KIYOSHI 清 (Marty Friedman’s Band) – Kiyoshi3 (2018)
After the new MARTY FRIEDMAN album featured here, one of you asked for some 清 (KIYOSHI) music. Kiyoshi is the Japanese bassist in Friedman’s band, and she has 4 solo albums. “Kiyoshi3” should be the best of all, however all are very interesting.
For those of you who have seen Marty Friedman perform live in recent years, you know that KIYOSHI is one hell of a bass player and entertainer. She might look like a quiet and cute girl in a red dress, but when she starts playing her Warwick five-string bass, she’s fierce and unstoppable. And a very good singer too.
On “Kiyoshi3”, we get to hear a different sides to her. Here, too, she treats us to some fantastic bass playing, but the musical styles are varied and we also get to hear her sing lead on all the songs.
It takes a while before I realise that the album only consists of bass, drums and vocals. “The instruments used on this album are only bass and drums. I played all the basses. There is only me and the drummer Eiji. We are a two-piece band. I played piano a little on the first and second albums, but on this album, there are no other instruments,” Kiyoshi informs you.
No guitars, no keyboards, nothing but a bass and a drum set (played by Eiji Mitsuzono, perhaps best known as the former drummer of Japanese rock bands Sads and BOW WOW).
The scaled-down instrument line-up influences the sound of course, but it also shows us what a fine musician Kiyoshi is. She uses her bass in ways that you’d think was impossible.
It’s an 11-track album and not once do I miss a guitar or any other instrument. Between her bass playing and her voice, Kiyoshi manages to create fine music which sounds complete.
Genre wise, this album is mostly rock & pop, influenced by the J-pop scene but edgier, less bland, quite muscular. Of course Euro & American influences abound too, but Kiyoshi is Kiyoshi and she carves out her own niche with her music.
Her musical skills are miles ahead of most other Japanese rock and pop artists. She’s not only a great performer of music, she’s also a great songwriter. The emotional “The End” is the album’s standout track. It’s sheer brilliance. Other favorites of mine include “Speed”, “Baka”, “Escape” and “Stay”.
Kiyoshi continues to tour with Marty Friedman globally. Additionally, she is doing solo shows in Japan where she also occasionally performs with other bands and projects.
It’s a different kind of stuff, regular ‘song format’ tunes with a rock&pop foundation, but different. And entertaining.
01 – Hero
02 – Go Away
03 – Speed
04 – Sign
05 – The End
06 – Mirror
07 – Comin’
08 – Mistake
09 – Baka
10 – Escape
11 – Stay
Eiji Mitsuzono – drums
Kiyoshi – vocals, 5-string / fretless bass, pedals