CD review MARTY FRIEDMAN ‘Tokyo Jukebox 3’

In the second half of the glorious ’80s, shredding was gaining momentum and brought some quite interesting bands and projects to surface. On of these shred guitarists was Marty Friedman, who, together with Jason Becker, was a driving force of Cacophony. After the duo disbanded, Friedman joined no less than thrash experts Megadeth and was part of milestone releases such as ‘Youthanasia’ and ‘Rust in Peace’.

Friedman also worked constantly on solo releases and the newest one is entitled ‘Tokyo Jukebox 3’. The guitarist discovered his passion for the country in the East in the early 2000th and moved to Japan after getting married to Japanese cellist Hiyori Okuda. The new album is the third part of a trilogy that started in 2009 with ‘Tokyo Jukebox’. The second chapter was added in 2011 and it took ten year until the anticipated third part will be available at the record stores.

As the predecessors, also the newest album features covers of Japanese songs. making Friedman to a kind of ambassador for Japanese culture due to his world-wide fanbase. Covering Japanese songs isn’t an easy endeavor. It’s tricky and lengthy procedure to get approval and after an intense process, Friedman distilled twelve songs that made it on the album.

Recording started in January last year and what came unexpected was the pandemic, that gave Friedman more time to work on the album since everything started to be postponed. This gave the guitarist some not expected extra time to work on another round of detailing and improving, independently from time pressure. The result is an album that features excellent music with Friedman’s guitar being the spotlight instrument. His guitar play shines brightly and still sings in a humble fashion, giving space the original roots of each of the songs. Basically ‘Tokyo Jukebox 3’ is an instrumental record with one exception. ‘The Perfect World’ includes lyrics, sung by Alfakyun, one of the iconic J-Pop singers.

Guitar passionistas and fans of excellent guitar sounds should give this album a listen. Friedman shows for a next time why he belongs to the best guitarists and listening to these twelve songs is sonic massage for eardrums and mind.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Makenaide
  2. Senbonzakura
  3. Gurenge
  4. Kaze Ga Fuiteiru
  5. Echo
  6. The Perfect World (feat. Alfakyun)
  7. U.S.A.
  8. Shukumei
  9. Ikuze Kaitou-Shoujo
  10. Sazanka
  11. Time Goes By
  12. Japan Heritage Official Theme Song

Label: Mascot Label Group

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date EU: April 16th, 2021

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