I always find it comforting when another Tokyo Rosenthal album pops through the letterbox and, some two years after the Americana infused “Afterlife”, comes “This Minstrel Life”.
Unlike his previous albums, this is a straightforward album with an altogether more commercial approach taken to all the songs with outright sentimentality often replacing the sharp lyrical edges that have previously defined the best of his songs. That is perhaps no bad thing in the current climate as protest archives little these days but, as always, Tokyo Rosenthal brings more than a bit of class to what would have been mundane in lesser hands. With that said, “I Believe There’s A Devil” shows that the Rosenthal rifle is still loaded even if the safety catch is on this time around.
While “This Minstrel Life” is still an enjoyable album if you judge it by the new songs, long time connoisseurs of his style will likely welcome the live bonus tracks – the spirited version of “Little Poetry Girl” in particular – more than these latest additions to his catalogue of songs.