Album Review of King by O.A.R..

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King by O.A.R.

Release Date: Aug 2, 2011
Record label: Wind-Up
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

61 Music Critic Score
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King - Fairly Good, Based on 4 Critics

Entertainment Weekly - 72
Based on rating B

O.A.R.’s seventh album is a perfectly crafted Hacky Sack soundtrack, deeply rooted in the sunburned dub stew of reggae, surf, and jazz-rock rhythms favored by purveyors of hemp head-wraps. What separates the band from the rest of the easy-rocking rabble is frontman Marc Roberge, whose lyrics are as heartfelt as a drama student’s poetry journal, albeit one who has found peace in the world (a sample gush: ”Life is amazing!”). That, along with some easy, ambling melodies, helps King transcend its asleep-on-the-quad origins.

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PopMatters - 60
Based on rating 6/10

Hand up if you’re a fan of O.A.R.—the veterans of freewheeling, reggae-tinged jams and inspirational lyrics. Now put your hand down if you loved “Shattered” and don’t give a lick about 18-minute live versions of “That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker”. I probably just lost half the crowd, and this is the kind of divisive career path that O.A.R.

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No Ripcord - 60
Based on rating 6/10

O.A.R.’s fifth album, 2005’s Stories of a Stranger, was aptly named for all the wrong reasons. The band of buddies from Rockville, Maryland had fostered a fan base rooted in jam sessions, reggae-fusion, and a resonant reputation for live gigs. Stories of a Stranger, however, marked a departure that left O.A.R. unrecognizable by its early devotees.

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AllMusic - 50
Based on rating 5/10

O.A.R. streamlined their sound on 2008’s All Sides, downplaying the frat boy anthems and reggae rhythms that launched their career in favor of a slick, contemporary pop/rock approach. Released three years later, King finds the group reconvening the production team that turned All Sides into a Top 40 hit. The songs are more laid-back this time around, more reminiscent of Dave Matthews than the Snow Patrol retreads that filled All Sides.

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