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Third Time's A Charm

Ken Yokoyama

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Album Review

Frontman of Hi-Standard, the flagship of J-punk, Ken Yokoyama showed that he wishes for no change of fate after his band folded in 2000. His third solo effort is an album to make Green Day blush at their poppiness, thrill NOFX fans, and maybe even make Joey Ramone smile down from above. Third Time's a Charm is not hardcore, but it's as far from the heavy synth pop that Yokoyama's compatriots from Beat Crusaders pass for punk music — the record sticks to straightforward, no frills punk rock that's raw without being hyperkinetic, and entertaining without giving a damn for pop melody, at least not in the typical commercial sense. Actually, Third Time's a Charm did chart in Japan, probably due to Yokoyama's ability to fall on an instantly memorable hook now and then, as happens in "Not Foolin'" or "Daydream Believer." But neither the hit songs not other ornamentation, such as ska and rockabilly moments, campy ballads, and America-satirizing dialogue interludes feel integral to the core of the album, which is, as was already stated, plain punk. By 2008, there's not much need to elaborate, especially since even the exotic element is omitted from Third Time's a Charm, which, despite being recorded in Japan, is entirely sung in the hoarse, convincing English drawl of a man who makes his living describing the ironies of life. True punk doesn't demand originality, and there is none of that on this album, but its rawness and complete lack of pretense make it a welcome addition to the Japanese rock scene that is too often short on both.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Originally serving as guitarist for the massively popular semi-punk group Hi-Standard, Ken Yokoyama splintered off to solo projects when the group unofficially disbanded in 2000. First returning to a development role at Pizza of Death Records (the band's onetime label), Yokoyama soon returned to performance with a series of small groups (the BBQ Chickens and the eponymous Ken Band) before performing solely under his own name. Yokoyama continued much of the sound of Hi-Standard — a hugely successful...
Full bio
Third Time's A Charm, Ken Yokoyama
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 05 September 2007

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