Review of Miura Ayme’s album “Loveless”

Japanese artist Miura Ayme debuts in experimental album

On January 2, up-and-coming singer Miura Ayme released his first album, “Loveless.” It contained three songs he wrote and performed for the mobile game, “Obey Me! One Master to Rule Them All.” All three songs are part of a specific genre of Japanese music called anison: the songs that are sung at the beginning and end of each episode of an anime. Occasionally, this genre also carries over into their video game industry, where developers will sometimes hire people to compose and perform a song specifically for the game. Such was the case with three of the songs on Miura’s new album: “Sinful Indulgence,” “Celestial Ray” and “Loveless,” the album’s titular track.

The album itself had many elements of rock, metal, EDM and electronic music. Most of the songs had the same leitmotif used in each one, which served to help the album flow more easily from one song to the next. Another factor that prevented repetition was Ayme’s use of various music genres. Each song is very distinct in its tone and the way it’s sung, and I frequently found myself surprised at how much one song would differ from another as I made my way through the album: One minute I would be listening to a song that mostly used metal and hard rock, and the next I’d be listening to something electronic. And when I did hear songs that sounded similar, it was usually intentional, as they’d utilize certain note sequences or the aforementioned leitmotif to harken back to earlier songs.

Five of the songs on the album had already been released as singles, and according to a post on Miura’s official Twitter, all of the songs had been re-recorded and remastered in preparation for the album’s debut. After listening to the entire album myself, I went back and listened to each individual single so I could properly draw comparisons between them. I was especially curious since this was Miura’s first album, and I hadn’t listened to any of his pre-released singles before the album dropped, so I wasn’t sure what else to expect when I finally listened to them.

When I did finally listen to the singles, I was surprised at how unpolished they seemed in comparison to their album counterparts. Aside from “Sinful Indulgence” and “Celestial Ray,” each song had a second or two of awkward silence before they actually started, and when it did, I almost cringed at how much autotune had been applied to Miura’s voice. The album versions of the songs had far less autotune, which made his voice sound more natural and pleasant to listen to as he sang.

The backing music of the album versions was cleaner and more refined in comparison to the singles, and when Miura sang, I noticed he was having more fun with the lyrics in the album versions of his songs, letting himself draw out notes longer or add a playful lilt to them. It sounded less like the verbal equivalent of a paint-by-number picture, and more like a live concert, where the singer eventually stops lip-syncing to the pre-recorded song and starts making their own improvised additions to the lyrics.

While many singers tend to stick to a single tone or genre of music whenever they release an album, “Loveless” felt almost experimental with how different the songs were from one another, while also managing to keep the overall tone of the album relatively consistent. There will certainly be people who might not enjoy the variety of genres, but I enjoyed Miura’s first album, and I hope any future releases will be just as fun and experimental as this one.