Title - 'Afterlife' [Rock & Sock Records]
Artist - Tokyo Rosenthal
Tokyo Rosenthal has just released his sixth studio album, entitled Afterlife on the Rock & Sock Record label. The new album is Rosenthal’s first release in over two years and contains 10 original compositions - and a music video!
Rosenthal, a 30 year veteran of the Americana Roots music scene, has always written well-created, storytelling songs, but here on Afterlife it seems he has stepped his game up. Each song is a powerful lyrical statement, with songs that deal gracefully with difficult, and at times, sensitive topics throughout, all in the most thoughtful and eloquent of parlay.
Complete with a Johnny Cash nod, the opening track is 'The Bunk House,' a nice, free flowing ditty that immediately showcases what Rosenthal has to offer here on his new album. Next up is 'Bury My Ashes,' a slower cut, semi-ballad style, it's mandoline-driven chorus is a pure delight to listen to, and that is backed by one of the best tracks, for me, on this latest release, 'Shreveport.' The jaunty fun of 'The Cold War' is next, and is followed by both the guitar strumming excellence of 'Back Stage Hotel' and then the slow flow of the delightful 'The Pearl.'
Not yet widely recognized as one of the most important classic singer/songwriters of our generation, surely it won't be long before Rosenthal is bestowed that honor. For a song such as the country-tinged title track, 'Afterlife' is just too good to go unrecognized within a wider audience market. 'What Would Have Happened?' is yet another fine act of storytelling, and the man known as "Toke" to his inner circle of friends (and truly devoted fans), then rounds out this quite brilliant album with both the Neil Diamondesque 'Love's Hurtin' Real Bad,' and then the album closer 'All in Time.' The album also has a Bonus Video: 'The Cold War.'
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk