Vidasoy’s Vocalog: Streaming Heart – Hatsune Miku

streaming heart-hatsune miku-deco27

Popular Vocaloid producer DECO*27 returns with a new album’s fast tempo first track song and PV Streaming Heart, featuring Hatsune Miku. Follow Vocaloid song reviews in the new weekly “Vocalog” under the cut:

It might be a little rare for DECO*27 to release an album exclusively using Hatsune Miku, but the tracks carry a certain mesmerizing tone quality in her voice throughout that is set from the first track, Streaming Heart. It is not a surprise that this song gets its own fully animated PV given the complexity of the lyrics, as well as the high tension excitement of the beat. Streaming Heart’s PV was released on March 21st via DECO*27’s Nico Channel, and the song was up for download March 26th as a part of DECO*27’s fourth album “Conti New.”

Without further ado, here is Miku’s Streaming Heart:

While DECO*27 is known for their vague metaphorical lyrics, this one was especially confusing. We can only go off the interpretation by this translator, who has put a lot of thought into the connection between past DECO*27 songs to bring us the main girl’s side of the relationship problems. The album title “Conti New” is most likely a pun on “continue”, and the starting track Streaming Heart exemplifies this well. There are three characters drawn in the video: the long orange-haired girl, Miku, and the boy.

Surprisingly, the main character appears to be the faceless, nameless orange-haired girl. It seems like Miku is a personification of the orange-girl’s “heart” as demonstrated through Miku’s wearing of a heart face mask at many points of the story. Heart-girl Miku is more or less trying to get the girl to see that she has to break out of the cycle, while the imprisoned “real self” of the girl suffers. Though the girl feels unhappy in her relationship, she is letting it “continue” to run its course.

This is the clearest full body shot we get of her

This is the clearest full body shot we get of her

Miku, on the flip side, is singing from the perspective of the girl’s inner voice like a sort of moral guide. The song begins and ends on the phrases, “Though I seem to say many things, Please try and seek out the real me, In the Space Between Truth and Lies, Hidden away so well.” Already there is this interplay between a “real” and projected self. The orange girl, which I will refer to as Girl O from this point on, is emotionally reliant upon her boyfriend even as she grows to hate him. Miku’s smile seems to innocently mock her as she poses all sorts of questions, getting her to understand her true feelings.

There are a lot of quick shots where Girl O is depicted as trapped by the boy and physically strangled by the bandages. Even as this relationship continues to “warp” Girl O’s inner voice, there is a sense that she is cowardly and unresistant because that is the easier path. In fact, although she insists she wants it to end, she says “Me giving rise to a sense of hatred would be a great success.” The line seems to indicate she is still so attached in her heart even as her mind rejects it. Therefore, Heart-Miku takes action.

Finally we get a brief view of her face

Finally we get a brief view of her face

In the second half of the video, Girl O is behind a chain link fence and replaced by Miku wearing a heart mask in the relationship. This Miku is “playing the girl taking things to the foolish extreme,” allowing Girl O’s “real self” to watch what she has become. Finally, the new perspective instigates Girl O into action, where she takes the red crowbar Miku hands her and slashes away bandages and bars alike while she finally and rather satisfying punts the guy into the nether (her streaming orange hair and outfit seem very Rurouni Kenshin-like, probably unintentionally).

As a whole, the video is short and rapid – the “streaming heart” has burst from its bloody entrapping when the girl finally ends things. The direction it heads in vaguely ties in the drowning and choked feeling of an abusive relationship along with Miku’s oddly humorous encouragement to confront it with violence.  Miku’s symbolism with masks reveals there is merely a facade of love that is hiding the abuse and seeping blood underneath.

In conclusion, still rather confusing, but the weight of the lyrics is there. Plus, it allows you to test your music-interpretation muscles a bit. However, the lyrics do give a nod to DECO*27’s past famous songs, such as the use of words such as “aimai” (love lost), “egomama” (egoselfishness), “yowamushi” (coward), and more. DECO*27 fans would enjoy these, and new fans might want to try those songs out first for simpler video stories to follow, at least in DECO*27 terms.

Miku's mask falls off to reveal the boy was being played all along

Miku’s mask falls off to reveal the boy was a sham in the relationship as well

As for the song, the electronic, game-like beat keeps the mood a lot more upbeat than it is drawn to be. Keeping time with the rhythm, the clipped syllables in every choice of word fire off like a lyrical ride. With the tempo comes a driving forward action, and Miku’s robotic voice has a tone that inflects a kind of irony on words that jump a pitch higher like “happy.” This isn’t the voice of someone quietly depressed or with misgivings, but an inner compass of compelling reason that cheers on the girl’s rage. With the mood established, Streaming Heart gets you excited about future action and makes a great introduction to the rest of the album.

Overall, I think Streaming Heart is a strong, solid song with the right amount of attention-catching ability. As the first and more famous track, it does its job in setting the mood for the rest of the album. However, I personally find its repetition combined with the shouting melody a device that causes the replay value to suffer. Miku’s own tuning is well-done, but not as nuanced with the emotions it suggests the girl is feeling. Another well-known track in the album, Delusion Tax, for example, has the same elements of repetition without making it too grating. What makes up for its weaker points is the memorable initial impression, along with the thought-out lyrics and PV. These make Streaming Heart a good choice as one of DECO*27’s “Conti New” promotional songs.

Pros:

-Another strong, catchy main track for DECO*27’s album.

-Illustrative PV while still allowing for an open interpretation.

-Lyrics are deep and metaphorical, referencing past DECO*27 songs.

Cons:

-Miku’s tuning is a little unchanged except for some inflections.

-The song doesn’t have a lot of deviation from the main chorus, not even in the bridge.

Rating: 4/5

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Vidasoy

A vitasoy-fueled blogger that feels taller than her actual height online and therefore believes in the shoutbox that is the digital landscape. Fan of Japanese idols with their real or electronic personalities and beats.

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Vidasoy

A vitasoy-fueled blogger that feels taller than her actual height online and therefore believes in the shoutbox that is the digital landscape. Fan of Japanese idols with their real or electronic personalities and beats.

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