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True Love Story Summer Days, and yet... Vocal Collection :: Review by Chris

True Love Story Summer Days, and yet... Vocal Collection Album Title: True Love Story Summer Days, and yet... Vocal Collection
Record Label: Scitron Digital Contents
Catalog No.: SCDC-00296
Release Date: November 6, 2003
Purchase: Buy at Play Asia


In order to allow Noriyuki Iwadare time to compose high quality background music for True Love Story Summer Days, and yet..., he took a backseat for the game's vocal tracks. Instead a large team of composers, arrangers, lyricists, and female vocalists got together to produce eight or so vocal tracks in the spirit of Iwadare. This album features the typical sentimental ballads and upbeat rock anthems, in addition to a few more experimental tracks at least in terms of instrumentation. The vocal tracks were released in both the stand-alone vocal collection and as part of the eighth disc of the True Love Story Complete Song Box. How do the vocal tracks fare in the absence of "the loving one"?


"Nameless Flower" opens up the album with a light rock-infused ballad. Although the melody and vocal performance during the verse is nothing to write home about, the chorus is quite nostalgic and dreamy, opening with the line "You are the one for me". There is also a mild summer feel throughout. The rock flavour intensifies with "A Moment of Freedom", presumably written in the spirit of Iwadare's retro blasts. Those with an affinity for upbeat vocals and 80s rock progressions should find this one just right for them. Towards the end of the CD, "Love Advice" provides a fast-paced rock anthem too, which should be a breath of fresh air for those tired of the sentimental ballads.

"Perfect World" is quite a bit different from the other additions to the soundtrack. Between the typical upbeat vocal work, there are some rousing bagpipe solos and even some sporadic vocorder use. Unfortunately, the elements feel divergent overall and tend to simply offer superficial novelty value. The slower ballad "Now Until Forever..." is much more successful incorporating organic elements. The chorus is particularly affecting with panpipes gently harmonising Hitomi Tachibana's vocals. The trumpet use in "Just a Girl" is also enjoyable and catchy. This song could have been a bit samey given the vocals, but feels relatively vibrant thanks to the star instrumental performance.

There are also three bonus tracks featured on the vocal collection. As previously featured in the True Love Story Summer Days, and yet... Original Soundtrack, there is an acoustic version of the vocal theme "Sweet Connection". The vocals are again not the strongest, but at least the backing guitar and synth work is pleasant. The album ends with short versions of the songs "Sweet Connection" and "Farewell, Street Corner", as featured in the anime adaptation of the game. The latter is an ensemble number featuring reprises from all seven vocalists previously featured on the album. Note that the anime themes are not available on the series' box set.


The absence of Noriyuki Iwadare isn't too conspicuous here. That's since the team behind the soundtrack largely imitated his style with rock tracks like "Love Advice" and pop ballads like "Now Until Forever..." while occasionally offering some novelty. Nonetheless, the quality of the selection is quite mixed with some tracks suffering from weak melodies, controversial vocal performances, or misfitting instrumentals. There isn't quite as much charm, emotion, or even quantity as earlier additions in the series either. Nonetheless, this is still a relatively exuberant collection of vocal music for a game and should still be enjoyable for the niche target audience in and out of context.

Overall Score: 5/10