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Falcom Vocal Collection II
Catalog Number: KICA-1044/5
Released On: October 21, 1991
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: Etsuko Yamakawa, Naoki Watanabe, Keiichi Oku, Yuji Toriyama, Yuzo Hayashi, Takayuki Hijikata, Ryo Yonemitsu, Tomohiko Kishimoto, Makoto Matsushita, Michiaki Kato
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: N/A
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Starshine Lullaby (Sorcerian)
02 - The Wind's Monologue (Dragon Slayer ~ The Legend of Heroes)
03 - Shadow of Vanburlan (Sorcerian)
04 - Dream Dreamer (Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 1)
05 - A Thousand Years of Loving (Ys III - Departure at Sunrise)
06 - Avenue of Sorrow (Ys III - Darling Elena)
07 - On Wings of Love (Ys III - Believe in My Heart)
08 - Smiling (Ys)
09 - The Rain Hurts... Why? (Ys - Endless History)
10 - My Older Lover (Ys III)
Total Time:
45'24"

Disc Two
01 - Magical Heart (Ys III)
02 - Departure at Sunrise (Ys III)
03 - Go Fight (Star Trader - Launching)
04 - Get in the Wild (Sengoku Sorcerian)
05 - Boy on the Wing (Ys III - The Boy's Got Wings)
06 - Traveler's Inn (Sorcerian)
07 - Opening (Sorcerian)
08 - Born on Battle Lines (Sorcerian)
09 - Eternal Prayer (Sorcerian)
10 - Secret Paradise (Sorcerian)
Total Time:
45'50"

Released simultaneously with Falcom Vocal Collection I, this second Vocal Collection contains the latter recordings from 1989 to 1991. With varied sources such as the Sorcerian Perfect Collections, Falcom Special Box '91, and Rie Sugimoto's "Krelia" album, this two disc collection contains a number of vocal performances from virtually every early Falcom game you can recall.

But then again, the same could be said about the first vocal collection. The question must be asked: why would anyone want this collection in place of or in priority over the first vocal collection? Friends, I do not have an answer.

I was all-in-all let down by this collection. No one is a more ardent supporter of cheesy Falcom vocals than I am, but there's a line I draw between "cheese" and "just plain bad." A lot of these songs do not hesitate to cross the line. If you'd like to hear what I'm talking about, take some time to listen to "Get in the Wild", "My Older Lover", or the Sorcerian "Opening" track.

The first vocal collection also featured such classic pieces as "Endless History"...but on this set, the most well-recognized track we have is the original "Departure at Sunrise", which is pathetic in comparison to its remake, "Departure at Sunrise '95" (featured on Special Box '96 and Vocal Collection IV).

The first four tracks, from Special Box '91, are *alright*, but the rest of disc one is just not good. Disc two gets worse and worse, and then, like a light shining in the darkness, there is one track that seems to almost make the whole set worth it.

Friends, I am refering to disc 2 track 8, "Born on Battle Lines". This light jazz piece is performed with subtlety and perfection. I haven't heard a Japanese female sing English this well in a very long time. The lyrics, too, aren't nearly as cliché as many other songs we've heard from Falcom. The music is even better: guitar and piano for the first verse and chorus, with percussion making its entrance in the first chorus' climax, and then the bass taking the song to a whole new level at the second verse. Let's put it this way, shall we? If I'm listening to disc 2, I almost immediately skip to track 8, and then I hit the repeat button a couple of times. This song is the diamond in the rough on the collection, and I've found a number of people tend to agree with me about this.

But then again, is it worth hunting down some old, out-of-print Falcom music release for one song? Even if it were, you wouldn't have to get it off of this set, which features no original music (the only Falcom Vocal Collection with new songs is Vocal Collection III). So, I simply cannot recommend this album. Only the most ardent Falcom collector should be willing to hunt down and pay good money for this one. I was disappointed, and I'm sticking to Vocal Collection I. Of course, I will always love "Born on Battle Lines." Poor song, being stuck with such silly trash.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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