When I was a kid, CDs were amazing. They were the big new thing. Now a CD release is a novelty, and I feel old. And depressed.
What’s the solution to my depression? Music won’t cure it, but it sure as hell helps. I’ve written about the mysterious indie musician/composer Moe Shop once before (that’s moe as in the anime/manga-derived concept of cuteness, not like Moe from The Simpsons) but I haven’t written a proper review of Moe Moe, an EP released last year that’s so damn good I went out of my way to order a physical copy. The cover really suits the music – this is full of bright electro-funk like someone attached a giant plug to your head and funneled cute female vocals and funk basslines and beats into it.
To be honest with you, dear reader, I wasn’t sure whether to post this review here or on my other site. This album doesn’t have anything to do with games. It’s not even a game soundtrack, or an anime series soundtrack, or anything like that – it’s just standalone music. But I figure this music is weeb/anime-ish enough that it qualifies for inclusion here. The first time I referred to Moe Shop, I said it was like Parliament-Funkadelic if it were composed of cute anime girls. Like a cute P-Funk that isn’t stoned, or at least isn’t quite as stoned as the actual P-Funk. That’s probably a stupid analogy, but I can’t think of a better one. I know this stuff is called “future funk”, but I still don’t really know what that means exactly. Something to do with vaporwave, I guess.
Enough of my bullshit – let’s get to the songs. There are six on this album, and they’re all good. However, there are three songs that I especially like. Virtual is a bit slow-paced and very relaxing, with really nice, smooth vocals and instrumentation (each song has a different singer/lyric-writer collaborating, but all the music is written by Moe Shop.) Lovesick is quite different. It’s got a sort of tense feeling, with weirdly deadpan vocals that fit that feeling perfectly. Deadpan in a good way, though, not in an overly affected way, if you know what I mean. Finally, there’s Notice, which features the line “senpai notice me” in the chorus, which pretty much makes the song worth listening to by itself. But it’s also got a great driving beat, very cute singing, and pretty depressing lyrics if you bother to read them (or the English translation posted in the song’s Youtube video description.) The other three songs are good as well, especially the opener Magic, but they just don’t press my buttons in quite the same way.
I’ll give Moe Moe a 6 out of 7 – very solid album all around, and even the tracks I don’t like as much are still pretty nice. Make that a really strong 6, though. I can’t say this album is absolutely perfect, but it’s close enough, and playing this little EP in the car helped me get through a couple of really bad weeks last year when I felt like driving my car into the river on the way to work.
The artist him/herself has posted these songs on Youtube and Soundcloud, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about listening to them there for free if I were you, but it’s also available on Bandcamp if you feel like buying a digital copy. The physical copy I’ve got also includes each of the tracks without vocals (I guess you can use them to sing over yourself, or to sing to with your drunken friends at karaoke night?) Anyway, the instrumentals seem to be exclusive to the physical release, and that was a limited run, so good luck finding a copy if you want it. The physical copy also comes with a lyric sheet, most of which I can’t read. Nothing new if you’re a collector of imported goods from countries whose languages you’re not fluent in. Like me.
By the way, sorry for the lack of game-related posts – I’ve been working overtime the last few weeks. I do have a couple of reviews coming up, though. Still working through that backlog.
Okay, I’ll shut up now. Until next time.
EPs seemed to be a really big thing in the 1980s, and in the following decade, they ended up being as long as LPs from the 1960s and 1970s. Recently, however, that trend seems to be reversing itself. Some of the albums I got from last year could conceivably been placed on an EP. I do like an album that has no trace of fluff or filler; that’s what made the punk rock movement so inspiring.
Yeah, same. As much as I like long drawn-out pieces sometimes, albums that are compact can be really good too. I guess this isn’t exactly an EP, strictly speaking, but I guess I’m just going by length here – it’s about 22-23 minutes, and I really don’t think there’s any filler on it.