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Angel's Present ~ Chronicles of Marl Kingdom Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Angel's Present ~ Chronicles of Marl Kingdom Original Soundtrack Album Title: Angel's Present ~ Chronicles of Marl Kingdom Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Catalog No.: TYCY-10044
Release Date: February 21, 2001
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Angel's Present: Chronicles of Marl Kingdom concluded Nippon Ichi Software's initial trilogy of musical RPGs. Once again, Tenpei Sato returned to offer a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks for the score and built on the previous two soundtracks in the trilogy in several ways. He particularly benefited from the switch to the PlayStation 2 console and was able to offer greatly improved instrument sampling. Toshiba EMI's commercial soundtrack release for the game compiles the best vocal and instrumental tracks from the game into a single disc, though some may prefer the full two disc soundtrack bundled with the limited edition version of the game in Japan.


Once again, vocal themes headline the commercial soundtrack release for Angel's Present. "Girls, to Arms" and "Small Bird" demonstrate what listeners should expect from these songs. The former is a typical example of one of Tenpei Sato's more energetic tracks with its liberated female vocals and dynamic orchestration, capturing a sense of elation at the start of the game. In the past, Sato has sometimes gone too far with these themes and made them , but through some compositional restraint and better sampling, this isn't such a problem here. "Baby Bird" meanwhile exemplifies the softer balladic sound Sato offers to the more reflective musical sequences in the game. The vocals are much more restrained here and gorgeous interweave with the solo violin.

A potential highlight of the soundtrack are the reprises of several themes from the original Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. "One Day, We Will Meet" sounds as bouncy as ever in this rendition and benefits from remarkably improved sampling to the first version. "A World Made For Us" also remains touching, both in and out of the game, developing from a fantasy orchestral introduction into a elegant duet between Cello and Kururu. Some will object to these reprises, considering them lazy or desperate, but many others will find them nostalgic and fitting. A final highlight among the vocal tracks is "Thank You", an extended pop ballad featuring Maria Kawamura's vocals once more. It's certainly one of the more derivative tracks in the series, but it remains a heartfelt and fitting one nevertheless.

Though limited in number, the instrumental contributions to the Angel's Present are considerably more diverse and mature than their predecessors. An early highlight is "Orange Village", a Celtic theme featuring gorgeous woodwind leads and effective guitar accompaniment. The resultant composition is a subtle and scenic backdrop to the village's visuals, not to mention a delight even with its extended playtime here. The airy "Dream Traveler", soloistic "Boy on the Wing", and percussive "Eringya Valley" build on these Celtic elements to wonderful effect and help to further uniquely define Angel's Present's score. Of course, there are numerous other instrumental , ranging from dark orchestral underscore such as "Called by the Darkness", to beat-heavy battle themes such as "Emergency", to completely off-the-wall experiments such as "Dreaming Cat", ensuring an even more diverse and immersive experience.


Overall, the score for Angel's Present is an accomplished and enjoyable one. The vocal themes largely revisit the styles — and, in some cases, melodies — featured earlier in the series, but are still well done. Perhaps more interesting are the instrumental themes with their unique Celtic influence and beautiful sampling. All the tracks work beautifully in the game and the large proportion of them also serve as stand-alone highlights. This commercial soundtrack may appeal to some consumers, especially given it follows the presentation style of the earlier soundtracks in the series, but everyone should note that a two disc soundtrack was also available with the limited edition version of the game featuring many more instrumental themes. Either way, Angel's Present stands as certainly the most polished and elaborate score in the Marl Kindom trilogy.

Overall Score: 7/10