MARTY FRIEDMAN – Tokyo Jukebox 3

MARTY FRIEDMAN - Tokyo Jukebox 3
  • 7.8/10
    MARTY FRIEDMAN - Tokyo Jukebox 3 - 7.8/10


Label: Avex Trax
Release date: April 16, 2021

User Review
7.83/10 (3 votes)

Metal Express Radio – as the very name suggests – is about things more or less Metal. That can be classified as a rule. But what makes every rule a rule is that there’s always an exception to it lurking here or there, always ready to pounce least expected. And it will not be any different in this instance, as the album to be reviewed here is probably not the most Metal thing this world has ever witnessed. Some orthodox Metalheads may be feeling the surge of disappointment already. But there are some rather important things to be mentioned. Like, that the album this text is about is by one of the most iconic Metal guitarists of the 90s – it probably does sound a fair bit more exciting now. If that’s still not enough, it is the guitarist who played on five albums by Megadeth, including the legendary Rust in Peace being one of the best Metal albums ever made. Here’s Marty Friedman with his most recent release titled Tokyo Jukebox 3.

Those who are not as fanatic about the 20th century Megadeth as some of the people who write for Metal Express Radio are may not know that Marty Friedman has been living in Japan for almost two decades after parting ways with Dave Mustaine and friends. They say one’s home is where their heart is and it looks like Marty has found his true home. Tokyo Jukebox 3, just like the two previous albums of this series, is a bunch of Japanese songs rearranged in Marty’s way. The original genres range from traditional Japanese music through J-Pop to Alternative Rock. No, it’s nothing that has a lot to do with Metal and what has been made out of it… it may still be far from what Metal fans might expect, but worth rambling on about nonetheless.

The opening track titled “Makenaide” could probably be described as a mixture of Dream Theater and Dragonforce, although softened a fair bit. Some of the solos could even make the listener think of Megadeth albums such as their 1994 release Youthanasia. This was for those who need Metal references in order to listen to something that is not-too-Metal. Tokyo Jukebox 3 is a combination of charming and sweet melodies and aggressive rhythm guitar, solid drums and absolutely crazy and mental bass lines. Whoever the person behind those bass lines is, they could probably ask Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers to be their roadie – yes, that’s how crazy that bassist is. Looks like Marty Friedman always makes sure that his personnel knows their instruments just as well as he does know his guitars.

Most of the compositions on Tokyo Jukebox 3 are instrumental versions of the songs and have the vocals replaced with guitar choruses. There are however some tracks to feature some vocals – and also special guests – such as the composition number 6, titled “The Perfect World” where the voice of an artist called Arufaky can be heard. The journey through Japanese music can also be very edifying: for instance, “Sazanka”, the 10th track on Tokyo Jukebox 3 sounds funnily similar to one of the biggest Pop hit of the 90s by one of the most popular (back then) British bands. Those who don’t happen to know much about the Japanese music scene may be in for a little shock. Those who don’t feel the needing of hearing crazy bass sounds might appreciate the 8th track titled “Shukumei”. The bass line is very decent and complex nonetheless, it just does not sound like something out of this world. And obviously every single song on this album features plenty of amazing lead parts that have been Marty’s trademark since early 90s.

Overall, listening through Tokyo Jukebox 3 should be a very positive and enriching experience for everyone, whether they love Metal or J-Pop. Marty Friedman has long been free to give his creativity a free rein and that’s what matters and what should make all Metal fans, including the Megadeth ones, happy. Of course, there still are people out there who hopelessly wait for the reunion of the Rust in PeaceCryptic Writings lineup (or ¾ of it since the passing of Nick Menza in May 2016), but Marty Friedman is clearly enjoying his life in Japan and being a significant part of the local music scene – because he certainly has become that.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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