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Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom Vocal Album :: Review by Chris

Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom Vocal Album Album Title: Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom Vocal Album
Record Label: Pioneer LDC
Catalog No.: KLCA-2013
Release Date: January 22, 1999
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom Vocal Album is one of several pieces of merchandise related to Nippon Ichi's 'musical meets RPG' experience Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. It features eight brand new vocal themes used to represent the various characters for the game. Unfortunately, most of these disappoint compared with the songs featured on the main soundtrack...


The opening song "Difficult Love Puzzle" is a prime example of candypop in the video game industry. Sato largely rejects the musical feel of the songs featured in the game in favour of a typical pop sound. The track is completely dominated by the light-hearted and childish vocals of the Cornet's voice actor, Kaoru Fujino. The accompaniment meanwhile is a purely functional mixture of trumpet interjections and tacky beats, demonstrating Sato's leaning towards a more manufactured sound. While not particularly memorable or intricate, the track nevertheless does a good job of representing of the lead character from the game.

Most of the album follows the precedent set by the opener. Plenty of themes, ranging from "Myao's Feelings" to "Love Trap", retain that tacky pop feel to them and lack the personality that radiates through Sato's more elaborate works. "Dream Chaser" deviates a little from the formula with its male vocals and rock instrumentals, but it is no less derivative; instead it resembles much of the lame J-Rock that came out of the 1980s. It's an interesting way to represent the love interest of the game, but sadly not a particularly charismatic one.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of deeper entries to the soundtrack. Maria Kawamura's vocals sound particularly graceful when interpreting the vocal line of "Feel the Happiness"; they work beautifully in conjunction with the classically-oriented instrumentation and waltz-like rhythms. "Sorrow Blues" channels one of Sato's strengths — creating 1930s lounge music featuring powerful female voices — though still pales compared with the "Etna Boogie". Finally, those looking for a sentimental ballad won't go wrong with the heartfelt "Someday, I'll Be True To Myself" and will reminisce about many of their memories from the game.


Evidently, the Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom Vocal Album did not impress me. Much of the charm and originality of the game soundtrack is lost here in favour of very poppy approaches. Some are more enjoyable, but even these lack compared with Sato's better vocal offerings for the Marl Kingdom series. This album might be a nostalgic experience for those wanting to revisit the game, but it's also a disappointing one.

Overall Score: 4/10