RF (Rising Force) Online is a sci-fi MMORPG that was developed in Korea and now has a fair base of US and European players joining in the fun. The game hasn't seen an officially published OST, but since Asian pop star "Lia" did a bunch of work on the game, she released a full length vocal album with music all from the MMORPG.
Lia's songs, her tonal quality, everything sounds lovely in that sleek, industrial/techno/pop fusion that one may deem superficial, but is nonetheless quite pleasing. In between her vocal performances are some short (and one long) instrumental sections. "Planets Requiem" is the longest instrumental piece, nearly 5 minutes long! Unfortunately, it's a redundant theme that reflects its subtitle "intense war" in the most bland of ways. It's mood music that, I'm sure, works well in the game, but isn't that great to listen to outside of the game.
The rest of the album, however, is a great listen on its own. "War for Peace," the opening vocal, is 100% my favorite song on the album. It may not have much in the way of originality, but the style being attempted is one that one rarely finds in videogames, particularly MMOs.
The most disappointing track for me, actually, was the title track itself: "THE FORCE OF LOVE." It's a straight, boring ballad: no style whatsoever, no flair to speak of. Yuck.
But literally every other song Lia has on here is worthwhile. I was shocked by "GIVE PRAISE," which is very nearly a contemporary Christian worship song. Check out these lyrics:
You've gotta thank the God of love
For giving us the power to be free / the courage to believe
You shower us with blessings day and night
When we're lost, You show the light...
Yeah...that was unexpected. Nonetheless, it's a great jazzy, rhythmic pop song.
I should point out that all there is only one song that's not in English: the ending track, "harmonia," is in Japanese. It's a very lovely and peaceful song, and I'm glad they used it as the ending track for the album.
Unless you are strongly opposed to VGM vocal albums (either in concept or just because you prefer instrumental pieces), you should definitely look into this album. It's quite unique, and I wish there were other albums like it for some other high profile MMORPGs.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann