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O.A.R.

XX
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O.A.R.’s XX sees the band celebrating twenty years of the band with an aptly titled release that features two new songs, a greatest hits collection of sorts, and the band's semi-annual live release. The two studio songs are vastly different from each other – “I Go Through” is sensible folk rock that plays like it was written for country radio. It’s not a bad song, but it’s not great either. "Follow Me, Follow You" is on the other side of the spectrum – it’s a pop rock song with heavy synths written for pop radio. Oddly enough, “I Go Through” seems like it fits the band far better than “Follow Me, Follow You”.

Other than the first two songs, the first disc of the two-disc set features a collection of singles that the band has released over the past two decades. All the singles before the band signed to Atlantic Records roughly 15 years ago are here and they’re the original versions. The songs that the band recorded while on Wind-Up are here in their original forms too. The singles that the band recorded with Atlantic have been rerecorded. The rerecorded versions aren’t as good as their original counterparts, but they’re actually pretty interesting. Some of them have evolved far beyond their original versions and some have stayed pretty close to the same. For an O.A.R. fan, it's cool to have two different studio versions of those songs. The second set of the album features the standard O.A.R. live release – they’re the same songs but they’re all played completely differently. You don’t get away with releasing like six live albums without being pretty damn good at it.

XX celebrates two decades of the band in a solid way. There are some things that you’d wish would be better and there are some things that you wish they’d do differently and they all change from listen to listen. It’s a good live album and it’s worth listening to.






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