Album Review // ONE OK ROCK ‘Eye Of The Storm’
Filled with infectious melodies, the newest album from ONE OK ROCK sees a departure from their previous sound in favour of a groovy, poppy soundscape.
Since their formation in 2005, Japanese rockers ONE OK ROCK have been pumping out material relentlessly, and their newest offering Eye Of The Storm marks their ninth studio album. Bearing this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the band wants to explore new sonic territory and experiment around, because who wants nine albums that sound exactly the same? Drawing more pop-influences for this album, it’s sure to appeal to a wider breadth of audience whilst maintaining the ONE OK ROCK charisma that we’ve grown to love.
Opening track, the titular Eye Of The Storm hooks you in immediately with its urgent lyrics and moving vocals. Slowly building up, the anticipation brews a storm before all is let loose in the chorus as guitars and driving percussion create a flurry under the soaring melody. The intention is clear – ONE OK ROCK will be the storm that tears through your world with this new album, and you will be glad of it when Stand Out Fit In kicks in with its empowering message. Singing “I am who I am, no matter what”, it’s an anthem for anyone who has ever felt lost or disillusioned in this world, and it provides a beacon of hope for anyone trying to find their way.
Head High is a pulsating flourish; although more subtle in its approach, the restless beats that continuously flutter and nuanced electronics push this towards radio-friendly pop, and the determination that underpin the lyrics provides another surge of hope as vocalist Takahiro (Taka) Moriuchi boldly declares “I’m not afraid to love, I’m not afraid to try, I’m not afraid to fly”.
Meanwhile, Push Back is a theatrical sweep with its chorus sing-alongs and pounding drums, heightening the drama to a whole new level and easily becoming one of the climatic points of the album. It’s a stimulating call-to-arms with its booming claps and feel-good ‘woah’s, and there’s no way you can resist the serotonin from rushing through your blood.
However, life isn’t always full of empowerment and there are some points where you simply can’t muster up the courage to fight back. The band recognise that it’s ok not to be ok in the tender Letting Go, acknowledging that sometimes letting go is the best option to take. Acoustic guitar opens a gateway to a more intimate part of the band’s life, as they let their guard down to confess “I hope you know that it wasn’t easy”.
In The Stars clearly marks the new sonic direction of the band for the album, as they team up with pop songstress Kiiara to craft a piano-backed track that simply demands you to wave your arms along.
With Eye Of The Storm, ONE OK ROCK bring their arena-sized melodies on a pop exploration, and it’s worked out as a treat. Whether you’re seeking inspiration or need some music to understand your low point, the band has you covered and it’s sure to be an important album for many people.