Media Review: “Oh What a Life” by American Authors

In a music industry where dark, edgy and obnoxious are the norm, the Brooklyn-based band American Authors has broken the mold when it comes to pop music with the release of their debut album “Oh, What a Life.”

Hot off the success of the hit single “Best Day of My Life,” American Authors have masterfully crafted an album that is full of exciting, fun and memorable songs.

Let’s get this out of the way early, “Oh, What a Life” at its core is a pop album, but that doesn’t do it justice. The words “pop album” often brings thoughts of cookie cutter and hollow. Usually pop albums only have one or two songs at best and the remaining 12 songs are filler. I can assure you that “Oh, What a Life” is anything but cookie cutter and hollow.

The musical talent of American Authors really shines in every way just after one listen. The typical vocals, guitar, bass, drums are the most prominent sounds heard on the album, but subtle hints of mandolin and banjo in a few songs keep things fresh, never gimmicky.

American Authors aren’t reinventing the wheel but they don’t need too. “Oh, What a Life” has a very enjoyable sound, that at its core is what music really should be. It’s fun, exciting and irresistible to not move or sing along to. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t singing along to almost every track of “Oh, What a Life.” Each song has its own unique sound and no two songs ever strike the same feeling twice.

“Believer’s” drum-focused intro keeps you rocking back and forth while “Luck” will have you singing the harmonies at every chorus. “Believer” and “Best Day of My Life” are clear hits, but the album is filled with tons of hidden gems like “Trouble” and “Heart of Stone” that often can get overlooked. This album is much more than its singles. Take the time to sit down and listen to the entire thing and I promise it will not disappoint.

My only complaint with the album is its lack of serious emotional depth. Maybe I am too used to alternative concept albums that take listeners on an emotional roller coaster, but it felt like “Oh, What a Life” doesn’t have a wide range on the emotional spectrum.

It plays it safe for the most part and that’s perfectly fine for a debut album. Songs like “Home” and “Luck” break up the emotions a bit, but I don’t think this album would do well with a depressing or sad emotion. Regardless, its only minor setback in an otherwise amazing album.

Overall this album is one of the year’s best. Lovers of dark, moody and atmospheric may want to skip this one, but that would be a mistake. It may have pop singles, but “Oh, What a Life” has so much more to offer. If you don’t smile at least once while listening to this album you might need to check your pulse.

This is the real deal. Do yourself a favor and go buy this album at your favorite music retailer. I promise you won’t regret it. It may not be perfect, but I can’t imagine music getting much better than this.