#Review: ONE OK ROCK – Eye Of The Storm ūüĆ™

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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 ‚ÄúTaka‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs differences, with the goosebump-inducing, falsetto lines, ‚ÄúThey yell, they preach, I‚Äôve heard it all before. Be this, be that, I‚Äôve heard it before.‚ÄĚ It’s definitely a track that‚Äôs 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, ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs live like we‚Äôre immortal, Maybe just for tonight, We’ll think about tomorrow (yeah), When the sun comes up,‚ÄĚ 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, ‚ÄúHey, 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.‚ÄĚ

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, ‚ÄúI want the cause of my death, to be amazing sex,‚ÄĚ 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
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#MellowMonday: ZAYN – ‘Let Me’


   

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Probably one of the most musically diverse artists to come out of One Direction, Zayn is back with the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ collaboration with Sia with his latest single ‘Let Me’. Undoubtedly, this second single means his sophomore album must be on its way.

The track is beautifully simplistic with its easy-going R&B tempo and electric guitar sample, topped off with Zayn’s powerful falsetto vocals.

It’s a track that shows real maturity and promises an even more diverse set of songs for his second record. Lyrically, it’s about taking care of a partner for the rest of their lives.

The music video was directed by¬†Jos√© Padilha and acts as a sequel to the video for ‘Dusk Till Dawn’.¬†Featuring actor Steven Bauer (as a gangster kingpin) and model¬†Sofia Jamora (who plays his girlfriend), Zayn‘s character, Roko tries to escape the kingpin’s henchmen, when it’s discovered that he has slept with the girlfriend, meaning orders on his life are given. It ends on a cliffhanger, suggesting that another video will continue the story where this one left off. It’s fantastic to see a modern artist taking the artistry of a music video seriously, to create something interesting and more complex than a simple performance video…especially across a few videos.

What are your thoughts of Zayn’s latest single? Do you have your own #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Let Me’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/let-me/1370174624?i=1370174633


#Two4Tunesday: Niall Horan – ‘Slow Hands’ & HAIM – ‘Want You Back


   

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Niall Horan – ‘Slow Hands’

Niall Horan¬†is back with, ‘Slow Hands’,¬†the follow-up to¬†his 2016¬†debut solo single,¬†This Town and it is awesome!

The song has¬†a completely different sound to his debut single and his vocals¬†on this track doesn’t sound like him in places, but this tune¬†is catchy AF!

I love the broken vocal edits on the verses and the chorus just grips you and makes you want to belt it out loud. The guy is a true talent and this single is proof of that.

No video has been released yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long.


‘Slow Hands’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/slow-hands/id1230904573?i=1230904755



HAIM – ‘Want You Back

HAIM¬†are back and gearing up to release their second album,¬†Something To Tell You, later this year with the single¬†‘Want You Back’.

It’s brave to name a song after one of the biggest singles of all time but this track does well to make it’s own mark. It is a song which outlines one’s inner¬†battle between the head and the heart with lyrics that beg for forgiveness from an ex, hoping to win them back into the empty space left in their heart.

It’s a cracking follow-up and sets good expectations for the upcoming album.

No video has emerged for this track yet either but we’ll keep you posted.


‘Want You Back’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/want-you-back/id1229700722?i=1229700978


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Harry Styles – ‘Sign Of The Times’ and Anton Powers & Pixie Lott – ‘Baby’ featuring Pixie Lott


   

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Harry Styles – ‘Sign Of The Times’

Last week, Harry Styles released his first solo single since the hiatus of One Direction and it’s very different to their sound or indeed any of the boys’ solo efforts.

This track takes on a very epic sound – it’s very evocative of brit pop bands like Oasis and in other ways, even like The Beatles. It’s a song that builds to a huge climax.

Undoubtedly this will signal an album to come, but no music video has even been released yet so it’ll probably be a little way off yet. We’ll be sure to post the video when it’s released.


‘Sign Of The Times’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sign-of-the-times/id1223248595?i=1223248816



Anton Powers and Pixie Lott – ‘Baby’

You may remember Anton Powers for his hit, Alone No More with Philip George back in 2015. Well now he’s back and this time, he’s teamed up with British pop superstar Pixie Lott.

‘Baby’ is a collaboration between the singer and producer and it’s got all the makings of a modern-day disco track; funky string hits, EDM beats, synths, good vocals and a vocal sample chorus.

I predict that this could be a big hit in the lead up to the summer this year. It’s great to see Pixie Lott back – hopefully this signals some more music to come from her soon.

The music video has just been released and it’s very tropical, just like the track. See it below.


‘Baby’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/baby-single/id1215719814


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Playlist: Cassettemix + Chill

We felt it was time to create the ultimate chillout playlist, combining as many different genres as possible into one, super-relaxing, easy-listening place. This playlist has been lovingly crafted to include a variety of chilled songs we love as well as suggestions from you guys!

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Cassettemix + Chill

Cassettemix + Chill Playlist

This genre-spanning playlist includes the following chilled-out tracks:

  1. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
  2. Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
  3. DJ Snake – Let Me Love You featuring Justin Bieber (Andrew Watt Acoustic Remix)
  4. Aquilo – Sorry
  5. Years & Years – Eyes Shut
  6. The 1975 – Paris
  7. The Japanese House – Swim Against The Tide
  8. MUNA – So Special
  9. Zara Larsson – Lush Life (Acoustic Version)
  10. The Beach – Geronimo (Acoustic Version)
  11. Years & Years – Without
  12. George Ezra – Budapest
  13. Amy Winehouse – Tears Dry (Original Version)
  14. Simply Red – Holding Back The Years
  15. Timeflies РStuck With Me
  16. John Mayer – Who You Love featuring Katy Perry
  17. One Direction – Perfect (Matoma Remix)
  18. X Ambassadors – Renegades
  19. Sons Of Maria – You & I
  20. Ella Eyre – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
  21. Alex Parks – Out Of Touch
  22. You+Me – Break The Cycle
  23. Freshlyground – I’d Like
  24. George Michael – Jesus To A Child
  25. Chicane – Poppiholla (5am Mix)
  26. Sia – Elastic Heart (Piano Version)
  27. Miley Cyrus – Adore You
  28. TIEKS – Sunshine featuring Dan Harkna (Acoustic Version)
  29. Echosmith – Cool Kids (Acoustic)
  30. Ben Haenow – Second Hand Heart featuring Kelly Clarkson (Acoustic)
  31. Ella Henderson – Missed
  32. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece (Idol Version)

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! Please share the link to this post, or the playlist itself and give it a follow on Spotify too –¬†https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/3V0deIVNCsaBTc6haHRFrk

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: ZAYN & Taylor Swift – ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ & Jonas Blue – ‘By Your Side’ featuring RAYE


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ZAYN & Taylor Swift – ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’

ZAYN has teamed up with pop sensation Taylor Swift for the first track to be released from the¬†Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack,¬†‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’.

The song is pop through and through, with some beautiful falsetto vocals from both singers. There’s little more than to say; great track from two fantastic vocalists.

No video has arisen yet but we’ll keep you posted on this!


‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-dont-wanna-live-forever/id1184762720



Jonas Blue – ‘By Your Side’ featuring RAYE

Jonas Blue enjoyed massive success with his previous singles,¬†‘Fast Car’¬†and¬†‘Perfect Strangers’¬†and he’s returned with a monster of a track,¬†‘By Your Side’¬†featuring vocals from¬†RAYE.

This track has a massive tropical house sound to it and it’s been picking up excellent radio airplay too.

Check out the music video below too!


‘By Your Side’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/by-your-side-feat.-raye/id1165158049?i=1165158056


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Louis Tomlinson – ‘Just Hold On’ featuring Steve Aoki & M.O – ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones


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Louis Tomlinson – ‘Just Hold On’ featuring Steve Aoki

Since breaking away from¬†One Direction for a while,¬†Louis Tomlinson has just released his first solo track,¬†‘Just Hold On’¬†featuring massive house producer¬†Steve Aoki.

The track was first performed live at this year’s X Factor final, just days after his mum passed away and what an emotional performance it was! It saw Louis really take flight as a solo performer with a hugely successful reception from fans. It’s a really fantastic song – check it out!

No official video has emerged yet, but I’m sure something will; we’ll keep you posted.


‘Just Hold On’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/just-hold-on/id1183932067?i=1183932438



M.O – ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones

After the hugely successful¬†Who Do You Think Of,¬†M.O¬†are back with a new song,¬†‘Not In Love’ featuring¬†Kent Jones.

The song sees the trio continue in a similar vein of R&B/Pop – the song is very current but somehow remains unique. It’s got some serious reggae vibes to it, topped off with¬†Kent Jones‘ rap verse. Turn this one up!

Again, there’s no official video yet, but when something emerges, we’ll let you know,


‘Not In Love’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/not-in-love-feat.-kent-jones/id1180246615?i=1180246677


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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