#Review: ONE OK ROCK – Eye Of The Storm 🌪

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


ONE OK ROCK are a Japanese rock band who formed in Tokyo, in 2005. The band currently consists of Takahiro Moriuchi (vocals), Toru Yamashita (guitar), Ryota Kohama (bass), and Tomoya Kanki (drums). Since forming, the band have played many different styles of music, from alternative rock to emo and even post-hardcore to their most recent, pop rock style. In 2016, the band signed to Fueled By Ramen, releasing their eighth studio album, Ambitions, featuring collaborations with Avril Lavigne5 Seconds Of Summer and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low). This year, (2019) sees the release of their ninth studio album (although only their third US release), Eye Of The Storm. Here’s what we have to say about it…

one ok rock - eye of the storm

From the very start of Eye Of The Storm, it’s clear that ONE OK ROCK have made a conscious departure from the previous, emo, alternative rock and post-hardcore incarnations, favouring a much more pop-led sound. That’s not a bad thing though, as this is a brilliantly-crafted pop powerhouse of a record, that is sure to further cement their position as one of big players in the pop rock genre (alongside label mates like Panic! At The Disco and Against The Current. In fact ‘Eye Of The Storm’ and ‘Worst In Me’ are almost an obvious transitioning from their old sound to their new, blending their alternative rock roots with their new, more synth-driven pop elements.

There’s a real passion and raw talent to singer Takahiro “Taka” Moriuchi‘s vocals throughout the record too, as he explores the full extent of his vocal range, pulling off some stunning falsetto notes, intertwined with soaring choruses and exquisitely long-held notes.

‘Stand Out Fit In’ is testament to this – it’s very much an anthem about embracing people’s differences, with the goosebump-inducing, falsetto lines, “They yell, they preach, I’ve heard it all before. Be this, be that, I’ve heard it before.” It’s definitely a track that’s going to capture the hearts of many!

It’s actually very hard to pin-point just a few favourite tracks but ‘Push Back’ is wonderful for its gang vocal harmonies, like a modern-day Queen track. The descending melody echoing throughout the song is truly captivating too. ‘Wasted Nights’ is all about making the most of your life and enjoying each other’s company and the line, “Let’s live like we’re immortal, Maybe just for tonight, We’ll think about tomorrow (yeah), When the sun comes up,” is poetic, conjuring up nostalgic imagery and the underlying gospel vocals are stunning. The video only makes the track even more epic too (see below)! Even ‘Change’ – there’s definitely something a little boyband about the song (like 5 Seconds Of Summer meets One Direction), with the synth-sounding guitar lines, but the melodies are passionate and the message is poignant, positive and uplifting, “Hey, You know it’s not too late for us to make a change, You gotta listen to your heart what does it say? No matter how much we might bend, we will not break.”

It’s great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions.

That’s not to say there aren’t other special moments throughout the album; ‘Head High’ is definitely a pop track and whilst there isn’t much depth behind the lyrics or songwriting on it, it’s certainly catchy! ‘Letting Go’ really stands out for being so unique to the rest of the record – a calm little, acoustic-led track that is so beautifully understated, dealing with getting over a relationship and coming to terms with it. ‘Unforgettable’ has some definite dance music vibes to it, with the intense drum beats and whistling in the chorus, but with guitars thrown in. It’s quite a unique blend of genres.

‘Giants’ leads from delicate verses into a big chorus and has a strong Take That vibe to it, whilst ‘In The Stars’ adds a little vocal diversity with Kiiara featuring on the track, accompanied by a military-style beat.

‘Grow Old Die Young’ is a perplexing track though; it has a strong melody in the chorus but certain elements of it are very mediocre – a synth sound which doesn’t really fit the song and then there’s the lyrics, “I want the cause of my death, to be amazing sex,” which is honestly pretty cringe!

The album actually draws to a powerful close with ‘The Last Time’, led by a really strong chorus melody, topped off with a raspy, scream-like vocal that just knocks the record out of the park, right at the last second.

Eye Of The Storm is an interesting release for the band, as it’s their most commercial-sounding release to date, meaning it’s very palatable, for a broad range of listeners and is certainly bound to pick up a lot of new fans along the way. However, it could be argued that elements of depth and sincerity about their songwriting have been somewhat lost, rendering some of the tracks a little forgettable.

The drastic change in sound is definitely going to be felt by fans of their previous release, Ambitions, as some of the more emotive lyricism and raw instrumentation, has been exchanged for top-rate production values but at its heart, it is clearly still a ONE OK ROCK album.

That said, it’s equally great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions, and for that, this album should be admired. It’s a great record, with some banging tunes on and I can’t wait to hear what the band do next!

Rating
4


‘Eye Of The Storm’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eye-of-the-storm/1441817576


Eye Of The Storm on Spotify

Stand Out Fit In (Official Video)

Wasted Nights (Official Video)

Change (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s ninth studio album, Eye Of The Storm? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or join the conversation via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

Advertisements

#WildCardWednesday: Netta – ‘Toy’


   

facebook-like   Instagram


This year’s Eurovision 2018 winner, Netta (who represented Israel 🇮🇱) has created one heck of a monster song, ‘Toy’.

The track itself is wonderfully bizarre and the type of perfect pop song you would expect to hear at Eurovision, with her odd vocal sounds and interesting instrumentation. I particularly love the references to Japanese culture and odd chicken noises…so quirky.

Some critics have claimed that the live performance of the track, at Eurovision, was cultural appropriation of Japanese imagery (due to her kimono and buns, with Maneki-nekos as stage props) however Netta herself has been quoted as being a keen follower of Japanese popular culture (particularly the Pokémon franchise). Personally, I think the Japanese would appreciate the admiration of their culture; what you make of this?

The music video is a bit of fun too; she seems like a fun and interesting character – someone you could have a good laugh with.

Whatever you make of the track, she won this year’s Eurovision; was she the right winner for you?

What are your thoughts of this rather different track? Do you think she was the right winner? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Toy’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/%D7%98%D7%95%D7%99-single/1358448327


#ThrowbackThursday / #ThrowbackThreesday: Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott Banner

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday post is a special #ThrowbackThreesday (like May’s Will Smith post).

I decided that I wanted to post a Missy Elliott track this week but couldn’t decide which one to choose; I was left with 3 epic tunes of hers to share so thought, why not share them all!

Back in 2001, Missy Elliott really broke into the UK mainstream, with her Top 5 hit, ‘Get Ur Freak On’ (taken from her 2001 album, ‘Miss E… So Addictive’). The track was produced by Timbaland and has a heavy bhangra influence, featuring spoken words in both Japanese and Hindi.


Missy Elliott – ‘Get Ur Freak On’


This track was later followed up by another Top 10 hit, in 2002, ‘Work It’ (taken from her 2002 album, ‘Under Construction’) and this song became notable for her use of backwards lyrics, an elephant sound to block out an expletive and the use of the term ‘badonkadonk’.

Also produced by Timbaland, this is a massive song by all accounts!


Missy Elliott – ‘Work It’


Finally of the three Missy Elliott tracks, is ‘Lose Control’, which was released in 2005 and the lead single from her album, ‘The Cookbook’. Missy Elliott herself produced this song and it features guest vocals from Ciara and Fatman Scoop, which really add to the song. Fatman Scoop’s shouts and Ciara’s attempts to rap, really enhance the song to perfection.

The song also features samples from Cybotron‘s ‘Clear’ and Hot Streak‘s ‘Body Work’ and produced another Top 10 hit for Missy E!


Missy Elliott – ‘Lose Contol’ featuring Ciara & Fatman Scoop


Have you enjoyed reliving these huge Missy Elliott hits? You still love them?! Please share the link to this post with your social media chums.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks