On VOCAL 2, Falcom samples the best of “old Falcom” and “new Falcom.” Representing the new Falcom, we have almost exclusively the work of vocalist Kanako Kotera. Her voice is brilliant, and she represents the Sora no Kiseki trilogy as something of the series’ vocal mascot. She has four tracks on this album: “Dive into your fate” (a personal favorite), “Looking Up at the Sky,” and then “Rush Out!” (from Ys SEVEN) and “Bokura no Mirai” (from ZWEI2). Kotera’s other vocals, from Zero no Kiseki etc, are featured on VOCAL 3.
This album also features one track from Ys VI ~The Songs of Zemeth~. Sadly, it’s far from one of my favorites. “RELEASE OF THE FAR WEST OCEAN ~I’m here for you~” is a “Jill” track, which means it’s hard rock and ’80s hair metal style vocals. I’d much prefer virtually any track over this remix of the opening theme. “Pandora (Quatera Woods)” stands out as a favorite from that album, and it needs more love.
Among the older tracks, we have one of the original recordings of “TOO FULL WITH LOVE” from Ys II, performed by Fumi Hirano. That chorus is eternally catchy, and I’m happy to hear it again. We also get a Rie Sugimoto album! I’m not sure all her work made it into the Falcom Vocal Collections, and even if it were, this is really digging into the Falcom archives. From the album Krelia (better localized as “Cleria”), this 1990 album had a variety of both original tracks and new vocal arrangements for early Ys titles. “Magical Heart” (Ys III) is the track, and it’s … well, it’s certainly different! Pretty sugary pop, which is what Sugimoto-san always did well.
Another deep cut from the Falcom archives, we have Tomohiko Kishimoto (the front-man of JDK Band for the ’90s) doing “GO FIGHT,” which was originally from one of Falcom’s few non-RPGs, “Star Trader.” This was on Falcom Vocal Collection 2 back in 1992, and now it’s back. Listen to the audio sample. It’s pretty rad in its own way. And then, after that, we get Yuko Imai singing “Moon Light Mystery,” which is an arrangement of the classic “Field” track from Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (first found on the vocal disc of Falcom Special Box ’92). Sheesh, pretty old! But pretty awesome, too.
Now, between VOCAL 2 and VOCAL 3, I think 3 has the more interesting selections (though it’s frustrating that “Looking Up at the Sky” appears on both albums, in different forms). Be sure to check out that review as well, and enjoy the audio samples!