It is no secret that one of the favorite musical groups of Stars and Slights has long since been Of A Revolution, aka O.A.R.
As they have grown as musicians we too, as a blog, have continued to grow as... bloggers? Just go with it.
In fact, it was a behind the scenes look at the makings of "In Between Now and Then" that heavily influenced Cutting Room Floor's album and song lineup for quite possibly our most successful album ever, In Our Luck.
From that fateful encounter we learned the keys to achieving balance on a full length album - necessary for our first concerted attempt at writing one. According to frontman Mark Roberge maintaining balance between 'light' and 'dark' songs is paramount to keeping listeners engaged throughout an album.
With this as the framework, immerse yourself with the latest 'light' from O.A.R. Heaven is the first single off of their upcoming August 2 album release, King. It seems like a stylistic cross between the prevailing themes of their most recent albums, 'All Sides' and 'Stories of a Stranger.'
A new drum kit or recording style is prominently displayed on Heaven, giving the tune an almost techno layer smoothed out with R&B notes.
Heaven was actually the final track written and recorded for the album. You see, midway through the recording sessions Roberge's wife was diagnosed with cancer. Mindfully, the group decided it was prudent to put their latest production on hold while they allowed Mark to focus on his family.
In a letter to fans posted on the band's website Roberge reveals insight on the journey to finish King and the role Heaven played in its completion.
I finally understood what this life and this album was really about. At some point we have to realize all we have is right here and we can either own it or let it own us.
As 2011 moved along things got better every day. And as the world started to make sense again, we decided as a band that it was time to brush ourselves off and finish the album. We revisited some of the very first songs written for the project. “Back To One,” “Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes,” and “Taking on the World Today.” They all made a lot more sense now.
But it wasn’t until we wrote the very last song that the entire picture snapped into place. It’s always funny how that happens. We knew we had one more spot to fill and it needed to be the one that summed up everything we’d been through. I remember the first time I heard the beat for “Heaven.” It immediately spoke to me and the song came together quickly. It reminded me of all that confidence and hope we had in the very beginning of making this record, positive energy jumped off the track. We finished “Heaven” and the album was done.
Maybe, as one of the lyrics goes, 'we all should take some time and build our lives on our own design.' Needless to say, O.A.R. seems to have a really strong grip on the balance between 'light' and 'dark' in their own lives.
Heaven by Ofarevolution