rolling girl - first song in the playlist and for a good reason too, it's probably the most iconic vocaloid song out there. wowaka is really good at changing a song right when you start to get used to it, not completely, just slowly adding more and more until by the end you get an auditory full course. the song itself is about depression, isolation and bullying.
unhappy refrain - another banger, i love miku's vocals (especially the use of voice filters) and the energy of the back track (and also the project diva MV for it goes unreasonably hard). jerma also likes it lmao. the song is about wowaka's unsatisfaction as an artist, while he has gained success it is all because of/attributed to miku while he himself goes on uncredited.
unkown mother goose - very impressive tuning as always, the tone changes are brilliant and it feels like a bunch of songs harmonising together. the song is speculated to be about his heart condition which was also the cause of his death in 2019.
two-faced lovers - i really like the high bpm and it makes great use of vocaloid's ability to well sing rlly fuckin fast.
world's end dancehall - another high bpm song but this time it's a duet with miku and luka. since this is the last song i'd like to recommend listening to the full 'unhappy refrain' album once again mention wowaka's huge legacy on the vocaloid community, with him being cited as a huge inspiration for other popular producers such as kenshi yonezu/hachi.
lagtrain - i included this as the second song as i feel it encapsulates contemporary vocaloid really well. kaai yuuki's voicebank is also very inetersting, there are a bunch of covers of this song and none of them have managed to replicate the mix of numbness and sorrow in her voice. it's isn't flat in a mechanical way but in the monotone, jetlagged way the song is trying to convey emotionally as it is once again a song about depression yipee !! i also think the use of trains is very cool.
lost umbrella - ngl i haven't listened to this one as much but i just think it's a smacker, i'll write a more detailed analysis later
matoryoshka - LET'S FUCKING GO I FINALLY GET TO TALK ABT HACHI. he's such an interesting producer, with both really good tuning (the reverb especially) and his back tracks are fucking amazing as well. the voice banks used in this song are miku and gumi. listening to his evolution is also really cool, i feel like by comparing matoryoshka to kick back you can really tell how he's improved. the song itself sounds disorienting and demented and the lyrics are pretty much gibberish, it's a meta commentary on how the vocaloid community tries to find some secret hidden meaning in every song however in this one, like a matryoshka, the more you unwrap it the less sense it makes. as another note i absolutely love the part at 2:52 and i wish it was longer.
dune - this song was made for miku's 10th anniversay and it's the last song made as hachi before kenshi yonezu went on to focus on making more music as himself, without using vocaloid. this song was actually pretty controversial because of its message, as he portrays the decline the vocaloid community since its prime as a deserted planet, miku walking around old familiar places that were once full of life but now they are abandoned and desolate. a lot of contemporary vocaloid producers regarded this as very disheartening, especially since a lot of them saw hachi as a big inspiration, and it actually resulted in syudou (another producer who made a song for the chainsaw man EDs lol) to make a response in the through the bridge of the song jackpot sad girl(which i don't think i've added yet??). the lyrics of dune contain plenty of references to other popular vocaloid songs (melt, world's end dancehall, matoryoshka, panda hero, senbonzakura) also i think the musiv video is really high quality and i'll probs analyse it later.
donut hole - this song features gumi, the lyrics are pretty vague and left up to interpretation but seems to be about a girl trying to find herself. not much to say other than i fucking love the bit at 3:09
panda hero - another gumi song, i really like the atmosphere it creates only through the melody and music video, you can literally feel the grime of a city bursting with violence, full of rusted metal pipes.
close and open, demons and the dead - one of hachi's earlier works that gained notoriety, i adore the japanese style compositon and i feel like he creates an ominous vibe really well. the lyrics (on the surface) make us of ritualistic, demonic imagery (they are mostly open for interpretation and i'll write an analysis of them later). now i've talked about the music videos for most hachi songs for a reason that being most of them are drawn by him (all of the ones in this playlist except dune) which is impressive on its own but this particular one was drawn with a fucking mouse.
lost one's weeping - this one was also one my favorites when i first got into vocaloid. neru covers a variety of genres but i think he does so brilliantly (i also like him because he tweets weird shit). this particular song is about the pressures of the japanese school system so rin's young and bright works very well especially with how neru manages to tune her to convey so many emotions.
law-evading rock - of course i have to mention the absolutely clinically insane music video for this one, honestly along with the music it reminds me of the mob psycho 100 intro especially. song itself is about the distractions we find for ourselves whether that be trash tv, or drugs.
becoming potatoes - really nice jazzy vibes in this one and also i find the tuning to be really pleasing since it covers quite a large range. quick surface analysis: life fucking sucks lmao.
tokyo teddy bear - i wanted to include this one since it is one of the more popular neru songs (and also a pretty iconic rin song)
hole-dwelling - another producer about whom i have a lot to say. his style is so unique and while bright and cheery song with dark themes/lore is a cliche at this point kikuo's unique take in it is by no means unoriginal or god forbid boring. his songs have been dubbed dark fairytales which is completely fair considering the dark disorienting sounds he can create which he then mixes with miku's bright voice. he's very experimental with his sound and holy fuck does it never fail to impress. as for this song in particular, the brilliant use of panning creates such an interesting environment where one hand it feels like you are surrounded by an orchestra, yet one that is not quite human as such you get the feeling as if it really is just you and miku whispering into your ear and yet even she is a specter constantly switching positions, fading in and out. creating a feeling of falling and losing yourself.
love me, love me, love me - probably the most popular kikuo song due to it being about a golden child becoming a yandere, once again expert level tuning which makes sense considering most of his work features hatsune miku, the sheer amount of emotion he manages to express is so impressive. also i really wanna mention the (bass i think???) at 1:46 and just the slides throughout the whole song.
dance of the corpses - once again brilliant use of panning, you get three completely different songs entirely by listening to this with either your left, right or both headphones. the strings are beautiful, the use of glass shattering, the varying tone and miku's tuning is immaculate.
emptiness, emptiness, emptiness of emptiness - we get a lil silly with it in this one, really recommend turning on the english subtitles for the music video btw. oh also i have to mention the bit from 3:28, literal penis music (i unironically think this goes hard). this song goes through so many styles, all of them so distinctly kikuo it kinda feels like he's flexing especially with the tuning. you can tell he made touhou music lmao.
o light - another one i really enjoyed when i first got into vocaloid! i feel like this song in particular really does stand out, the story and atmosphere it creates is absolutely chilling and i always thought it would work really well for an anime opening. it sounds both grandiose and horrifying but dark and lonely and the way it shifts wildly between the two moods (i just HAVE to mention the changes at 1:23 and 2:14 although all the accordion solos are amazing) is so impressive.
i'm sorry, i'm sorry - definitely one of THE kikuo songs well-known for its absolutely nauseating lyrics and well ear piercing dubstep, it has been dubbed the auditory equivalent of 'art is meant to disturb the comforted and comfort the disturbed'. once again i just have to mention how brilliant miku is tuned and not only the screams but just how fucked up the whispers sound, he really makes use of vocaloid's eclectic sound to create an even more horrifying experience. (ps if you are not the biggest fan of the dubstep or wanna hear a diff version in general i really like this 16 bit cover of the song.
you are a worthless child - fucked up nursery rhyme vibes, had to include this one just because it's the first ever vocaloid song i heard and what got me into it. the pain in miku's voice, the change in perspective, it's all very cool!