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ALBUM REVIEW: American Authors ‘Oh, What a Life’

OWALWhoever said not finishing college would be the worst decision anyone could ever make obviously never met a band called American Authors. American Authors are four young musicians hailing from a partial stint at Berklee College of Music. The foursome met in 2006, and since then, have been making their way up in the music industry.

They are getting ready to release their debut album Oh, What a Life, on Island Records, March 3. Their single, “Best Day of My Life” has already been certified gold and reached #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart in mid-January. With a start like that, the American Authors are definitely destined for more than just one best day.

Oh, What a Life is filled with optimistic, upbeat tracks that make you feel like you can face anything the day has to offer.

If you are having a day where nothing is going your way and life seems way too hard at the moment, turn on the track “Think About It.” AA repeatedly tells the listeners to not overthink the situations life throws at you. Let life happen how it’s going to happen. Whether for the good or bad, just live in the moment and don’t try to make sense out of everything. Something things are just meant to be the way they are – no explanation needed.

For those days when the world is bumming you out and full of pessimistic downers, plug in your headphones and head for the opening track, “Believer.” This song leaves you feeling on top of the world and confident, even if your confidence and self-esteem are a bit shaky. If you have the belief that “things will get better,” you can accomplish anything. What I also love about this song is the, what I like to call, pre-chorus breakdown. The music turns to a super smooth, bass-filled beat that makes you feel so good on the inside.

Other stand out tracks are “Luck,” “Trouble,” and the title track “Oh, What a Life.”

“Luck” is about the struggles of growing up and pursuing your dreams, even if it disappoints those who love you most. It’s all about making those loved ones understand and respect the decisions you have ultimately decided to make.

What I love about “Trouble” is how dreamy the intro is, and lead vocalist, Zac Barnett’s voice has a calming flow to it. However, the song quickly transitions into a folksy, faster beat. The song is about troubling and intriguing love. It weaves back and forth between dreamy and folksy, and holds your attention the entire time.

The last track, “Oh, What a Life,” really embraces that campfire song vibe. It’s definitely a song that you gather up your friends and listen to together. It’s cleansing, and makes you realize that, even though things may have not always been perfect, life has been one hell of a ride.

On a more critical note, all the vocals on the album are done with this auto-tuned mic effect, I guess to give it a more raw, old school feeling. I thought it was something special to “Best Day of My Life,” but I was wrong. It was a little off-putting at first, but at least it’s something that is consistent throughout the whole album. And I figure if you’re going to do something like that, then go for it all the way. Honestly, the more times I ran through the album, the less it became an issue. I hardly notice it now.

The whole album fills you with confidence and you finish it smiling and happy. I’d call you a liar if you listened to OWAL in its entirety and didn’t feel like you could conquer the world. The songs are easy to learn and have a fun sing-a-long quality to them. You will be singing along to each song before you even finish one the first time through. Also, if “Best Day of My Life” is not your alarm tone, you seriously need to reevaluate your life. I cannot think of a better song to start your day with.

You can catch American Authors on the Conan O’Brien show, on TBS, the day their album is released, March 4. Then, tune into Live with Kelly & Michael on March 10, on ABC, and Late Night with Seth Meyers, on NBC, March 12, for additional appearances.

You can pre-order Oh, What A Life, here. If you pre-order the album or purchase a CD from iTunes, you will also receive an acoustic version of “Best Day of My Life,” which, trust me, is just as great as the full band version.

American Authors will be heading out on tons of tour dates at the start of March, through June. You can buy concert tickets here.

For more on American Authors, visit their website here. And check out their video for “Best Day of My Life” at the end of this post.



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Managing Editor of this lovely magazine! Music is my passion & I aim to make people love it as much as I do. I love concerts, cats, & quoting song lyrics on social media.

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