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Tokyo – Fasten Seat Belts (Re-issue)

Fasten Seat Belts
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 13 February 2012, 9:43 PM

I think that this album was one of me my rarest listening sessions in full to an AOR album and I don't mean your mid 80s ordinary AOR enterprise mixed with uncultivated Hard Rock, because this one is purely real deal. Ranging back to the early points of the 80s, actually 1980, the world of Rock had the opportunity to meet the "would be rising" TOKYO band from Germany. Before the strong heat wave of AOR bands began to sweep the nation, this five piece band was already swinging with three studio albums between 1981 and 1983. This review will focus on the band's second release, "Fasten Seat Belts". The re-release had been taken care of by Yesterrock Records. So are you ready to dive to the past? Let's go…

When listening to the sounds of TOKYO, many old AOR songs began rushing through my head like "Sister Christian" of NIGHT RANGER, ASIA's "Heat Of The Moment", "The Heat Is One" by FREE and even DEF LEPPARD's "Armageddon It" among others. The funny thing is that some of these songs were released after the TOKYO's albums. Along with the Electro feel of the keyboards that merely took hold on the music, even while leaving the guitar behind, I could notice the influence of THE BEATLES along with TOTO and others of what I would call the first wave of AOR. Catchiness and a high level of accessibility were the name of the game and the keys to true fame. Even if sometimes overly cheesy, and believe me that even this album has its moments, AOR virtually succeeded like Pop.

Though I am a fan of harmonic music and also 80s Pop left some mark on me unlike the crap that went on in the 90s or what is going on today, on its whole I wasn't that over amazed by this album. Yeah it had a cool flow with songs written by the book of AOR but sometimes I had the feeling as if things were reoccurring while on other areas it was that extra cheese outer layer that had its effects. How much can one really write about love and relationships? That is always a question that pops in my head. Nonetheless, whenever it was Rocky, along with the three sets of vocals that reminded me of TOTO, it was pretty nice.

I think that "Dreaming Of You" is a great 80s hit with a good flavor on the emotional side. "Kieko" is a Rockin' feature that will forever be remembered. With a simple structure and a wonderful vocal basis, it was a pleasure. "Get It All Night Long", as far as intensity goes, was the closest thing to Hard Rock. The feeling of THE BEATLES was highly evident on that one. Same was with the great song "Lady". On the other hand, one of the bonuses that were inserted to this reissue, "Who Will Stop The Rain", is an ultimate Pop / Rock song with great female backup vocals and cool keyboard works.

In the end of the day, "Fasten Seat Belts", is an regular AOR album. Though it has several moments of glory alongside a general aura of easiness and was before most of the other known AOR hitters, it still wasn't the brightest star in the sky.

3 Star Rating

1. Keiko
2. Spell On You
3. Dreamer
4. Feel Right
5. World Of Promises
6. Dreaming Of You
7. Hearts Of Steel
8. Get It All Night Long
9. Bliss
10. Give Me Power
11. Lady
12. Keiko
13. Rainy Days
14. Who Will Stop The Rain
15. Turn Off The Light
16. Mama 
Robby Musenbichler – Vocals / Guitars
Ken Taylor – Vocals / Bass
Klaus Luley – Vocals / Guitar
Fritz Matzka – Drums
Lothar Krell - Keyboards
Record Label: Yesterrock Records


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