It’s been eight years since the guys in American Authors formed, under the name The Blue Pages, at Berklee College of Music; but, it was not until last year that they got their first big break with their single, “Best Day of My Life.” The song was an instant hit and has been picked up by the likes of Lowe’s and Hyundai to be featured in their commercials, and has skyrocketed them into the national spotlight.
The band’s debut album under their new name, Oh, What a Life, is quite impressive, with many tracks that could easily become breakout singles. The album begins with, “Believer,” which was the first single from the record – and quite possibly the strongest song on the album. The infectious chorus mixed with the incredibly uplifting message makes for an instant classic. American Authors keeps it rolling with “Think About It,” which shows off some of Zac Barnett’s wide vocal range. The opening trio of songs is rounded out by their hit single, “Best Day of My Life,” which is the perfect song to sing-along to at the top of your lungs while driving.
Songs like “Trouble” and “Hit It” are a perfect representation of youth and young love that encapsulate the energy and exuberance of being young and naïve. “Home” is the first song that takes a turn for the melancholy, but still gives a positive resolution.
The highlight of Oh, What a Life, besides American Authors’ incredibly infectious sound is the exuberantly positive lyrics present on every song. On “Believer,” Barnett says that he’s a “believer that things will get better.” If you listen to “Best Day of My Life” every morning you will begin thinking every day will be the best day of your life. On “Luck,” he gives power to the listener by saying that we make our own luck and “some birds weren’t mean to be caged.” The entire album is chock-full of uplifting lyrics that make this album a truly enjoyable listening experience.
American Authors is one of the most promising up-and-coming bands right now that has the potential to hit it big. With two very successful singles already under their belt, the young band is poised to make 2014 their year. Each and every song on Oh, What a Life will have you singing along by the end and will leave you feeling better than before you started listening. The record may not be flawless from front to back, especially with a bit too much production on the vocals, but it is a solid debut album that shows tremendous talent from such a young group.
Oh, What A Life is available March 4 via Island Def Jam Records.
Review by Jonathan Kemp