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As It Is - "okay." [Album Review]

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8.5 out of 10

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Calling all fans of pop punk: you gotta listen to this. Coming off of a fall tour with Sum 41 and Senses Fail, British rockers As It Is will drop their sophomore album okay. on January 20th and you might wanna start counting down the days because it’s a great one.

Opening track "Pretty Little Distance" is easily one of the strongest on the album, putting the "pop" in "pop punk" in the best way possible. It’s a fun, catchy three minutes and if you’re not tempted to sing along with frontman Patty Walters, you’re probably not a living, breathing human being. (Side note: after seeing the band live myself, I can say that Patty is a natural-born showman whose look and attitude embody the very essence of pop punk.)

The title track "Okay" is soon to follow and its qualities represent those of the album as a whole: formulaic and fairly predictable, but so well done that it doesn’t really matter. Fortunately, the band takes a baby step outside their comfort zone with latest single "No Way Out", which boasts a faster pace, an unusual bridge and more aggressive vocals and guitars, all anchored by another killer chorus. The album is so much fun, it’s almost a shame to end on "Still Remembering", a slower reflection on lost love and, if you find yourself tearing up a little, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Overall, this is one of the strongest pop-punk albums I’ve come across in a good while. The vocals and instruments mesh together like a well-oiled machine, delivering a polished and satisfying final product. In a word, it's just good music. I do wish the band would take more risks and not stick so closely to genre convention and it’s a shame that the best tracks have already been released as singles. Still, every song is most definitely worth a listen, and come January 20th, I highly recommend you treat yourself to a copy of okay..

okay. Track Listing:

01. Pretty Little Distance
02. Okay
03. Hey Rachel
04. Patchwork Love
05. Curtains Close
06. No Way Out
07. Soap
08. Austen
09. Until I Return
10. The Coast Is Where Home Is
11. Still Remembering

Run Time: 36:44
Release Date: January 20, 2016

Check out the song "Pretty Little Distance"

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