Falcom Vocal Collection II

 

Review by · April 21, 2005

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.

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and cats.