Features Music Review

Luxury Disease: A New Phase for ONE OK ROCK

As the world slowly recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, classes have started to return to in-person lectures, and businesses started recovering, the story goes the same for ONE OK ROCK, a Japanese rock band formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 2005. They, in my opinion, are best described as a “fluid” rock band, that holds their roots in the traditional youthful J-Rock style at heart, but was able to grow overseas and produce various genres of music within albums in their own original and unique sound, that can appeal to the wider and more mainstream ‘Western’ audience in their later albums. I think that’s part of the reason why I always recommend them to everyone I meet who isn’t even a single bit interested in Japanese music.

Their newest album, Luxury Disease, was released on September 9, 2022. This is their tenth studio album and their first one since the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, with the previous album being Eye of the Storm which was released back in February 2019. This album release marks their grand return to the performing stage after the pandemic as they started touring across countries again, (please, return to Indonesia) and to some extent, their return to their older, more rock-heavy sound in their earlier albums, when they were still focused on establishing themselves as a band inside of Japan. 

The album’s name itself, Luxury Disease, is actually a direct translation of the title of their first album released in 2006 called Zeitakubyō. Taka, the band’s lead vocalist, said in an interview session on their official YouTube channel on July 1, 2022, that after spending several albums trying to build a name for themselves in the worldwide market, they are now trying to make a fresh start with all the experience they had in the US during the past two albums, while now wanting to bring back their more rock-centered sound for their newly gained worldwide audience. With the new album sounding more toward their original rock/alternative rock sound, there is a feeling of uncertainty within the band about whether the album is going to do well among their newly gained world audience, similar to the uncertainty they had when they were just starting out as a band, hence the direct translation from Zeitakubyō to Luxury Disease, to show that they are determined to do their best in sounding ‘themselves’ again.

And to me, it shows. “Vandalize” and “Save Yourself” are the main rock-sounding tracks, with their heavy guitar riffs and all out 2000’s rock style choruses and drops that make you feel strong enough to break your wall (please don’t), with “Vandalize” even being released as a theme song to SEGA’s upcoming Sonic Frontiers video game. Tracks like “Let Me Let You Go” and “Prove” show the more mellow side of the album in voicing romantic relationships while still maintaining the rock vibe they carry with the album. “So Far Gone” and “Your Tears Are Mine” offer a more dramatic tune to the album for those who are in heartbreak, with a slower tempo that complements the rock tune of the album well.

Some of the songs are co-written by other big-name artists as well. Brendon Urie’s Panic! at the Disco, one of my other favorite artists, co-wrote the track “Neon”, lending PATD’s trademark style of powerful melodic choruses and orchestral high notes. Ed Sheeran co-wrote the track “Renegades”, a youthful ballad song that serves as an anthem for young renegades who refuse to allow their battles and passions to be ignored. “Renegades” also has an MV that portrays youth empowerment in current-day social issues that I highly encourage you to check out. 

The album, as I’ve mentioned before, definitely leans more toward their initial rock sound in most of the songs as the band’s new phase of music in the post-pandemic era. But as ONE OK ROCK likes to do, they also managed to fit a few other genres that complement the rock songs well, adding depth into the album and making it an all-round banger to listen in different moods rather than a one-dimensional sound that you only listen to once in a while. It’s an album that I can easily recommend to anyone, regardless of their music tastes.

Author: Fransiskus Nino Boby Laksono / 194214119

Editor: Cherry Larissa Hendranata (QC)

Illustrator: Betsy Mariana Agoha

Features Music Review

“The Loner” Representation from Rest by Yerin Baek

It was the end of November 2020. I was so full of thoughts back then, and I chose to calm myself by scrolling Spotify discovery. Until my eyes met a song titled Rest, “I think this song can represent what I thought right now,” I said in my own mind. I listened to it, and at that time, my nerves instantly gave a signal to relax all my body and mind, then take a deep breath after what I’ve been through. 

Rest is the second track out of 18 tracks from the “Every Letter I Sent You” album by Yerin Baek, a South Korean female singer-songwriter. The album “Every Letter I Sent You” is the first Yerin Baek’s studio album under Blue Vinyl Record after leaving JYP Entertainment in September 2019. The album was released on December 10, 2019, with the double title track Popo (How Deep Is Our Love) and Square (2017). Rest has been streamed 3 million times on Spotify, while the official lyric video has been played 640 thousand times on YouTube. 

Yerin’s beautiful delivery places a warm tone to the listener’s ears and heart. Her husky-but-soft voice is mixed perfectly with the instruments. It breaks all the tiresome feelings, both physically and mentally. The song directly starts with Yerin’s voice, followed by the warm Rhodes piano. As the song gets in the chorus, the guitar tone comes along. Yerin puts simple drums, string, flute, and brass in the second verse to make the sound richer but minimalistic. The song was written and produced by Yerin. As it comes from her very first album, Yerin wanted to give intimacy through her songs. The title itself is named “Every Letter I Sent You,” so the delivery looks like many letters given to someone. “Rest” talks about someone who wants to rest after a long tiring day. “I wanna be somewhere like no need to be clear / No need to be explaining / I just wanna rest,” she sings. The song unfolds a wish of someone tired of their business every single word and activity, “I” just want to rest, that’s all. 

The narration in this song represents the discussion about some people who enjoy their quality time only on their own. Some people just love to spend their time alone, and it is fine. It doesn’t mean they are lonely. “Everybody’s asking if I got plans for the night / But sure, I know they don’t really wonder / And I’m sure I’ll be home alone / I’ma rent some classic movies on the way back home,” that is the message delivered from the lyrics. Yerin wants to share the feeling that spending your time alone is normal, nothing odd about it.  A lot of people also do that. Rejecting an invitation so you can spend your time alone on the fluffy couch is the best way to rest too.

Author: Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana / 1842141178

Editor: Arih Oviana Putri Kusuma, Fransiskus Nino Boby Laksono (QC)

Features Music Review

The Warmest Hello from Your Most Beloved

I found a way to let you win
But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now

Are you familiar with the song lyrics from above? The song above was performed by a famous American singer. Beyonce Giselle Knowles or better known by her stage name, Beyonce, recorded this song in 2008. Then, this song, “Halo”, was released on February 20, 2009. This song is very popular among young people because the music sounds cheerful and the lyrics are quite touching. In fact, “Halo” spent 31 weeks on the top 100 billboards in 2009 and its music video reached 1 billion views.

This song tells the story of a girl who had closed her heart tightly to anyone. She built walls and space for herself. She was too tired because she was getting a lot of bad treatment from the environment and people around her. She no longer wants to deal with the people around her by involving her heart. We’ve been like that too, haven’t we? We have felt hurt and disappointed because of the environment or people closest to us. We may or have closed the door of our hearts to others because we are too tired and disgusted by all the disappointment and sadness they keep giving us. However, believe me, all the disappointments and sadness that we have experienced do not always have bad ending.

In the song “Halo”, this girl finally finds happiness, the person she loves and loves her the most, even though she never thought of finding it. This girl didn’t think of finding someone who would understand her at all because she believed it was impossible. However, as in the lyrics “I got my angel now”, this girl managed to find someone who was very precious to her without even looking for it. She finally found someone who can give her happiness and can make her life more meaningful. She doesn’t need to worry about anything else because she has got a gift that gives her the strength to be able to run her day, no matter how bad it is.

In our life, we must have experienced this too. When we are really in a bad state, even without us asking or looking, there must be people closest to us who will give their love and attention to us. They indirectly provide enthusiasm and strength for us to live life as bad as it is. Spending time with someone we loved is really fun and happy, right? Therefore, don’t waste people who really love you. Stay cheerful in living your days, and don’t forget to always take care of yourself too!


Author: Theresia Paskah Prastiti 

Editor: Michael Tan 

Pic: Google

Features Music Review

“JESUS IS KING” – Preach, Kanye, Preach!

Photo illustration by The Daily Beast

Kanye has always been labelled as a “rabble-rouser” of the music industry, seen through his criticism of Taylor Swift, his support for Trump, him urinating on his trophies, paparazzi violence, and even him self-proclaiming as a God. Growing famously in the hip-hop community, Kanye West is no stranger to dark lyrics glorifying drugs, sex, and money throughout his entire career. To make a long story short, in 2002, a car accident almost took his life. Yet, it was a miracle instead. The way God let him survive really touched his heart. Ever since, Kanye put out several Christian songs—including the most popular one, Jesus Walks—as an expression of gratitude, distributed on each of his albums. As life goes on and the faith starts to grow bigger—after the brightest, his happy family with Kim Kardashian and their children, even the darkest, being cancelled by the media—he proudly decided to make this full gospel album, JESUS IS KING.

“You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name

Listen to the words I’m sayin’, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane

And I know, I know God is the force that picked me up

I know Christ is the fountain that filled my cup”

 – God Is by Kanye West

JESUS IS KING is the ninth studio album from an American controversial producer-rapper, Kanye West. It debuted on October 25, 2019, as a surprise substitute for his initial upcoming project, Yandhi. The album is blessed by the presence of Ty Dolla $ign, Kenny G, and especially the Sunday Service Choir—which is a group of worship singers created by Mr. West himself. Currently, Kanye West’s JESUS IS KING also wins Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at 2021 Grammys.

“How you get so much favor on your side?”

“Accept Him as your Lord and Saviour,” I replied”

– On God by Kanye West

To some extent, JESUS IS KING is the turning point of Kanye’s career, which kick-starts his role as a musician completely devoted to God. The 11-track album shows how the old Kanye is dead and the new Kanye is reborn in the name of Jesus. The album also exhibits Kanye’s knowledge of the Bible, seen by biblical references of “selah” (סֶלָה) on Selah, Jezebel’s wickedness on Closed on Sunday, “Yeshua” (יֵשׁוּעַ) on Hands On, and many more. JESUS IS KING is a beautiful artwork to remind us that God is still here in every circumstance. In one of his dialogues with a celebrity pastor Joel Osteen, Kanye stated that it is God’s calling that allows him to use his platform to spread peace and the love of religion. Christ has freed himself from his demons in the past, so it’s his turn to repay what He did. In other words, God saved a wretch like Kanye West and Kanye West has found the light right from the source. Kanye West has found his stroke of serendipity.


Journalist: Billiam Susanto 

Editor: Ivana Belinda