Track-By-Track Review: Tokyo Police Club's Forcefield
In 2014, Canadian alternative/indie band Tokyo Police Club released their latest album, Forcefield. So, how does it compare to their previous works, and how does it sound altogether? Here’s a quick track-by-track review.
Argentina (Parts I, II, III): Older fans of the band will no doubt enjoy this crescendo of music, almost like a story being told, from quiet and concentrated to more upbeat and loud, and then back down the hill again. However, by deciding to merge the three parts of this track into one practically 9-minute segment, it might be more difficult for newer listeners to sit through if they aren’t already familiar with the group.
Hot Tonight: The lead single off of the album, ‘Hot Tonight’ is a song about being young and spending your nights in a carefree and nonchalant manner. The track is catchy and certainly worth the listen. Some others may hold more depth and meaning, but it is a fun and entertaining way to start off their newest creation.
Miserable: Contrary to the title, ‘Miserable’ is actually one of the more brisk and rapid songs on the album. The chorus holds an interesting juxtaposition, stating: “I am miserable, and I feel I’m the only one who gets his way sometimes.” Could it be a commentary on what true happiness means? You’ll have to listen to find out.
Gonna Be Ready: While enjoying this record for the first time, I found that the track ‘Gonna Be Ready’ was a bit peculiar and differed from Tokyo Police Club’s usual aesthetic. At first, I wasn’t a fan, however after going back and trying it again, I’ve found that it is a welcome change. A little off-tempo and more ‘angsty’ than normal, it is one of the more interesting songs in the package.
Beaches: ‘Beaches’ is a track which moved me emotionally when I first heard it. More melancholy than many of the other tracks, one simple and yet somehow profound line is: “I used to write your name across beaches.” David Monks speaks as though a past relationship has ended, and he wants to rekindle it again, realizing that he has made a mistake (this is only a possibility, however some lines in the chorus, such as ‘I am waiting for a knock on the door’ support this theory).
Toy Guns: I’m not going to lie-Toy Guns is by far my favorite track off of Forcefield. Not only is its tune infectious, but it offers what could be an insight into today’s violent youth (as seen through the lyric “when every other kid on the block has a shotgun, I never know the difference between the toys and the real ones”). The song really struck a chord with me (ha, a pun!) and I simply can’t get it out of my head.
Tunnel Vision: Some fans may be entranced by ‘Tunnel Vision’, however I found it to be one of the more bland and unsatisfying songs on the album. That being said, lyrically it is another gem from the group, an expression of closed-mindedness and not being able to see the bigger picture.
Through the Wire: Romantic. That would be the key word I would use to describe ‘Through the Wire’. Its melodies are wistful and almost dream-like, as Monks sings of returning to a lover who he misses and wants to be with again soon. Different from some of the other themes that have been touched upon within Forcefield, this track is a chance to slow down and reflect on those who you hold close.
Feel the Effect: A somewhat strange close to the album, ‘Feel the Effect’ reminds me of a cry for help. The message (at least, the one that I understood) was that when a person makes questionable choices, there is no escape from the things that are sure to follow. The track is strange in the sense that you can get up and dance to it, however if you truly analyze what is being said, it becomes more saddening than anything else (almost like Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’). However, it shows that Tokyo Police Club are certainly no strangers to exploration.
Album Rating: 4 stars. Mostly hits, with a minor hiccup here and there, Forcefield shows that Tokyo Police Club has “still got it”, as they say.