Chip Music, Japanese

I Herd U Liek UwakiP: “Uwanosora” Review

May 22, 2010 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook I Herd U Liek UwakiP: “Uwanosora” Reviewon Twitter

I’m not a huge fan of those fancy-shmancy Vocaloid sound banks, such as the surprisingly popular Hatsune Miku voice. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make good music with vocaloid. Rare, in my mind, yes. Nico Nico Douga is flooded with Hatsune Miku stuff.

But a lot of it is just crappy covers. I’m willing to give someone writing original music the benefit of the doubt.

That’s why I checked out artist UwakiP’s EP, “Uwanosora,” available digitally at HearJapan. A nice mix of standard synth pop, chip tunes, and *sigh* Hatsune Miku is what I found across this album, which features pretty cutesy cover art. To learn more, read the review in full, which appears after the jump!


01 Hoshi no Pierrot
02 Shiawase Heaven
03 32bit Lovers
04 Natsu no Otoshigo
05 Hoshi no Pierrot Original Version

So, yes, that’s just four songs, with the opening track becoming the bookends. The “Original Version” still has Miku’s vocaloid, but it has less chiptunes and is more “organic” synth (if such a thing makes sense…).

“Hoshi no Pierrot” is like a synth disco-pop fantasy. The soaring strings and the chord progression remind me of “Zephyrs,” the ending theme from Wild Arms 2. The obvious differences, of course, are the faster tempo, the chiptunes, and a vocaloid voice instead of a real, live performer.

“Shiawase Heaven” has that classic “NES racing game” chiptune sound. Very fast 32nd-notes coming at you non-stop. Poor Hatsune Miku barely has time to fit in some of those syllables. It sounds pretty ridiculous, especially when a second line of Miku vocaloid (for harmony) comes in at a rapid 16th-note pace. If there one song on this album where I wish they’d offer a “karaoke” version, this is the one.

Miku sounds her best, on this album, in track 3, “32bit Lovers.” UwakiP pulls out some impressive note-bending on Miku’s performances, and there are times when I could believe that this was someone actually singing and then, after the fact, made to sound synth-ish (like Julie in JulieHally). Of course, it’s the other way around: one woman’s voice turned into a sound bank.

“Natsu no Otoshigo” is the one song I could buy as being a legitimate opening/ending theme to an anime. The rest of the music on this EP is good, but Natsu no Otoshigo feels… polished. I have to say, I kind of dig it. But just a bit.

In conclusion, I think this was a worthwhile experiment for me personally. I’ve intentionally avoided the plethora of Miku-centric content on Nico Nico Douga and YouTube. It just annoys me to no end. But when I was told by a reliable source that UwakiP and other artists were writing decent original music with Miku’s vocaloid, I thought I’d give it a shot. I still have unchanged feelings to vocaloid, and this is far from being a “must-have,” and I doubt I’ll be listening to the EP much in the near future. But if you’re a fan of vocaloid, please acknowledge that this non-fan still found something to love in this album, so you’re probably all the more likely to enjoy this EP. It’s sugar-sweet to the core, and the instrumental chiptunes and other synths are pretty darn cool.

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