AJR’s newest release: More than ‘okay’


Jonathan Hatchett, Staff Writer

Indie pop group AJR’s fourth studio album “OK ORCHESTRA” was released on Friday, March 26th, 2021. Its 13 songs culminate into 45 minutes and 49 seconds of distinctly cacophonous music. The album primarily focuses on the state of just being okay amidst life’s uncertainties.

The first song on the album is “OK Overture”. It is a pleasant mix of a handful of songs that appear on the album, wherein, for its music video, each song that is included is named as the tunes appear. The Met brothers have done this for a few of their previous albums and give credit to their living in New York City as the reason. Theater is a staple in the city and the shows often have overtures to boast of the many different sounds, feelings and experiences the plays showcase.

“Bummerland” is about how the pandemic affected the summer of 2020. It outlines how, after hitting rock bottom, the only way left to go is up.

“3 O’Clock Things” is a song about the thoughts that could go through one’s head at 3 a.m. It covers societal and political ideas and contemplates them as one would happen to do on a random morning. It manages to do so alongside a jazzy accompaniment. 

The fourth song, “My Play”, tackles divorce. In it, the brothers are children just wanting to put on a play for their parents who are revealed to be separated. They have no intention of putting on the show twice, because it just simply would not be the same. 

Their song “Joe” is about comparison. Joe was some figure in the brother’s lives that they looked up to. They compare their success to Joe’s posturings and hope that what they have accomplished would impress him. 

“Adventure Is Out There” is about the enticement of adventure and the potential for it on any given lazy day. Its up-tempo, folkish sound makes it a real foot-stomper. 

“Bang!” is arguably their most popular song off of this album and is about how their success is reliant on only how well their next album is. They would very much like to continue in the industry, but if not they would like to go out with a bang. 

In “The Trick”, the trick is lying. It is about living one’s life as a lie. This is one of the more avante garde-sounding songs on the album, but is worth a listen. 

“Ordinaryish People” (feat. Blue Man Group)’s sounds like a football halftime show, but contemplates existence. It is the brother’s goodbye to seemingly ordinary life.

“Humpty Dumpty” is another classic showing of the Met’s electronically-driven beats that they continue to serve. Humpty in this tale is hiding his pain instead of getting help from all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

“World’s Smallest Violin” is another song about comparison and, in this case, the brother’s relatives. Like “Joe” and “Humpty Dumpty”, they feel inadequate and are driven to bottle up how this affects them. 

“Way Less Sad” is self-explanatory, but cathartic.The brothers hope to become way less sad as they grow as people and have done so as of late. 

“Christman in June” covers scheduling with a loved one. As the brothers get busier, it gets harder for them to plan quality time with ones that they love and decide to do Christmas in June. 

Overall, the band’s energetic delivery of honest storytelling is rivaled by few. Thri instrumentals are as unique as the place that they hold in the pop scene. AJR’s “OK Orchestra” is definitely more than “OK”.