Everyone gets their 15 minutes in the warm warm sun, even computer-generated idols and comedians-turned-music-makers. To this point, vocal software/hologram lady Hatsune Miku (who, as these children can’t fathom, isn’t real) been something I associate with the goofy arcade dotting Den Den Town, Osaka’s answer to Akihabara which means geek central. Not something I spend much time with. Rocketman, meanwhile, is the musical project of Japanese comedian Ryo Fukawa, which should set alarm bells off immediately. He’s mostly aped Perfume-style disco-pop before…remember Cosmetics, his idol group/satire of Perfume maybe?…and hasn’t been terribly memorable. The two join forces for the above “Tonda Hattary Boy” (or maybe Fukawa shelled out the cash for the Hatsune Miku software), which should be really bad right?
Well…here we are. Despite being bundled with an animated video that makes me feel lame for reasons I can’t explain, Rocketman’s actual song sounds (gulp) pretty good. The main key ends up being Rocketman’s smart use of Hatsune Miku – whereas most vocaloid music abuses the robo voice and turns whatever music they were trying to create into squeaky crane-game flashes, Fukawa only uses the software for the chorus, and in a rather subdued manner at that. Otherwise, it is either himself softly singing, or he just lets his electronic composition that falls somewhere between Nuxx and Dntel do the important talking. It is a light, Ghibli-glazed soarer that hides a hint of transcendence, the song seemingly always rising up. How this pair managed to do it, I don’t know but to quote a famous Boston Celtic….