All Sides

by: O.A.R.

With its slick mix of pop/rock anthems and radio-ready melodies, All Sides presents an important question: what happens to the quintessential college band after 12 years of touring and recording? Essentially, the college band grows up. It's been more than a decade since O.A.R. honed their undergraduate-friendly sound at Ohio State University, and the five bandmates are now pushing 30. Faced with the prospect of playing mellow frat rock for another ten years, O.A.R. took a different approach on All Sides, hiring producer Matt Wallace (the man behind Maroon 5's Songs About Jane) in an effort to crack the Billboard singles charts. Wallace cloaks Marc Roberge's vocals in reverb and adds thick layers of piano, strings, and guitars. Of course, nobody can fault O.A.R. for trying something new, but polished adult contemporary fare is probably not their forte. Thankfully, traces of the old O.A.R. show up during the album's second half. ~ Andrew Leahey

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