It’s been six years since Mitchie M’s last album. Four years since the last mini-album The vocaloid producer games for so many classic Miku and co tracks returns in style with new album ‘Virtual Pop Star’. It’s crammed full of synth-pop anthems and expands on the traditional MitchieM standards.
When I think of Mitchie M there is a kawaii Europop sass vibe in everything he does. This new album contains that but moves away from just Europop into other genres and styles. For example, there is the reggae-tinged track ‘Rebel Heart’, some militant classical moments with ‘Miraijokyou’ and an 80s throwback with ‘Believe in Yourself’. ‘Imotore Boogie’ also stands out because it sounds exactly like Milkcan – the band from the Parappa and Lammy universe. Even Miku Hatune sounds like Katy Kat!
With less surface cheese comes less immediacy but also less potential grating. It’s never been a problem for me personally but this is likely to an album that lasts longer than a flash in a pan. That being said there is plenty of synth glory to be had. ‘Ring no Shitenshi’ sounds like a lost mid-career Ayumi Hamasaki track. ‘News 39’ and ‘Jikoaisei Kawaizm’ encompass the very essence of MitchieM too. For fans of the Project Diva series, the MitchieM ‘Cute Medley’ is included here too. It’s an absolute tour de force of memorable favourites and even though it feels slightly different – it’s still right at home.
It’s been way too long in coming for many fans, but Mitchie M utterly delivers with ‘Virtual Pop Star’. Alongside my personal favourite Kz Livetune, Mitchie M never fails to raise a smile or get your body moving. Whilst there may not be a ‘Viva Happy’ or a ‘Freely Tomorrow’ here in terms of immediate earworms – this album has grown on me upon each listen. A sublime pop album.
Recommended track: Ring no Shitenshi
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