Its been another busy and successful year for one of the Vocaloid scene’s most prolific and popular producers. Deco*27’s 2010 repertoire included several Vocaran-topping hits like Yowamushi Montblanc, Mozaik Role, and Mukashi Mukashi no Kyou no Boku. But as many fans would tell you, that is but a fraction of his creative efforts for the year. As with all talented producers, this success has been accompanied by a branching out in genre and style. Already known for his multitudes of moving and emotional songs about love and life, almost always featuring Miku Hatsune, Deco*27’s adoption of GUMI and production of somewhat “harder” rock music like Mozaik Role and Aimai Elegy allowed fans new and old to see him in a different light and gain further appreciation for his diverse skills as an artist.
His 2010 Discography already includes 2 major solo albums (Souai Seiriron, Parovel World, with Lovegazer coming in late 2009) as well as a host of remixes and covers. Now to conclude this blockbuster year fans have been presented with yet another excellent compilation, Aimai Elegy (愛迷エレジー). Besides having a title that once again showcases Deco*27’s fondness for wordplay (愛迷 (Ai mai) is usually translated as “Love-Lost”, “Amai” however, means sweet in Japanese), the album is perhaps his most diverse yet, featuring a multitude of songs by Vocaloids Miku Hatsune and GUMI, vocalists Mirto, Topi, and Marina, and even a original song sung by Deco*27 himself. Follow me after a jump so that we can take a closer look at what Aimai Elegy has in store…
Start by taking a look at the album’s promotional crossfades featuring a variety illustrations drawn in the very distinctive style employed by the cover and album art creator. (tracklist is below)
Aimai Elegy (愛迷エレジー) Tracklist:
1. Entree (Instrumental Track)
2. Mozaik Role (モザイクロール) -cover- feat. Marina
3.Chocolate Beats (ショコラビーツ) feat. Miku
4.Tori no Ai Uta (トリノアイウタ) feat. GUMI (40mP Piano Arrange)
5.Aimai Elegy (愛迷エレジー) feat. marina
6.Ame Moyou (飴模様) feat. GUMI
7.Miraiyo (未来世) feat. Topi
8.Berry Blue (未ベリーブルー) feat. Deco*27
9.Yowamushi Montblanc (弱虫モンブラン) feat. marina
10.Outree (Instrumental Track)
11.Ai Kotoba (愛言葉) Sasakure.UK Sweets Mix feat. mirto
12.Yowamushi Montblanc (弱虫モンブラン) ELECTROCUTICA White Remix feat. GUMI
13.Mozaik Role (モザイクロール) Kous Remix feat. Miku
14.Mukashi Mukashi no Kyoo no Boku (むかしむかしのきょうのぼく) feat. Deco*27
**Note: I really must mention just how much I enjoy the art that has been employed for this album.
For those familiar it must be done by the same artist how drew the cover for Souai Seiriron, however I have not yet been able to find their name (please help in the comments if you can). Edit: Well, it appears that the excellent art for this album and Souai were both done by artist Ryono (りょーの). You can their other works here: http://ryonon.web.fc2.com/. (Many thanks to あいまん さつな and NuclearCoreMeltdown for the heads up, really solved a mystery for me!)
Nothing truly highlights the aforementioned expansion of Deco*27’s repertoire this year more than this album as a whole. Within, Vocaloid fans will find all three of his biggest hits from 2010, each one being quite different stylistically. The intended headliner track for the album, obviously bearing the same name, continues further with this trend. With yet another excellent PV animated by the Amatou Trio group, Aimai Elegy features vocalist marina who many might remember as lead singer Iwasawa of GirlDeMo from this year’s funny but touching anime, Angel Beats (season 2 coming soon!). You can watch the PV for Aimai Elegy which was released in the lead-up to the album below:
Marina also lends her strong and mature voice to a pair of professionally done covers for Mozaik Role and Yowamushi Montblanc. While GUMI’s renditions will likely remain the more memorable, most fans will likely enjoy a different take on these modern Vocaloid classics and marina’s choice of inflections and phrasing for her covers. Deco*27’s partnership with marina to perform his first original non-Vocaloid song of significant popularity is an interesting development and it will definitely be worth watching if there are further works involving the pair of them in the future (Remember for example that kzlivetune did a whole album of work with vocalist Koko). The other two featured vocalists however are no strangers to working with Deco*27. Topi has featured prominently in two of Deco*27’s albums so far, Lovegazer and Souai Seiriron, her previous official
and pretty cover of “愛(ai) think so,” can be seen here (Youtube). She returned in this album to perform Miraiyo, another original non-Vocaloid work by Deco*27 (Incorrect! Miraiyo is actually a Miku song from Deco*27’s debut Doujin album, No You, No Me. Guess it is obscure enough that no one corrected me on this. I have my Itunes playlist to thank!). Earlier this year, mirto also featured in a duet remix (Youtube) of 40mP well-known “Step to You” along with Deco*27’s own fabulously auto-tuned voice (which I could listen to forever). Now she returns to do a new rendition of another classic ( and my #1 song, Deco*27 fanboy much?) seen in concert by many earlier this year: Ai Kotoba (Love Words), as remixed by sasakure.UK.
In rounding out the album it should be noted that some of its real treasures can be found away from the well-known and popular popular headliner tracks, their assorted covers, and the various featured vocalists. In the three other album original songs (having not been released on NND beforehand) Deco*27 returned to his more classic songwriting style and delivers with several emotional and immersible tracks. Chocolate Beats, Ame Moyou, and Berry Blue are all keeping with the “sweets” theme of the album and all suit their respective singer (Miku, Gumi, and Deco*27) excellently. Ame Moyou is in my opinion the big discovery on this track. Suit Gumi perfect and is a very touching song. As for Chocolate Beats, well I could listen to Miku say “Zutto, Zutto, Daisuki” pretty much forever. Entree and Outree are simply the to be expected instrumental tracks, but do an excellent job of making the album whole if you chose to listen to it in entirety.
Aimai Elegy as a complete album not only serves to highlight the impressive musical talents of Deco*27 but is also a celebration of diverse music culture and artistry that Vocaloid has inspired. It merges a wide-ranging collection of Vocaloid and human-voiced songs almost seamlessly, all with a style that is distinctly what we have come to expect from a musician who has so passionately and poetically injected their views on love, life, and relationships into all of their works. Fans will have an opportunity to relive many of the year’s highlights while also having a chance to discover something new and enticing. This reviewer strongly recommends it.
Aimai Elegy is currently available in the on-line iTunes store for the affordable price of 9.95USD. It can also be purchased on CDJapan and YesAsia along with an accompanying DVD (ft. the PVs for Mozaic Role, Aimai Elegy, Yowamushi Montblanc, and Tori no Ai Uta) and 32-page artbook for 35 and 37USD respectively. (Note: Thanks to Pengy’s advice, I can confirm that Western fans should have any DVD region issues if this is purchased from CDJapan. I cannot verify it will work if purchased from YesAsia)
Hope everyone enjoyed the review, especially Deco*27 fans of course. Would you like to see more album reviews here on Vocaloidism? What are you opinions on the album itself? Please share you thoughts and comments below!