MARTY FRIEDMAN — Tokyo Jukebox Vols. 1 & 2 (review)

MARTY FRIEDMAN — Tokyo Jukebox Vols. 1 & 2 album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2012 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Tokyo Jukebox vols. 1 & 2" is a compilation release by US guitarist Marty Friedman. The album was released through Prosthetic Records in November 2012. "Tokyo Jukebox vols. 1 & 2" is basically a re-release of Marty Friedman´s 8th and 10th full-length studio albums "Tokyo Jukebox (2009)" and "Tokyo Jukebox 2 (2011)" albeit without the tracks "Beautiful Days", "Little Braver" and "Sukiyaki" from "Tokyo Jukebox 2 (2011)". The former Megadeth (and Cacophony, Vixen, Deuce and Hawaii) guitarist has been living in Japan since 2003, where he is a pretty known name these days, having hosted two television shows, been a column writer and having played guitar with several profilic Japanese artists (among other things). Apparently he has a great love for all things Japanese and even speaks the language fluently.

Therefore it´s not the greatest surprise that the material on "Tokyo Jukebox vols. 1 & 2" are metalized instrumental cover versions of J-pop tracks. The nature of Marty Friedman´s solo material have always been eclectic and at times quite exotic, so doing cover versions of J-pop tracks doesn´t at all seem out of place for him. As mentioned these are metalized cover versions and some of them feature both fast paced metal rythms and heavy riffs in addition to Marty Friedman´s brilliant solo and lead playing. He adds quite a bit of soul to the sometimes polished and easily accessible pop melodies and his arrangements of the tracks are generally of high quality too. The tracks from both albums are very well produced (the tracks from volume two features a slightly more organic sound quality than the tracks from volume 1) and "Tokyo Jukebox vols. 1 & 2" is overall a quality release.

Wether or not you´re able to appreciate the pop melodies and polished nature of the music is probably an aquired taste. I guess this release falls under the "open minded music listener" catagory, but personally I enjoyed the quirky nature of the music. There´s a sort of happy bubble gum innocence to it, that´s somehow greatly charming. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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