Saturday, March 6, 2021
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Lightphaser: Sacred Journey of Heart

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Artist: Lightphaser (@)
Title: Sacred Journey of Heart
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: * * * * *
'Sacred Journey of Heart' combines Lightphaser's last three two-song EPs ('Instincts of Future, ''Serenade,' and 'Stay With Me'), plus extra tracks into a 12-track album. It relies heavily on the Hatsune Miku vocaloid software program (which sounds as cute as the Manga cover images created by ALYCESON for these Lightphaser releases) which some people can't get enough of (as evidenced by Hatsune Miku's huge online fanbase), and others really can't stand. Most Hatsune Miku content you'll find on YouTube consists of huge live events with glowstick waving audiences in the rock and dance pop vein with song lyrics primarily in an Asian language. Lightphaser shows the softer side of Hatsune Miku (in English, thankfully); more dreamy space pop (I guess space pop is a genre now, since Echozone thinks so) than anything else. Two of the tracks I've heard and reviewed previously ("Play With Me" and "Serenade"), but the rest is newer material. Although the other shorter (EP) songs ("Stay With Me," "Brighter Than The Sun," "What I Have Been Looking For," "Beautiful") are nice enough, the real magic here is smack dab in the middle, with a couple of longer tracks ("Dream," Heartbeat") which uses wordless Hatsune Miuku vocals over extended synth instrumentals. Not only does this keep Hatsune from wearing out her welcome, but it adds an extra dimension to the album as a whole. The one thing you may notice about the vocaloid program is that the words aren't always easy to understand unless they're very simple phrases.

The last couple of tracks are more varied and interesting as well. "Final Determination" is a bit longer than Lightphaser's average Hatsune Miku track with lyrics, at over six minutes, with a more serious tone and somewhat progressive. The closer, "Wish," is sort of melancholic, but a fitting end to 'Sacred Journey of Heart.' Joseph Gogh may well carve out his own Hatsune Miku niche with what Lighphaser has been doing lately, but I wonder if it won't eventually become clichéd. Still, very enjoyable in the here and now.

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