Since the release of the band's hit-single "Best Day of My Life," the American Authors have experienced a whirlwind of talk shows and guest performances, along with a feature on VH1's "You Oughta Know" and the No. 13 slot on iTunes Top Songs.
This all before the group dropped its debut album with Island Records, "Oh, What A Life," on March 3.
The Brooklyn based indie-rock band is made up of vocalist Zac Barnett, James Adam Shelley on guitar and banjo, Dave Rublin on the bass and Matt Sanchez on the drums. Together, the group created the 12-song album, which was already at No. 7 on the iTunes Top Albums list the night of its release.
"Believer" is the opening song of this collection. It showcases the confusion and contradiction of life through the lyrics, which speak of "looking for something, but I hate changing." However, the music is upbeat and optimistic, emphasizing the belief that everything will get better.
It's the kind of song that makes you want to move in your seat with the alternating claps and drum beats and echoing voices of the rest of the band members' behind Barnett's. The feel is close to that of "Best Day of My Life," if slightly heavier in the drums and bass.
The next song, titled "Think About It," continues the album with more of an edge than "Believer." However, the "oh we oh we oh, oh," with the clever "oh we oh we don't know" thrown in, come off as an abrupt style change. Besides that, this song is great to highlight Barnett's rocker voice.
"Luck" is a highlight of the album. The melody is heavy on drums, with the twinge of a banjo, but it still incorporates the many instruments the band regularly uses. The lyrics themselves depict the fight to apologize for a wrong to a mother, father and brother. The words alternate between questioning if the problem is fixable and begging for those wronged to listen to and forgive the wrongdoer.
The final song on the album, "Oh What A Life," starts out slow and soft, with a kind of folk feel, but soon reverts back to the previous style in the chorus. The lyrics are a reflection of the artist's view on life, from its somewhat idyllic beginning (the slower section with violin) to its hardships, with lines like "but I tried so hard, but I'm lost and scared" scattered throughout.
Overall, the album is solid for a debut. The foot-tapping music sometimes highlights and serves as contrast to Barnett's voice and the band's lyrics.
This won't be the last we hear of the American Authors. The band's talent is evident in its work, and with a guest spot on the OneRepublic and The Script tour in addition to its own, the group is certainly going places.