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All Sides

O.A.R.’s latest album trumps “Stories of a Stranger” in a lot of ways. ‘Stranger’ was an awesome record in terms of radio singles and it was far and away the band’s most mainstream-accessible record to date. But it lacked the O.A.R. stamping of a jam session on a lot of songs and even more than that it didn’t feel as good as an O.A.R. show does which is what you want from an album from O.A.R.. In the end, “Stories of a Stranger” felt like a studio album and although that’s okay it’s not as good as having a studio album that feels like a live set for a band that’s known for their live sets. That’s what “All Sides” feels like- it feels like five guys who have been playing together for a decade with new material. “This Town” is the perfect example of this studio set feeling like a live performance. Chris Culos’ kick-drum echoes and resonates like it does at a live performance. And Mark Roberge’s vocals stemming from his lyrics sound live in a completely cool way. Based on the live factor “All Sides” succeeds in the one place where “Story of a Stranger” even remotely failed. Out of the first six songs five of them could be singles, namely “Shattered” which already is and “This Town” which definitely should be. After that though this album has legitimate album tracks to it that are just fun to listen to- none of them really have hooks that are that huge… they just play and feel like O.A.R. songs, which is awesome. With a band like O.A.R. everybody has their favorite songs and everyone has their favorite albums, this won’t be at the top of everybody’s list, but it will definitely be at the top of a lot of O.A.R. fans’ lists. This is a great set from a band that just makes great sets.


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