Yesterrock (2012- reissue)
The third album from German melodic rock/AOR band Tokyo finally sees a reissue, 29 years after its initial appearance on the scene in 1983. A five piece featuring three strong singers, two guitarists, pumping keyboards and a dynamic rock solid rhythm section, this should be no surprise that the 10 song main album (supplemented with 6 bonus tracks) has a lot in common with the American scene a la Toto or Mr. Mister. The ballad “Don’t Run Away” has the latter day Eagles feel while the follow up “Too High” could be something reminiscent of Matthew Wilder or Icehouse with its keyboard hook spotlight, up front bass work and the upper register vocal action.
The production screams emphasis on vocal harmonies over a biting guitar tone, most evident on the dance pop influenced “Jealousy”. The bonus material consists of a series of unreleased demos recorded during the 1980’s - the best of which being another Toto-like “Diana” that wouldn’t have been that distant to “IV” material and the much more rocking “You’re A Liar” that followed in the Survivor or Foreigner framework.
At best Tokyo are great session musicians who came together to write more pop oriented melodic rock that didn’t rise to the level of appreciation American bands received in the 80’s. If you live for those syrupy sweet multi-part harmonies, occasional guitar solos and a concentration on quick hitting songs, “San” may be one of the hidden gems you want to listen to.
Rating: 3.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe