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23 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Truly showcasing "All Sides" and maturity level Jul 15, 2008
By Michael Ray
I can't honestly sit here and say "Yeah man, 10 years ago I was starting high school, smoking pot, and rocking out to some high school kids from Rockville, Maryland in this band called O.A.R." It took a while before I truly got turned onto O.A.R. When that happened they sort of turned into crack for me. I couldn't get enough. I spanned the entire catalog, all the way back to The Wanderer till Stories of a Stranger. I read that lead singer Marc Roberge went on a cross-country drive with his wife and dogs before this album was completed. The album title, " All Sides," is a fair and pretty accurate description of what to expect on this album. From the beginning till the end of the album I feel that all aspects of O.A.R.'s creativity and brilliance is delivered.
I truly hope people don't expect the O.A.R. from The Wanderer or Risen or any of the great older albums. That was ten years ago and the guys in O.A.R. are pushing close to 30 years old. Yet, what I find when listening to this album is a matured, progressive, and still fun and catchy band playing music they love and writing introspective and meaningful lyrics.
The first radio single off of "All Sides" is "Shattered (Turn the Car Around). It's a piano-laden, truly radio-friendly pop song, but I really find it hard not to sing along. I was slightly concerned with the first three songs being released early because I did not hear any of the traditional saxophone that makes O.A.R. great. Yet, I was not to be let down, as "Whatever Happened" starts in with a conga type intro soon to be followed by the catchy soulful saxophone of Jerry DePizzo.
With this release O.A.R. spans a lot of genres of music. "All Sides" contains bits of radio-friendly pop singles ( and why not, the band deserves some recognition besides the crazy cult following), funky saxophone reggae inspired jams, and slow, melodic, and emotional tunes belted out only as Marc Roberge could. When the man sings, as a listener, you can truly feel the emotion trying to be conveyed.
In short, "All Sides," is a great release for a great band. The boys have grown up to men and they have put out a great all encompassing album that any O.A.R. fan will enjoy, new or old. I truly hope not to hear crys of "sell-out," because it would be an injustice to great songwriters. I'm excited to see the guys this summer on their "All Sides" tour, and I strongly recommend this album to any O.A.R. fan, or music fan in general.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Solid. Jul 23, 2008
By Just Steve
I agree with some of the other reviews here in that this is a dramatically different sound for OAR. I find it entertaining and enjoyable, though. Maybe they want to break through on more of a commercial level as this album has a much more pop-sounding feel to it. Or maybe they just want to expand their horizons with something a little different. Either way, I have no problem with it. I see some parallels between this move and when REM came out with Document after being a "college radio" band for several years.
Some fans were upset with this, but REM kept their own sound and integrity through it all (and still has, check out their recent release, Accelerate, for the awesome proof) ... and I expect OAR will, too. You cannot fault a band for exploring their creativity. As a fan and admirer of OAR's immense talent and gifts, I wish them all the best with this release.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Fun and full of hope Sep 21, 2008
By W. Vriens
What we have here is the last new from OAR.
Many people consider this a to commerial album with too many radio friendly songs.
There is indeed a little less reggae and jam but through the songs you hear what they made in the past.
They have grown and i realy like this album, i rate it a 8 because of the quality songs and the great production.
The first song THIS TIME has a really catchy melodie and you will notice that you've been whisteling this tune for days.
SHATTERED is a great lead singel, with again a sticky melodie.
WHAT IS MINE has that groovy reggae feel to it, feels like a hot summer day.
ONE DAY is a really great, great feelings in the voice and lov the chorus of the song.
The rest of the songs are also good, but these were my favorites.
7 of 9 found the following review helpful:
A depature from the expected Jul 17, 2008
By Hannah The Wanderer
I just finished listening to this for the first time and I was shocked at the departure from the funky, upbeat tunes that I am used to hearing from O.A.R. The album sounds like the music was written using a formula rather than instinct. Mark seems to me missing his slightly naughty, tongue in cheek, humor in this album. Perhaps they are growing up; perhaps they are trying to rediscover themselves after 10 years of playing.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
So much more than I expected. Great new direction. Sep 11, 2008
By Matt K.
I think the band's sound has definitely matured, as well as their writing. They are probably tired of playing the same (amazing) songs after 10 years. "War Song" and "What is Mine" are, in my opion, firmly in the top 5 of their best songs to date. If you liked "Living in the End" from Live at Madison Square, you will love this cd. Much more mellow than their early songs, but the build up in the songs is just rediculously good. Each song finishes different than you'd expect from a studio album, if that makes sense. They have always been a much better band live than in studio, but this cd is great. Wont be disappointed.
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