Tokyo Police Club is a band that brings the flood of memories from those middle school and high school years. Gone are the days of the 3Oh!3 band tees and of the people name-dropping bands like The Maine, All Time Low, and Forever the Sickest Kids just to seem like they were “cool.” Since those adolescent years Tokyo Police Club has been somewhat absent in the music world, with the exception of the early release of their single “Hot Tonight”, and the new release of this new album Forcefield, these two motions have been the newest movements from this band since their last album dropped in 2010.
In the past Tokyo Police Club has been represented by their genre of indie rock, and with their new release of Forcefield, Tokyo Police Club have re-branded themselves in a new way to create a new type of sound. This album overall is more laid back and contains more of a chill vibe than when the band first began to release tracks. The album opens with the track “Argentina (Part 1, 2, and 3)” which may have been a risky decision considering that the track itself is almost 9 minutes long. Although starting off a brand new album with an almost 9 minute song is a risky decision, Tokyo Police Club does it right by using these 9 minutes to reminisce with their fans about who they were in the past to who they are currently as the song effortlessly transitions through these three parts.
Although the release of this new album has been long awaited, there are some good and bad attributes to this album that build and tarnish the name of Tokyo Police Club. Starting with the good, there are a lot of great attributes to this album that should be taken into consideration. To start off with most of the tracks on this album seem to have some instrumental strength. Within most of the tracks there are some really great guitar riffs, catchy rhythmic beats, synths, and other electronic vibes. For instance in “Tunnel Vision” there is a great bass rhythmic line that takes the listener by the hand and leads them through the interesting twists and turns of electronics and synths. Other great examples of these interesting effects are exemplified in other tracks such as “Toy Guns” and “Gonna Be Ready,” each of which contain a somewhat punk/rock-style guitar as well as some cool synths and a hint of keyboard.
That being said there are some downfalls to this album that almost hinder the excitement over the release of Forcefield. One of feature is that some of the song lyrics are a little basic for a band that should have matured throughout the 4 year long break. The lyrics of this album feel as though they are trying to reminisce of the middle school years. They reflect on a time that regresses to a time when everyone cared about this “one” girl and only wrote lyrics about how she wouldn’t give them the time of day. A stereotypical move of a “teeny-bopper” band, which should come to a surprise as most of people that continue to follow Tokyo Police Club are now much older and thus the band should possibly reflect not only the maturity of their audience but also the band’s maturity through the years as well. Another aspect of the album that creates a downfall in this new release is the constant repetition of lyrics of the same lyric throughout many of the songs. Repetition is one of those effects that if overdone, a lyric can lose it’s magic. Luckily this is not true for every track on the album, but depending on which track you’re listening to, a listener could go from calm and enjoyable to insta-crazy.
Overall, it’s really hard to dislike Tokyo Police Club, considering the band has been around for a long time and that it it has some sentimental values, but after losing the once-rocker-vibe, I think it’s only right to miss their old ways and not fall in love with their new classic pop vibe. Overall though, the album is good, but whether it deserves any outstanding appraisal if debatable.
Written by Sami Leonardo