Ambitions takes Japanese-rockers One OK Rock from a harder rock sound into a more pop rock world. But before you split after reading the word “pop,” this album deserves a serious listen.
The album throws this band to new heights both sonically and in popularity, especially as they break into the US scene. With hits such as “Taking Off,” “Bedroom Warfare,” “American Girls,” and “I Was King,” the band introduces new instruments, such as great string work, and bigger, rock-anthem style sounds into their mix. Each song has an even catchier beat than the last. “Jaded” features vocals from Alex Gaskarth (of All Time Low), a combo you never knew you needed. “Hard to Love” and “Listen” take things down a notch, but just because these songs are slower, doesn’t mean One OK Rock doesn’t make them catchy as hell. You’ll catch yourself singing, or at very least bobbing your head along by the halfway point in both songs. Album closer “Take What You Want” starts slow, but picks up with the introduction of the members of Australian pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer. From its ballad-like build up, to One OK Rock’s lead vocalist Taka’s unforgettable scream, this track is a too-often overlooked gem on the record.
Overall: With an ambitious musical leap, One OK Rock’s Ambitions takes them to the top of charts and hearts with catchy tunes and flawless collaborations.
Review by Shane Haley