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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tokyo Rosenthal

Ghosts

Review by Gary Hill

This time around Rosenthal built a lot more country and folk into the mix. Somehow it works quite well. I’d consider this one stronger than Love Won Out. In fact, this is an exceptionally strong album. There’s just something genuine and heartfelt about the songs here and it all works well without ever seeming redundant.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Inside Your Skull

The music here (at least at first) makes me think of The Cars, but the vocal delivery is more like a cross between Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. The track turns more towards dramatic rockabilly infused modern rock later, but I still hear traces of The Cars throughout.

Still She Thanks God
More of a folky country ballad, this reminds me a bit of Gordon Lightfoot, but with other elements included as well. A good chunk of the lyrics here are in Spanish.
There Is No Perfect Love
A fast paced and energetic cut, this combines country music with classical and rockabilly. There’s a bit of a Spanish flavor to it, too. I like this one a lot. It’s probably my favorite to this point. 
Ghosts
I could hear this as a country song from the 1970’s – the more pop variety. I guess think Kris Kristofferson with Johnny Cash thrown in.
House On the River
A mellow number, this is a rather classically oriented ballad that’s quite melancholy in texture. 
Mister Tell Me 'Bout the Great Depression
From that title I would have thought that this was going to be a bluesy number. Well, I would have been wrong. It’s a real folk rocker with definite tinges of 1960’s protest music. The great depression referenced here is not the one from the first part of the 20th Century, but rather the one we’re in the middle of right now. This is a killer track and a highlight of the set. 
I Can't Readya
This has a lot of 1960’s pop music built into it, but there are still bits of country or rockabilly here. It’s a good tune and a nice piece of variety. 
And Then You Sang
There’s a vintage country element to this mellow balladic piece. It’s quite pretty and evocative. 
Feelings Don't Know Any Age
Another that’s packed with emotion, this is all about a personal betrayal. It’s pretty and has a lot of the 1960’s packed into it with only a few hints of the country stylings that pervade much of this set. There’s actually a good bit of jazz on display here. It’s another highlight of the set and at times makes me think of Van Morrison.
Goin' On Saturday
An energetic piece, there’s plenty of folk and country built into this number. It’s another good song and, while I wouldn’t consider it really a standout (based more on the strength of everything else here), it makes for a great closer.
 
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