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Tenpei Sato The Best - Beautiful Days :: Review by Don

Tenpei Sato The Best - Beautiful Days Album Title: Tenpei Sato The Best - Beautiful Days
Record Label: Nippon Ichi Software
Catalog No.: NSD043000
Release Date: July 23, 2005
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Tenpei Sato is a composer that has a very diverse background. Although he composes a multitude of styles, including gospel, rock, electronica, and others, I find his conventional emotional themes to be an extremely crucial part as to why I enjoy his music so much. Tenpei Sato The Best - Beautiful Days is a compilation of music that Tenpei Sato considers some of his best works, and have been arranged and resynthed to provide a fuller sound. This album, as the title might suggest, focuses on some of his more emotional themes. Focusing mainly on the Marl Kingdom series with some offerings from Disgaea and La Pucelle, did he do a good job at choosing the themes for the soundtrack? Read on to find out.


Sung by Lynne Hobday, "Miracles Happen," the ending vocal theme for La Pucelle: Tactics, opens up the album. This version stays fairly true to the original. Lynne Hobday's voice is absolutely beautiful and a truly fitting match for Tenpei Sato's more emotional themes. The orchestration is beautiful and the strings and woodwinds help provide a warm and inviting environment. The instrumental bridge is particularly touching as well with its use of piano. Overall, it's one of my favorite Tenpei Sato vocals. The second theme from La Pucelle is "Solitaire." This theme, sung by Rei Tateishi, who's also featured on the Phantom Brave soundtrack, offers a warm woodwind based composition with some ethereal focus. Although Rei Tateishi is credited as the vocalist, there aren't really any lyrics. It's more an ethereal vocal backing that really combines well with the atmospheric accompaniment and the strong woodwind melody. It's probably my favorite theme on the album.

"Dream Traveler," from Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom, is a theme that is a mixture of both playful and poignant elements. The exquisite violin adds a touch of sorrow to the theme whereas the woodwinds help provide a very playful soundscape. The supporting elements, such as choral accents, guitar, and piano, really help bring a fantastic depth to the theme. I'm not familiar with the original, but this version is absolutely stunning. The next theme, "Little Love," also from that game, is another heartwarming theme. It features an interesting soundscape and boasts an extremely memorable melody. For example, there is an exquisite beauty that is crafted by the acoustic guitar and piano, but at the same time, the brass and harmonica add new elements into the theme that really help it stand out. The last theme from this score is aptly titled "The Adventure of the Puppet Princess." This theme offers a nice mix of more jovial soundscapes as well as more elegant soundscapes. This is due to the back and forth between the flute and violin. It's an extremely beautiful melody and one of the stronger themes from the album.

"First Love," the sole contribution from Little Princess: Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom 2, is sung by Tenpei Sato himself. His vocal style is quite interesting and might alienate some listeners, but it does have a certain uniqueness to it that makes it stand out. As for the music itself, it's definitely more an accompanying aspect of the piece, but does feature an assortment of instrument, with the most striking being the acoustic guitar that gives it a nice mellow vibe. There is also some keyboard work that reinforces this mellowness. Overall, it's a simple, yet touching, vocal theme.

"Baby Bird," from Angel's Present: Chronicles of Marl Kingdom, the third game in the Marl Kingdom series, is a much more emotional affair, attributed mainly to the extreme focus on violin and woodwinds. They mingle quite well and offer their own unique interpretations of the melody. It's an extremely beautiful theme, but I find it to be one of the weaker, although in no way is it terrible, contributions to the album. The themes with more depth are much more endearing and worth a listen. The last contribution from this score is "Orange Village." This theme takes on a pleasant Celtic inspired environment. It's quite a nice "distraction" from the more violin and poignant themes featured on the soundtrack. There are some beautiful passages in this one, especially the acoustic guitar and violin accompaniments. However, the woodwinds are clearly the strongest contribution to this theme. It helps give the theme a nice airy feeling.

The first of two contributions from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, "Dear Friends" continues the emotional path that Tenpei Sato has laid out for this compilation album. It's an extremely exquisite theme that features some choral vocals, poignant acoustic guitar and piano work, all of which mesh together to form a very pleasing soundscape. It's easily one of my favorite themes from this compilation album and a good representation of Tenpei Sato's more emotional side when it comes to instrumental themes. The album closes with "Flower of Happiness," also from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Sung by Sakurako Matsuura, it's a beautiful ballad with a strong focus on strings. The melody is absolutely exquisite and I absolutely dig the beautiful piano accompaniment. The vocal layering is also quite delicious and really adds to the atmosphere to the piece. Tenpei Sato is truly a master craftsman when it comes to composing emotional vocal themes and this is truly one of his best. It's a fine way to close an album dedicated to what Tenpei finds to be some of his most beautiful compositions.


In the end, Tenpei Sato The Best - Beautiful Days is an extremely beautiful album that truly highlights some of Tenpei Sato's most emotional themes from his earlier works. Although most of music comes from games that were never released in Western territories, they manage to keep the emotional touch that I love so much from Tenpei Sato. In the end, this is a fantastic compilation album for those who love emotional and touching music. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you have a chance.

Overall Score: 9/10