O.A.R.

XX

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A celebration of the veteran alt-rockers' 20th anniversary as a band, the aptly named XX offers up a career-spanning collection of their biggest hits and most vital live performances. For two decades, Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On, Benj Gershma, and Jerry DePizzo have been occupying the sweet spot between grassroots campus rock heroes and jam band festival favorites, and XX delivers the homespun goods via a two-disc set that pairs studio favorites with spirited live cuts. It includes some new material as well, with the singles "Follow Me, Follow You” and “I Go Through" being documented in the new Qello Concerts series Evolution of a Song -- an original weekly series based on the process of songwriting. Disc one is relegated to studio material and boasts fan faves like "Heaven,” "Peace,” "Shattered," and "Two Hands Up," along with the aforementioned new tracks. It also features re-recorded versions of “Love and Memories,” “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),” and “This Town,” dutifully reflecting how those songs have evolved over the years on-stage. Hardcore fans will likely have already heard the concert versions that populate disc two, as the band's live performances are released in a fairly steady stream year to year, but listeners looking to get in on all of the good times without trudging through the muddy festival grounds of the past will find XX to be the best O.A.R. entry point to date.

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