People know of DAOKO from a variety of places. She’s got fans from her indie days, when she was just developing in the underground hip-hop scene. She’s got fans from a viral video known only as ‘ME! ME! ME!’. She’s got songs in anime (hello, Shingeki no Bahamut and Kekkai Sensen, I see you). She’s collaborated with huge artists and created perhaps 2018’s biggest hit (ah, the Uchiages and the Hanabis). And if you’re surrounded by friends who are into this little thing called Dragalia Lost, then all you ever hear is DAOKO.
Perhaps the most well-known in the field of Dragalia Lost is the little instrumental tracks/music bits that come from DAOKO’s first few major singles. Such is the case for DAOKO’s second major single: a triple A-side filled with a “game” full of “bang”ers to “like” and enjoy. But is three A-sides company or is it crowded, and are the songs worth hearing every time you play Dragalia Lost?
もしも僕らがGAMEの主役で | 4.5 / 5
Japanese Title: Moshimo Bokura ga GAME no Shuyaku de
English Title: If We Were Game Protagonists
One of the two songs on the single that’s played on repeat in Dragalia Lost is this 8-bit inspired grower of a song with a title that could rival Fall Out Boy’s iconic titling, “Moshimo Bokura ga GAME no Shuyaku de” used to be one of the few DAOKO songs I absolutely hated. It was a deviation from her usual sound and perhaps had the weirdest instrumental I heard in a song. However, it took constant plays of Dragalia Lost to really drill it into me before I ended up taking the song on fully with its insanely catchy chorus and fun spitfire raps. Perhaps what adds to this is that it was produced by Hideya Kojima of ORESAMA, with its ORESAMA-esque vibes, making this an energetic, enjoyable treat to behold. If DAOKO is the game protagonist, I have no complaints.
ダイスキ with TeddyLoid | 4 / 5
Japanese Title: Daisuki with TeddyLoid
English Title: Like with TeddyLoid
DAOKO collaborates with well-known Japanese electronic musician TeddyLoid for a darkly high-energy track called “Daisuki” that features TeddyLoid’s signature frantic synth-noise in full swing throughout the song. Sprinkled with high-pitched squeals for a haunting addition to an already-hyper dubstep-like track, “Daisuki” isn’t my go-to DAOKO track, but it is certainly one I enjoy listening to when I’m in a particular mood. It’s an all-in track, featuring an ending rap that could end Eminem’s career, that begs you to hate or like it. I just might actually like this.
BANG! | 4.25 / 5
The second song to be featured from the sing in Dragalia Lost, “BANG!” is another exercise in ‘oh-man-this-is-not-as-bad-as-I-thought’. Initially put off by the introductory beats of the track, as I got to hear the song more in my own plays of the game, “BANG!” had a grip on me. Swingy in sound, with frantic energy in its immediately-catchy chorus, the song is a fun little jam that is both cute and seductive with DAOKO’s sultry soft vocal. The “kuchyuu”s are a nice adorable touch. Undoubtedly implied by its namesake, “BANG!” is a banger.
FASHION | 3.75 / 5
The final track on the single is a B-side track known as “FASHION”, which has a moody jazz feel, composed of indie-style DAOKO rap layered with it. It’s a lounge-y track, with an overflowing melody of strings, piano, and guitar to really set itself apart from the hyper-electro sounds of the other songs on the single. It’s a nice change of pace for the single, and for DAOKO as well, as it takes her music in a different direction. It’s an enjoyable piece, and one that I wouldn’t mind taking out from this closet of songs.
Regardless of whether you are familiar with DAOKO, Dragalia Lost, or any of her tie-in catalogue, you have to admit that DAOKO transitioning into electro-pop territory is a fun adventure and that, while her tracks might take some growing into, she’s pumping out some really enjoyable bops. The entire single is great from head to toe, with each song presenting a different side of DAOKO, and it doesn’t feel like a cluttered release. It’s worth a playthrough, for sure.
I will say, if you got into these songs because of Dragalia Lost, I feel you entirely. You can’t escape them. Props to you, DAOKO and Nintendo.
MUST-LISTEN | もしも僕らがGAMEの主役で, BANG!, ダイスキ with TeddyLoid
OVERALL RATING | 4.13 / 5