Peace by O.A.R.

The Rockville LPTrack: Peace
Album: The Rockville LP
Artist: O.A.R.
Genre: acoustic, pop, rock
Music Rating: 9/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Overall:
9/10
Sounds Like: Dave Matthews Band, Howie Day, Matt Nathanson
Interesting Fact: Of a Revolution formed in Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, traveled the world, and has come back full circle as The Rockville LP pays tribute to the band’s origins. It’s not about going backwards, but about being inspired by the same roots you grew from and the concept of home. Interestingly, this album is perhaps the most musically deviant from their original sound (although the new sound was a welcome transition for me), Marc having teamed up with acclaimed producer Nathan Chapman to write several of the songs.
The Rockville LP backgroundBest thing About this Track: The guitar. It is perfectly simple yet inexplicably and confoundingly complex. It takes the beautiful frustration of a very different mind to come up with this, and the world was missing it.
One thing I wish was different: While I understand the sentiment, I have never been a fan of the implementation of children’s choral music as backup vocals in songs intended for audiences over the age of 10.
Website: Of A Revolution

This song instantly gripped my mind and wrapped itself around my heart and soul from the moment it entered my ears. It was one of those instant-obsession songs for me. I heard it about five seconds after it came out (that may be a slight exaggeration), and there were no videos of the band performing it anywhere yet. I was not well-versed in my Of a Revolution knowledge at the time, and this will show my musical blindspots, but I went down the guitar-rabbit-hole for this song. Hard.

For those of you who don’t know: let me explain the guitar-rabbit-hole to you.

Step 1) You hear a song that captures your heart, and the world stops spinning. The music is a magical mystery that is woven around you, and you must understand it.
Step 2) You acquire the nearest guitar at all costs. This step can get messy.
Step 3) You let your heart speak to your fingers as you discover the song tangibly and ponder the brilliance of shapes, scales, and structure. How was this written? What is the perspective? Why does it work? What makes it special?
Step 4) Research. You have the foundation, but the magic is missing. What is the secret key that will unlock the mystery of perfection? You go on a virtual quest in search of what is lost. It could be an inversion. It could be a subtle chordal modification. It could be a brand new shape that you’ve never even conceptualized. Perhaps a subtle rhythm or a riff that you can’t quite figure out the fingering for. Did the artist use a capo? Alternate tuning? Why? Whatever it is, you are hell-bent on finding it, and the world will not start spinning again until this knowledge is yours.
Step 5) The magic is found, you emerge, sometimes hours later, sometimes days. You remember that you should eat. Or sleep. Or perhaps you’ve missed appointments. Oops. Although you are aware of these needs, they still do not take priority. For you now have the mystical knowledge and power of this song, and it is yours to wield. So, you play that perfect, beautiful, magical creation until everyone around you hates it, and you resign to the fact that you really do have to stop ignoring reality and reenter the world of the living.

This five step process can take place over the course of five minutes or five days. You have no idea where on the spectrum this experience will fall when Step 1 comes out of nowhere, yanks your feet out from under you, and you decide to heed the call. The Musical Wonderland Adventure for this song, in my case, took place over the course of two days. I was much less experienced with Step 3, and Step 4 was executed shamefully on my part. I also got weirdly sidetracked on my quest as I began fully embracing some new slapping and popping techniques (I didn’t play bass guitar at the time but I now love it, and I own a StingRay partially thanks to this song/journey down the rabbit hole). Today it would’ve taken me minutes, but in my defense, there was no information about this song anywhere. I had to research the band’s past work, musical frame of mind, and follow my heart with this one. In any case, when I emerged victorious and empowered, my first course of action back in the real world was to preorder this album on vinyl. It was limited edition and expensive, and I had no idea if I would hate every other song on the album, but this song affected me that much.

Sidenote: I do love a lot of the other songs on this album, but in hindsight I probably wouldn’t go vinyl with this one. Vinyl, while (in my opinion) the best listening experience, does not make it easy to skip tracks. If I had gotten this on digital, I would’ve immediately deleted one of the tracks. Put that in the “for what it’s worth” category.

Music aside, the lyrics are quite delightfully rapturous in their own right, which also played a significant part in my initial obsession of this song.

This song is so hard for me to talk about or verbalize in certain terms because it shorts out my brain function with its beauty and power. It’s like when you were in grade school and had a crush on someone. Whenever they were around, you lost all ability to “word” and your brain just went awkwardly silent and super shouty all at the same time. That is what this song does to me.

It also does not help that I got to know this song in the depths of the rabbit hole. I didn’t ever learn it so much as experience it. I didn’t get it. I felt it. So while I know this song, it’s hard to explain with words something that I lived. And yet, that’s kind of the whole point of the writing thing, isn’t it? So . . . I shall try?

I suppose it’s just that I feel wholly inadequate in its wake to express anything of worth or importance. It’s a tough act to follow! The complex simplicity of this song in every facet has a refined way of conveying such forceful yearning of the heart that I don’t want to taint with less powerful confabulation.

Here’s what I’ll do: This is an invitation. Go down the rabbit hole. It doesn’t have to be the guitar-rabbit-hole. That is merely my frame of reference. You go on your own musical journey. Set a timer to anchor yourself to the real world, and then open your mind, open your heart, and let go. Listen to the song. Live the song. Let it speak to you. If you want to know this song, that is the best I can do for you.

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Lyrics:
I don’t wanna fight no more
Only wanna get to shore
Baby, don’t slam the door tonight
We ran another off the tracks
That’s time we can’t get back
But, we can save tomorrow if we try

Oh oh oh oh, until we make this right
Oh oh oh oh, I won’t say goodnight

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe, we’re only here
Oh, for a little while
I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep
I want love. I want us
I want you. I want me
I want peace

Everybody needs a place
Somewhere that’s warm and safe
A shelter from this crazy world we’re in
But, tonight I let the rain inside
And took away your place to hide
I’m sorry that I made you cry again

Oh oh oh oh, we can make this right
Oh oh oh oh, kiss me goodnight

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe, we’re only here
Oh, for a little while
I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep
I want love. I want us
I want you. I want me
I want peace
Yeah, I want peace

Oh oh oh oh, we don’t have to fight
Oh oh oh oh, just kiss me all night
‘Cause I want peace, yeah yeah

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe, we’re only here
Oh, for a little while
I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep
I want love. I want us
I want you. I want me
I want peace

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
Babe, we’re only here
Oh, for a little while
I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep
I want love. I want us
I want you. I want me
I want peace
Love. I want us
I want you. I want me
I want peace

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One thought on “Peace by O.A.R.

  • April 8, 2017 at 11:31 am
    Permalink

    Rediscovered this on your site today.

    Thanks, Anie! Another great song, some more smiles, some breaking through the mundane, some lifting of eyes to the magic that flows all around us.

    Thanks!

    K2

    Reply

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