime fans. This is also the first time I’ve seen the full dance.