Album Review: It’s okay to not be okay.

This is one of probably two album reviews this year. But I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced late last year, and I’ve just had my first listen through, and I just have to review it because it’s magnificent.

Okay – As It Is

So. I love these boys from Brighton, I saw them in a gig at the Deaf Institute last year and oh my god they were phenomenal. So much power and charisma in one show. It was also Helen’s first ever gig, so that’s always going to have a place in her heart. Their first album, “Never Happy, Ever After” was on my stereo for about 2 months straight, and I can see that “Okay” is going to be going down the same line.

They start strongly with the punching pop-punk melody that is “Pretty Little Distance”, which has been a favourite since I heard the single release. The melody fades perfectly into the album’s title track “Okay”. This song spoke to me on a personal level that it’s really hard for me to explain.

The pitch-perfect blending of melodies as the album progresses remains, and unlike a great many albums of the genre, it’s not all about leaving home and their girlfriends. As It Is manage to tackle mental health issues in a relatable and catchy way.

My personal favourite song on the album, right now, would have to be Austen – I just posted something on my instagram about that song, but I’ll repeat it here. The lyrics spoke to me in a way that I didn’t expect. They reminded me of how I was feeling when my sister was at her sickest in the month before she passed away. How the cancer and the treatment had stolen the person she used to be. How I knew she was scared if it was too quiet, so I just spoke to her all the time. Telling her inane things that were going on in the lives of our friends. It’s a very personal song to me, but I’ve fallen in love with it.

In a similar way, the song “Hey Rachel” speaks to me in another way. Possibly to other members of my family, especially L. When we were younger I wasn’t always the best to her, but now we’re older I hope she knows that I’m sorry for how I was back then.

The album comes to a close on the achingly beautiful “Still Remembering”. A perfect end to a masterpiece of pop-punk. If this isn’t up for an APMA next year there is no justice in the world. Much like the original end to “Never Happy, Ever After”, “Still Remembering” gives you both a sad and a hopeful end to the album.

If you like old-school pop-punk… this album is for you. “Okay” is much, much better than OK. It’s magnificent.

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