One Ok Rock are a Japanese rock band that formed in Tokyo in 2015, and “Ambitions” is their eighth album, but only their second to be recorded all in English. This album features guest appearances from All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, and 5 seconds of summer. The Japanese version also includes a guest appearance from Avril Lavigne. The band have played some massive gigs including to 110,000 fans at 2 shows recently in Japan, and are extremely popular. The video to the single “Mighty long fall” taken from their last album has had around 36 million views on Youtube, which is a pretty impressive figure.
Frontman Taka commented on the album’s artwork and significance stating, “Yellow is the colour of hope, and in making this album, I incorporated the themes of hope, inspiration, and elevation. From those themes arose the album’s title “Ambitions.” He added, “We wanted to make an album where we can all sing along together. By singing strongly in unison about hope, we wish to reinforce the importance of not giving up.”
I have to say I was surprised by this album. I’ve listened to some great Japanese bands, but the vocals have always made it obvious that the band is Japanese, whether it’s bands like Loudness, or more recently Babymetal. With One OK Rock though there’s no accent or anything else in the vocals that betrays the origin of the band. Given that the vocals are often the biggest criticism I’ve heard of Japanese bands then that straight away puts One ok rock in a good position for commercial success in Europe and the US. Musically they impress too. It’s a very commercial sound, and it wouldnt surprise me to see One ok rock fairly high on the bill at Download festival in the next couple of years. Expect to hear plenty more from these guys – this is a band that is certain to gain a much bigger profile around the world.
So far they’ve released three videos for songs on this album – check them out to hear just what the band are like. Personally my favourite song on the album is the very upbeat and catchy “American Girls”. It’s a great album and one that is bound to gain them a load of new fans.
“Ambitions” will be released on 13th January 2017
1. Ambitious (Introduction)
2. Bombs away
3. Taking off
4. We are
5. Jaded (featuring Alex Gaskarth)
6. Hard to love
7. Bedroom warfare
8. American girls
9. I was king
11. One way ticket
12. Bon Voyage
13. Start Again
14. Take What You Want (featuring 5 Seconds of Summer)