"Guitar Talk" (Lion Music; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I was fortunate enough to see Marcel Coenen perform live at the PowerMad 2000 festival, albeit under non-ordinary circumstances (read my review by clicking here). However, it was enough for me to realize that Coenen had a substantial amount of talent. I even had a chance to talk with him after his performance -- he’s got a very outgoing personality to go along with his extraordinary guitar talents. Three years after my unique introduction to Marcel Coenen I get to hear Coenen’s studio work with the release of “Guitar Talk.”

Marcel Coenen has been playing guitar since he was 11 years old -- he’s 31 as I write this. It’s easy to see how twenty years of experience went into the final product that is “Guitar Talk.” “Guitar Talk” covers a number of years of Coenen’s development as a recording artist -- in fact, “Guitar Talk” is the final, end-all, be-all version of his early recorded works. As such, it provides a glimpse into the very development of Coenen as a guitarist. Coenen reveals many details in his liner notes on a song by song basis that shed light on the way in which he functions as a recording artist and the ways in which he challenges himself to new technical mastery and expressive abilities. Marcel Coenen is an artist that doesn’t mind revealing his mindset along with his musical abilities.

Coenen is a shredder at heart and, while that may be out of style, it is certainly appreciated by this reviewer. Echoes of Tony MacAlpine, Joe Satriani, and Paul Gilbert are the obvious influences. Hearing the MacAlpine influence in Coenen’s work is refreshing as MacAlpine simply doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Coenen isn’t just replicating his guitar influences; he does a bang up job integrating huge riffs and a variety of lead styles. All twelve tracks on “Guitar Talk” exhibit Coenen’s craftiness in playing fusion, ‘surfing’ styles, traditional guitar ballads, and neo-classical shredding as well as his ability to stretch far and wide between very technical song and freer, more organic material.

Best of all, “Guitar Talk” flows and breathes. And that is saying something because a lot of guitar-oriented albums shred incessantly like a blunt instrument. Coenen is smart enough to let his sense of composition guide his songs rather than be a slave to his technical skills.

Fans of the solo guitar genre are encouraged to pick up Marcel Coenen’s solid “Guitar Talk.”

“Guitar Talk” was produced by Marcel Coenen.

Marcel Coenen plays all guitars, bass, and drum machine on “Guitar Talk.”

For more information visit

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright © 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.