Four years after their last album, Champ, Tokyo Police Club have returned with redesigned quirks; showcasing an album that may or may not provide one with a wicked and extravagant experience. Tokyo Police Club’s new album Forcefield blends together vocalist/bassist David Monks’ and his bandmates’ principal renditions. As if they were time travelers, the band tries to bring back the quirks that made them. But do they really? I feel like they truly try, but do not succeed.
Forcefield opens up with “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)” and it’s eight minutes long. Now don’t let that stop you from listening to the song. The song actually feels shorter. It’s upbeat. It’s unpredictable. It’s incredibly catchy. It’s a wild ride and it doesn’t drag at all. Personally, I feel as if I’m in some sort of video game; visualizing every possible color in my surroundings. The other members of Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook, and drummer Greg Alsop give it their all. You hear a wide array of sounds that accompany Monks’ vocals. It’s one amazing start. Once you get to the four minute mark, it does slow down, but it doesn’t disappoint. Hook’s guitar solo towards the end, paves an excellent entry towards the next song, “Hot Tonight.” It’s a really good car ride song. Roll down those windows and drive around endlessly; doing all sorts of insane and memorable shenanigans.
One track that does stand out is “Miserable.” I find myself dancing and constantly hitting replay. The song is ornamented in such a lovely and catchy way. Wright certainly is great at what he does. As you proceed, the hooks feel a tad bit overdone. You almost wonder what went down during production. Their song, “Beaches,” could’ve taken a few different turns. That one does drag. “Toy Guns” sounds like a heavy, never-ending mix of so many overplayed summer songs. It’s like Tokyo Police Club tried to go back to Elephant Shell and their minimalist production in the beginning, but then they tragically got lost along the way.
Monks’ vocal are great—he sings these contemptuous lyrics, which brings out many of the reasons why this band certainly has the potential to be phenomenal. In closer, “Feel The Effect,” he sings: “I’m coming down and now I am writing you back/cause you got your heart broke/I’ll take the credit for that…” But then it’s just overdone. There’s too much going on that strips any beauty. You don’t really know where the song is heading.
Forcefield opened very well, but their peculiar guitar pop sound was missing and replaced with mass overproduction; overshadowing the well composed melodies. It’s without a doubt an exultant album, but it doesn’t sound like Tokyo Police Club. Where are those idiosyncrasies that made Tokyo Police Club who they are? It’s as if they just became everyone else—hiding from themselves even. What are they holding back? Forcefield could’ve been wicked, but its not.
is a really tiny writer with world’s sounds on full blast. When she’s not exploring coffee shops and singing to strangers, she’s composing her next musical piece or working on her radio show, Moderately Indie. From New Haven, Connecticut, Ileana is an aspiring film composer and author who loves cheese, photography and adventures. Oh and hid your pets before she sees and cuddles them.