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Tokyo Rosenthal
Tokyo's Fifth
Rock & Sock Records
www.thestonefoxes.com


Elements of country, folk, blues, rock, and Tex-Mex rhythms are brought together by singer-songwriter-guitarist Tokyo Rosenthal on his newest CD, Tokyo’s Fifth. Alternating between being finely groomed and rustically textured, the recording is a genuine expression of heartland country fluctuating between feeling dreamy and airy and being stocky and bolstering stomping rhythms.

Orchestral strings weave in and out of the melodic sequences of “This Ship Will Sail” as bluesy wavelets shape the melodic phrases of “Waste of a Heart”. The peppy tempo of “Mulberry Place” is garnished in flighty fiddles traveling into a cruising rhythm along “What Did I Used To Be”. The Tex-Mex flare of “The Immigrant” is winged by Spanish-toned guitar chords and slinky bistro-esque accordion patterns. Rosenthal’s lyrics reflect about a time lost, “I have fallen from your graces / Far away from Mexico / Asking me to show my papers / Every line I find I’m in… Tell me which way to go / I have fallen from your graces / Looking up from far below.”

Rosenthal’s remake of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s hit single “Helter Skelter” takes on a country rock vibe gliding into the gentle flutter of roaming strings and guitar swirls trellising “Killaloe” and anchored by Rosenthal’s tenor register. “Smoke and Mirror” is a piano-driven melody singed by flamenco guitar chords and bolts of grazing acoustic strums. The country western shading of “We Put You Down” shifts into the breezy tempo of “Thank You, You’re Beautiful” soldered by sunny ringlets and a light sprint in Rosenthal’s vocals.

Both vintage folk and modern country have a place in Tokyo Rosenthal’s new recording. He works with them both, the music of his past and the music of today, exhibiting their complementing facets to be shaped into songs that are conducive to a laid-back lifestyle.

-Susan Frances

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