We’re going to have to start his out with a massive negative, which seems to always poke you in the back of the head while listening to this album, it’s unfortunate but it’s best to get it out in the open at the start. This album struggles to really find where it sits, what it wants to be. There are far too many themes and genres floating around Ark that it’s impossible to really put your finger on who the album is meant to be marketed towards.
We Are The Ocean have always been a fantastic band blending almost poppy rock tracks with a bit of an edgier kick added, we will even go on record that Go Now And Live is one of the best British rock albums of the last five years. The change didn’t even happen when Dan Brown left the band, as Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow was also a cracking album, it just seems like the band is going too far into standard rock and are losing their identity, and more importantly, their shape a bit.
Right, let’s get into the positives shall we. Overall, and individually the tracks are fairly well written. ‘Ark’, the title track and the first single from the album is fantastic and really keeps the identity alive. ‘Do It Together’, although not the best is nicely put together, but is effected from the same problem as a lot of the album, and feels almost too formulaic, too rock by numbers. In fact all three tracks that they’ve released so far, including ‘Holy Fire’, which is probably the highlight of the entire album, are all decent efforts. The problems come from the tracks woven in between.
Everything just seems too smashed together for it to flow with any sort of cohesion. ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ for example, sounds exactly what you’d expect from Queens of the Stone Age, and it may well be a track that you’re into, but in the context of the album, it doesn’t feel right, and has what is essentially a lazy ending. ‘Letter To Michael’ is a fantastic little folk track, ‘Shere Khan’ is something different entirely but they all add to what seems to be a confused album overall.
We’ve got it on good authority that the tracks sound fantastic live, but that’s a separate beast entirely. We would urge you to get this album purely on the basis of learning the tracks for the live show, not on the basis of being a decent album, because honestly, it’s average at best. Sorry guys, you have some decent themes running throughout, but overall it just sounds a little messy.