Despite the fact that making the following statement will garner scorn, disdain and outright laughter directed right at my face, my favorite band is O.A.R.
I have no qualms about liking them, even though you think they suck. I am aware they aren’t an avant-garde street hip hop artist or a European synth duo or any of that shit that supposedly qualifies as “cool music.”
Whatever, I say. I find their music enjoyable to listen to, and to me that’s the only necessary requirement of a band. They don’t need to be cool or hip or underground or any of that shit. And O.A.R. makes some damn fine music that I enjoy listening to.
Here are my ten favorite songs.
Note: For all their songs I’m embedding here, I’m using live versions, for live O.A.R is to regular O.A.R. as fresh, right out of the sea scallops are to the shitty, rubbery ones wrapped in limp bacon you get at a wedding. Studio O.A.R. is terrible. But that’s okay, for they rock their faces off live. I once took a friend who freelances for Pitchfork to an O.A.R. concert. He’s the kind of guy who introduced me to Odd Future back in like 2005 and Rae Sremmurd last year. He only likes the “cool music” that “cool music” people like. We smoked a joint and watched them play and at the end I asked him what he thought.
“It was good,” he said.
So yea, Live O.A.R. does not suck, no matter how snobbish a music fan you are.
10. Dangerous Connection
Typically, O.A.R opens shows with the song ‘Dareh Meyod.’ In fact, you can hear fans at Red Rocks chanting for it at the start of this video. Sometimes, a showman knows not to give the audience what they want.
9. Lay Down
“I bought a planet for you,” croons lead singer Marc Roberge. Have you ever bought a planet for someone?
This song is just called “Untitled,” because who needs a title when you’ve got a song this good?
7. The Wanderer
When I saw O.A.R. in San Francisco, it was the day I’d moved into my first apartment there. I was nervous as hell, but seeing them calmed me down. I went by myself and, in the middle of the show, instead of at the end, they played “That Was Crazy Game of Poker.” I wondered how they could top that. What would they play next? Then, they went into a rocking version of “The Wanderer” and all was right.
6. Here’s to You
O.A.R wrote this song for their fans, because their fans were so great at their shows. That’s a nice thing for a band to do. Also, it’s a good song.
5. Love and Memories
This is the best O.A.R. song to belt out. You can scream this song’s chorus. “Didn’t you love me, faster than the devil? Didn’t you run me, straight into the ground?”
4. Get Away
This jam is fucking dope.
3. Black Rock
In Black Rock, a song/tribute to the band’s hometown, they state “I wish the world was run by love, absolutely nothing more.”
Try to disagree with that sentiment. You can’t.
Their best version of this song is on 34th and 8th, which is unfortunately not on YouTube. I’m sorry for that.
2. Delicate Few
This song means so much to me because I listened to it almost every morning before my summer internship junior year of college. I was kind of in the dumps, but this hit me right in the heart, in a good way. I hope it hits you in the heart, too.
1. That Was a Crazy Game of Poker
I thought about overthinking this list, and putting something else here at one, like “An Hour Ago” or “About Mr. Brown” or even “Road Outside Columbus,” but it’s true. The best O.A.R. song is the best O.A.R. song.
Thanks for reading.