Last Ship to Rockhopper Island

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Last Ship to Rockhopper Island
LSTRH cover.PNG
Studio album by Rockhopper
Released December 8, 2015
Recorded March—November 2015
Genre Pirate hop, baroque pop
Length 58:11
Label Club Penguin Music Records
Producer Rockhopper (exec.), DJ Crow, Petey K, Yarr, Rockyard, Yusei
Rockhopper chronology
The Journal of Captain Rockhopper
(2012)
Last Ship to Rockhopper Island
(2015)
Singles from Last Ship to
Rockhopper Island
  1. "Rebels"
    Released: October 18, 2015
  2. "SKULLS"
    Released: November 24, 2015
  3. "Lighthouse"
    Released: December 19, 2015
  4. "Night Skies"
    Released: December 19, 2015
  5. "For the Last Time"
    Released: January 31, 2016
  6. "Master of the Waters"
    Released: January 31, 2016
  7. "Navigation"
    Released: March 5, 2016


Last Ship to Rockhopper Island is the third and final studio album by Antarctican pirate Rockhopper. At the age of 45, Rockhopper believed that he had accomplished all that he wanted in his musical endeavours and had nothing more to say or create, spawning two number 1 albums with Rockhopper's Ballads (2011) and The Journal of Captain Rockhopper (2012). It is the final installment of the Rockhopper Trilogy, as it is referred to by the media. After three years of musical inactivity, Last Ship to Rockhopper Island was released on December 8, 2015 by Club Penguin Music Records. With a tracklist consisting of only 9 songs, it is Rockhopper's shortest album, but includes a musical variety and unique songs in its songs. Incorporating the standard Rockhopper-styled pirate hop, there are experimental elements of baroque and orchestral pop, and more aggressive, hard-hitting production. Working with a very small team of producers for the album: DJ Crow, Petey K, Yarr, Yusei and Rockyard. DJ Crow returned to aid Rockhopper in the album's creation after a brief guest appearance and production credits on Rockhopper's Ballads (2011).

The album is another concept album that uses the same narration method to illustrate the story. Instead of doing it himself, the narrator is ninja master Sensei, who appears on every track. Similar to previous albums, it follows the tale of Rockhopper at sea with a very dramatic ending. The album was recorded from early March to November 2015, spanning over eight months.

Seven singles were release in promotion for the album: the lead single "Rebels" featuring DJ Crow, "SKULLS", "Lighthouse", "Night Skies", "For the Last Time", "Master of the Waters" and lastly, "Navigation". Only two songs were not released as singles ("Last Ship", track 1, and "Back Home", the final track). Due to the long length of practically all the songs, the singles received radio edits for their single releases. All singles performed very well across Antarctican charts, all of which hit number 1 in Club Penguin, while a handful reached the summit in the USA, UnitedTerra and Shops Island.

Upon release, Last Ship to Rockhopper Island received unanimous critical acclaim, with many calling it Rockhopper's finest piece of work and noting it as an excellent "final bow". It also peaked at number 1 across all Antarctican album charts, selling near to 1.5 million copies in its first week of release in the USA, and breaking numerous charting records.

Background[edit]

Rockhopper first entered the music scene with a sudden desire to professionally produce all his pirate shanties and jingles into actual studio songs. As a result of this desire his first album Rockhopper's Ballads was released in October 2011. The double disc project was a critical and commercial success and soon enough fans emerged and demanded more. While Rockhopper had more to deliver regardless, he continued to build a fanbase with the release of an 6-track EP project titled Captain's Quarters in April 2012 that proceeded RH's second album the same year; The Journal of Captain Rockhopper. Unlike Ballads, this album was much more serious and personal and told a story about his journeys at sea. It also faired well commercially and Rockhopper was praised for his storytelling and darker themes compared to Ballads upbeat vibes.

Soon after this Rockhopper returned to focus on his pirate adventures, recording no music at all for the first half of 2013. But eventually inspiration came back to Rockhopper and started to make plans for a third album. Enlisting none other than Yarr, Rockyard, DJ Crow and his trusty producer Yusei, Penguin Band producer and musician Petey K was called upon for the first time by Rockhopper to help create his potential final project.

Rockhopper told his team that he wanted to create another concept album similar to The Journal of Captain Rockhopper, but to better it. Anything that Rockhopper made from summer 2013 to the end of 2014 ended up not being on the album. The material for the album ended up being created just in the space of eight months from March to November 2015. Originally expected to consist of 12 tracks, the tracklist was whittled down to a mere 9 tracks.

Halfway through the process of development, Rockhopper decided that this was going to be his final musical project. Since the release of The Journal he had a small doubt that he might've been putting the pen down, but now he was sure he was giving it up for good. Truth was that Rockhopper had accomplished all he wanted to musically, with two number 1 albums under his belt and dozens of hit singles. RH had told his tales and just had a few more left for one last album. The original name for the album was supposed to be Rockhopper's Journal, Part II, but considering RH was sure this was going to be his last album, it was changed to Last Ship to Rockhopper Island to clearly highlight his farewell.

Concept & track-by-track[edit]

A number of tracks merge two or more songs together ("For the Last Time", "Navigation", "Lighthouse"), creating a very unorthodox album structure that Rockhopper favoured, weaving in all the narration skits and Rockhopper skits into just 9 tracks.

Ninja master Sensei serves as the narrator of the story on Last Ship. During his early 2015 visit to Club Penguin, Rockhopper spoke to fellow friend Sensei during a game of Card-Jitsu and exclusively told him about his album plans. Sensei was intrigued, and suggested whether he could be the one to narrate the story. Rockhopper realised that Sensei did have that wise narrator voice, and he had already done the narration on the previous album, so this would have been something different and a surprise to the public. Sensei was told the story, given a brief draft of a script and then did his work.

As Sensei narrates it, the concept involves the story being told to his ninja students 23 years on after the events occurred. Sensei tells his students the last story of 'the legendary Rockhopper' who travels the seas in the space of 31 days to preserve the future of penguin-kind. It is revealed at the end of the album that Rockhopper ultimately dies on his journey back to Rockhopper Island.

Gather around my students, and let me tell you a story. The best story that you will ever hear in your lifetimes. It's about one brave penguin. The legendary Rockhopper, and his journey. The year is 2038, and our friend is on his way back to Club Penguin with his seasonal gifts and such. Little does our friend know, that this journey will be filled with total destruction and misery. What Calvin experiences is the worst pirate journey that it cannot even be considered an adventure. With his trusty pal Yarr, the difficulty of the journey is totally incalculable. Nevertheless, our champion is up for the challenge. This is - The Last Ship to Rockhopper Island.
—Narration on the beginning of "Last Ship"

The first song "Last Ship" kicks in after Sensei's Introduction. The song is upbeat pirate pop that details Rockhopper happily preparing his ship to set sail for Club Penguin. It features an ensemble chorus of Rockhopper Island red puffles throughout the song for adlibs. The song then ends and "Rebels" featuring DJ Crow who delivers two 8-bar verse at the beginning and end of the song, while Rockhopper speak-sings about pirate lifestyles as he sails his ship. The final two minutes of the track reintroduces the narrator for the second Act (Sensei's Warning).

Ah, my fellow students. What can I say? Our hero has decided to set sail, unaware of what he is about to face (pause). Do you want to know what it is my students? (pause) You will have to wait and see. The rebel is due course North with the red puffle rebel Yarr. The pirate lifestyle may seem fun to our courageous hero, but things are about to get really serious from here on. So buckle up, and get prepared for a long ride.
—Narration at the end of "Rebels"

Track 3, "Master of the Waters", begins with a 30 second skit of Rockhopper talking to Yarr, explaining that he is the master of the seas and can handle anything. The song runs for a length of 4:11 and the final 36 seconds is The Blizzard Skit. As Rockhopper sails the fog thickens and a blizzard begins to take place at sea ("Arr I can't see, I can't see!")

And so our brave hero is beginning to be swallowed up by the ever-growing storm-blizzard at sea. It is snowing especially hard and Calvin cannot see a thing. But it is a well known fact that Rockhopper never gives up, and will surely successfully complete his journey to Club Penguin ... Won't he?
—Narration at the end of "Masters of the Waters"

Running for a length of 7:05, track 4 is "Navigation" and begins off with blizzard sounds and Rockhopper struggling to sail his ship in the right direction through all the wind and snow ("Harder Yarr! Move the sail! Check me view from the telescope!")

Release and promotion[edit]

Artwork[edit]

The cover for the album is a very artistic black sketch of the infamous skull n' bones symbol; featuring a sketchy design and scribbles all over. It is the first album cover of Rockhopper's to not feature any text such as the album name or his own signature. The cover was designed by none other than Yarr who thought it was a memorable image to remember and also fit the dark theme of the album.

Singles[edit]

Rockhopper's promotion for the album differed from the tradition roll-out of singles. The first single "Rebels" featuring DJ Crow was unveiled with no warning on October 18, 2015. The release of the single also unveiled the release date for the album. The song instantly entered at number 1 in the iceTunes charts. The radio edit of the single runs at a length of 3:37 as it cuts out Sensei's narration. On November 24, 2015, "SKULLS" was released as the second single. These singles were the only songs released before the release of the album. "Lighthouse" and "Night Skies" were then simultaneously released as the third and fourth singles on December 19, 2015. At the end of January 2016, "For the Last Time" and "Master of the Seas" were also released on the same day. The seventh and final single, "Navigation", was released on March 5, 2016.

Only two songs were not released as singles; track 1, "Last Ship", and track 9, "Back Home".

Single covers[edit]

All the single covers followed a simplistic design – using a symbol that represents the song name, in the centre, with a black background. This highly contrasts the past cover arts of Rockhopper, which usually have a white or bright background. This was to correlate with the dark themes of the album. Rockhopper's signature and the song name are absent from most of the covers, apart from "SKULLS", "Rebels" and "Master of the Waters". This was the first time Rockhopper's signature has been absent from his covers. The only cover that has Rockhopper physically on it is "For the Last Time", which features a smiling Rockhopper as he sheds a tear (serving as representation that this is his last album).

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Last Ship to Rockhopper Island received unanimous critical acclaim. Based on an average of 57 professional reviews, the album received a score of 93 / 100, which indicates widespread acclaim. Critics were fascinated by the success of Rockhopper fitting baroque pop into his music. Most notably, the concept story was heavily praised, complimenting Rockhopper on telling the story perfectly. Sensei's performance as narrator was also praised, noting how realistic he made the story sound. The dramatic ending / plot twist to the story at the end made critics describe the album as a "cinematic experience" and unexpected. The unique production provided by Petey K and DJ Crow were not overlooked either. Some critics did feel like the tracklist felt a bit cramped, at a mere length of nine tracks, and felt like the songs and skits could have been spaced out. However some critics didn't mind this and felt like it helped to create a structure that allowed to show the progressive nature of the songs in terms of drama and production.

Track listing[edit]

No. TitleWriter(s)Producer(s) Length
1. "Last Ship"  Calvin RockhopperRockhopper, Petey K, Yarr 3:52
2. "Rebels" (featuring DJ Crow)Calvin Rockhopper, Crow Smith, Yarr, Sensei KojimaDJ Crow 5:37
3. "Master of the Waters"  Calvin Rockhopper, Yarr, Rockyard, Ninjinian Smith, Peter King, Crow Smith, Yusei, Sensei Toshi KojimaRockyard, Yusei, DJ Crow (add.) 4:49
4. "Navigation" (Part II: Compass)Calvin Rockhopper, Crow Smith, Sensei Toshi Kojima, Peter Kings, Yarr, Rockyard, Steven JohnsonRockhopper, Yusei 7:05
5. "SKULLS"  Calvin Rockhopper, Yarr, Sensei Toshi Kojima, Yusei, Crow Smith, Peter KingsDJ Crow, Petey K (co.) 5:00
6. "Lighthouse" (Part II: Beacon)Calvin Rockhopper, Yarr, Crow Smith, Peter Kings, Sensei Toshi Kojima, Jennette Williams, Rodney Hubbard, Yusei, Delaine KendallPetey K, DJ Crow (co.) 9:46
7. "Night Skies"  Calvin Rockhopper, Crow Smith, Sensei Kojima, Clay Morton, YuseiYusei, Rockyard (co.), DJ Crow (co.) 6:53
8. "For the Last Time" (Part II: Migration)Calvin Rockhopper, Yarr, Crow Smith, Yusei, Sensei Toshi Kojima, Rodney Hubbard, Peter KingsDJ Crow, Petey K, Rockyard (co.), Yusei (co.), Yarr (co.), Rockhopper 10:27
9. "Back Home"  Calvin Rockhopper, Sensei Toshi Kojima, Yusei, Peter Kings, Crow SmithRockyard, Yusei, Yarr (add.) 4:42
Total length:
58:11
Notes
  • Sensei appears uncredited on every track as narrator.
  • "Lighthouse" features uncredited additional vocals by Delaine.
  • "Last Ship" and "Back Home" features uncredited additional vocals by Yarr.
  • "Night Skies" features uncredited additional vocals by DJ Crow.
  • "For the Last Time" features uncredited additional vocals by Petey K.

Charts[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
CP Albums Chart 1
Antartican Hot 100 Albums 1
UnitedTerra Albums Chart 1
Freezeland Albums of 100 1
Tel Ah Phon Albums Chart 1
Pengolian Albums Chart 1
Puffle'and Bouncin' 100 Albums 1
Dorkugal Albums Chart 1

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification
Club Penguin
Diamond
USA
3x Platinum
UnitedTerra
2x Platinum
Freezeland
2x Platinum
Tel Ah Phon
2x Platinum
Pengolia
Platinum
Puffle'and
Platinum
Dorkugal
Platinum

See also[edit]