Saturday, January 17, 2009

O.A.R. - Shattered (Turn the Car Around)  

I've learnt over the years of writing this blog that great pop music can come from any kind of act in any genre, and even if it's a genre which is generally oppositional to the sound and values of pop music, the first rule of being a true pop fan is to look past those things and concentrate only on what you hear. The American MOR-rock man-band genre is one which most people with good taste despise, and they're quite right to, because it has spawned some absolute horrors, from Nickelback to the Dave Matthews Band and Matchbox 20. However, the fact that it is a mainstream genre means that the bands become popular, and if they/their management are open-minded, they will try to either write for themselves songs with great hooks, or get in a talented and successful mainstream songwriter to do that for them. In the case of O.A.R (abbreviating Of A Revolution - obviously they realised they weren't at all revolutionary!), it was singer Marc Roberge with MOR-rock hit-machine Gregg Wattenberg. The result is reminiscent of Ryan Tedder's work with his own band, One Republic, as well as the singles by The Fray, but since these kinds of acts seem to only be allowed a couple of catchy songs, it's worth keeping an eye on the new ones so you can basically grab the ace song and leave the rest to silly people who haven't caught on to this trick yet. Most bands who want success will record something good at some point, and I'm doing my best here to present those songs for you without you having to listen to all the boring rubbish first. If you don't love the "turn the car around" hook in this song, you need to listen again, letting go of the repression of what you think you're supposed to think of this type of music. If you can manage that, it's extremely rewarding.

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