We knew it was going to be good. We just didn’t know that it was going to be this GOOD!
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Rocks Like: All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens, 5 Seconds Of Summer
Recommended Track(s): We Are, Bedroom Warfare, Take What You Want
With an intro as epic as ‘Ambitions‘, we waited anxiously to see if the rest of the album would follow suit. It’s only January but boy are One Ok Rock setting the bar high for new music in 2017.
The sound of traditional Japanese strings ring out and pay tribute to the bands roots, and as the drums kick in and the first notes hit, you can practically imagine a sold out stadium in Tokyo. The grandiose, anthemic quality of ‘Bombs Away‘ will have thousands of people screaming their hearts out, and also sets the theme of the rest of the album.
Up next, the track ‘Taking Off‘ further transcends One Ok Rock into the North American market, the entire album is full of bangers, any of which could have easily fallen off an All Time Low record (ironically enough Alex Gaskarth even makes a guest vocal appearance later on). The whole album is hard hitting from start to finish, only slowing it down for ‘Hard To Love‘ – a lovely little acoustic ballad.
Fun fact: Did you know that Ambitions was released in both a Japanese version AND an English version? Regardless I’m still wishing that the English version had just a hint more Japan, maybe a few lines in Japanese sprinkled here and there? Despite no actual Japanese on the album, I’ll cherish the charm of what’s left of frontman Takahiro’s accent which makes an appearance at the beginning of the track ‘Jaded‘.
Ambitions is One Ok Rock’s Fueled By Ramen debut, and definitely shares that distinct FBR charm, we hear traces of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, just little nuances here and there. Even though the album was released only yesterday that signature “hook-iness” makes us feel like we’ve already been listening and singing along for months.
Ambitions is also packed full of star studded guest vocals, with track 5. ‘Jaded‘ featuring Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, track 14. ‘Take What You Want‘ featuring 5 Seconds Of Summer, and the lesser known surprise…if you have the Japanese version at least, non other than pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne whose been on a lengthy hiatus while battling with Lyme Disease.
Overall, Ambitions couldn’t be more appropriately titled as every part of the album is just bursting with ambitious talent, from the powerful, soaring vocals to the tight musicianship. As only their second English-language album (and eighth overall) the band is definitely giving the American bands a run for their chart spots.