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True Love Story Vocal Collection Vol. 2 :: Review by Chris

True Love Story Vocal Collection Vol. 2 Album Title: True Love Story Vocal Collection Vol. 2
Record Label: Wonder Entertainment
Catalog No.: WDCD-25117
Release Date: May 21, 1998
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The second vocal collection for the original True Love Story focuses on ballads and duets. As a result, it has some novel features relative to the first vocal collection, though risks falling into the traps of becoming clichéd or embarrassing more than ever. Nonetheless, the focus continues to be youthful female vocalists exploring rich melodies and contrasting emotions throughout a set of songs. Between each song there is also a short monologue from one of the two characters. Appreciation of this album depends on quite a lot of factors and all of its material is also present on the True Love Story Special Song Box.


The first ballad of the set is a soft but positive one, "Spring Aquarium". Nonetheless, some of the others will be quite an emotional rollercoaster for the listener. "Blanco's Song" is one of the most heartrending additions to the disc since it depicts a sense of longing. The use of repeated vocal phrases throughout, most prominently around 1:30, particularly creates that desperation. "Beginning Again from Tomorrow", on the other hand, is instantly refreshing with its rustic guitar and harmonica use, as if to declare the character on the pathway to a new romance. However, romance apparently never goes smoothly "Sad Mermaid" brings out the deep chord progressions and bittersweet vocal lines to portray heartbreak once more.

There are also a couple of duets featuring on the album. "Confession" is quite a simple pop song, but it tends to be driven along by the singer tends to alternate each verse. The unison singing is well-harmonised during the chorus too. "Future Lovers" is a fun collaboration between the voice actors Haruna Ikezawa and Hideo Ishikawa. It is quite refreshing to hear the prospect of long-term romance expressed here after so many songs about the prospects of romance or just the early stages of a relationship. With the exception of True Love Story 2's "I Rescue You!", it is the only song in the franchise a male vocalist. There are further duets for the series in the third vocal album.

Between each song there is a monologue from one of the characters from the game. This will be great for those Japanese speakers looking for the vocal album to tell a dramatic story rather than consist of music alone. Of course, others won't welcome the inclusion either because of the language barrier or because of musical principles. The album is rounded off with two retrospectives. "Let's Meet Again Someday" seems to capture many of the emotions of saying goodbye while still leaving a glimmer of hope. "Good-bye July ~Promised Place~", on the other hand, seems to be about having a fresh start in preparation for a new school term. Of course, English speakers can only really infer what the message is from the composition and track title, given the lyrics are in Japanese.


Overall, the True Love Story Vocal Collection Vol. 2 is a professionally crafted collection of songs for True Love Story. The ballads were all touching, whether in an uplifting or saddening way, while the duets add some novel musicality to the game. If only there could have been more of them... There are naturally clichéd and naive moments on the album, but they aren't that bad and it's to be expected given the nature of the game. It's also unlikely that English speakers will appreciate the album as much as it deserves to be given the seemingly linear storyline told by the monologues and lyrics. It's also probably important to appreciate this album in the wider context of True Love Story's soundtrack and hence the True Love Story Special Song Box might be a better option.

Overall Score: 6/10