Saturday, September 04, 2010

cd saturday: o.a.r.'s risen

the above photo brings back a wave of memories.  the haphazard ugly furniture, boxes of pizza all over the room, friendly faces, and all eyes turned toward the tv.  it could only be one thing - my first college dorm.  my friend dave took this picture during one of our massive late night pizza eating frenzies.  you might be asking what this photo has to do with cd saturday...

let me try and explain.

someone decided to install a small stereo in one of the bathrooms on our hall.  for some reason, o.a.r. (of a revolution)'s risen album ended up being played over and over again.  someone would get up in the morning to take a shower and press play.  the sound would echo off of the bathroom walls and spill out into the hallways.

it became polarizing for those of us who lived on oakwood third - some loved it, and kept insisting that it be played at full volume, others thought it was absolutely the worst, most overplayed album they had ever heard.  i fell in to the first group.  i loved it, and i bought a copy for myself and took it with me to the following year to the next dorm i lived in, and have continued to listen to this album to this day.

Risensomething about this album just clicks with me.  i'm sure no small part of that is due to my amazing college experience.  it is something of a soundtrack to my formative years.  songs like the incredibly catchy "delicate few" (the song which was played more than any other on our hall) speak to o.a.r.'s pop song writing ability, while the more melancholy "someone in the road" and "here's to you" were like candy for my young twenty-something ears.

since this album o.a.r. has become bigger and more successful.  some of their songs have been featured in national tv advertising and television shows.  but i don't think they've ever been able to re-capture the raw energy and emotion of risen.  then again, i'm probably a little biased.  i'm sure this feeling is probably due to the context where i first fell in love with this music.  college was an amazing point in my life.  i'm sure we all have music that we can connect with these formative years.  music that touches us on a level that we cannot quite explain.

oh yeah, one more thing, can you find me in the above picture?

1. u2 - the joshua tree
2. dave matthews band - crash
3. cake - comfort eagle
4. blue rodeo - five days in july
5. the beach boys - pet sounds
6. coldplay - viva la vida
7. weezer - pinkerton
8. mates of state - re-arrange us
9. radiohead - ok computer 
10. nickel creek - this side
11. u2 - how to dismantle an atomic bomb 
12. the beatles - the white album 
13. sloan - one chord to another


locho said...

red shirt?

ben wideman said...