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As It Is – okay. | Album Review

Transatlantic quintet As It Is are still riding the hype wave of their debut “Never Happy, Ever After,” but does their latest release “okay.” live up? Here’s what we thought…

Source: Album Artwork

Transatlantic quintet As It Is are still riding the hype wave of their 2015 debut Never Happy, Ever After. The album earned the band a prime spot in the UK’s ever-growing pop-rock community and won them a massive following worldwide. Now, As It Is are back with their eclectic sophomore release okay. The record is an audio narrative of the band’s past few years, told in stunning, melodically dynamic verses.

The album kicks off with ‘Pretty Little Distance’, a track harking back to typical As It Is pop-rock jams. “I want to cross stitch shut my eyes, wage a war on the world outside” vocalist Patty Walters sings in this upbeat track about false realities.

‘Hey Rachel’ is another track reminiscent of their debut. The single has gained a substantial amount of radio play in the past few weeks, appealing immediately to the mainstream. It’s as personal as we’ve come to expect from the band, littered with upbeat riffs and enviable hooks. This is what pop-rock should sound like.

Speaking of the album, Walters says: “We didn’t go into writing the record with a grand vision, we just wrote the songs we wanted to write; quite a lot of it involved writing things that we wouldn’t have been brave enough to even consider before.”

This evolution is something you find fundamentally in the second half of the album. ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Soap’ are much darker than we’ve seen from the band before, both thematically and in sound. The intensity in ‘Soap’ is palpable with vocalists Walters and Benjamin Biss telling alternate tales of someone’s flawed and perfect selves.

Album namesake ‘Okay’ and ‘No Way Out’ are connected in theme, both depicting a loss of internal control. The band’s instrumentation adds to the anxiety built up throughout ‘Okay’, its rushed guitars and drums feign urgency before harmonized vocals soothe the track in it’s middle eight.

As It Is have evolved in the two years since their debut. Their instrumentation is cleaner, purposeful, and much more mature. It has been molded to compliment the talent As It Is has always had for painting intricate scenes with their lyrics. The result is a much more fluid sound. 

okay. has proven to us that this band is not a one-trick-pony. As It Is have masterfully evaded second album slump, and instead broadened their discography, sound, and inevitably their fanbase.

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