AJR’s “Ok Orchestra” will make you “Way Less Sad”

Ok Orchestra Album Art

albumoftheyear.org

Ok Orchestra Album Art

AJR, the indie-pop band composed of the three brothers Jack, Ryan, and Adam Met, released their fourth studio album titled “Ok Orchestra”, or OKO for short, on March 26. Following tradition with their previous projects, AJR made an album that is whacky, loud, emotional, and fulfilling all at the same time.

The three brothers began their release of OKO with “Bang!” on February 12, 2020. The song was originally intended to be part of a deluxe version of the band’s previous album “Neotheater”, but eventually they decided to turn it into one of the tracks for their new album. According to billboard.com, “Bang” achieved a lot of success, reaching the #8 spot Billboard’s Hot 100 in January of this year.

In August, AJR released their second track for the album, titled “Bummerland”. They followed that up with the emotional song “My Play” in December of 2020, and just this past February, they released “Way Less Sad.”

The Mets are well known for their instrumentals in their songs. The use of electronic, dubstep, doo-wop, and other forms of musical styles have made them unique in the indie-pop genre, and they’ve created quite the following recently.

They also explore various points of conversation in their songs. “Ok Orchestra” is no different. From politics to anxiety, to divorce, the album covers topics from all corners of life, and it never underdoes it.

Parker Schmidt, a senior here at Hillcrest, has been a huge AJR fan for a few years. When asked about his favorite album, he responded with “definitely ‘3 O’Clock Things.’” “3 O’Clock Things” explored the hardships in identifying standing within politics, and opening up about one’s true self to others.

Schmidt also talked about his favorite thing about the album along with his least favorite. “I like that they tried different things that no one has done before but sometimes they went too far and the songs sounded weird.”

Zach Schneider, a senior at Brighton, preferred the song “Humpty Dumpty” as his favorite, and he said, “I really liked how they branched out with their sounds and just took some risks and tried some new things.”

Schneider took the opposite approach from Schmidt, believing that the band’s creative and unique choices were the best part of the album.

Overall, “Ok Orchestra” is another fantastic album by AJR. They used it to talk about issues plaguing the world, while also creating music that fans will listen to for years. It hopefully won’t be too long until AJR released more amazing tracks for their fans to listen to non-stop.

5/5 paws.