The Best Lyrics from AJR's New Album "OK Orchestra"

AJR is well known for their lyricism and ability to communicate messages that somehow feel intimate and universal at the same time. Their fourth studio album, “OK Orchestra,” is no different. I don’t know that I’ve listened to it enough times for it to become my official favorite AJR album, but it’s definitely on its way. Here are my favorite lyrics from each song on the album.

  1. Since this is an overture, it brings together each of the following songs on the album and previews what’s to come. It ends on a line from Way Less Sad.

    “but I’m not dead yet, so I guess I’ll be just fine”

  2. Bummerland is about the COVID-19 shelter in place restrictions and more broadly about hitting a personal low point. It somehow still manages to be optimistic.

    “It's kinda weird / But you're only going up from here”

  3. This song, like the title suggests, is about random thoughts that we all have at 3am when we’re tired but also weirdly so sure of everything. It covers college, politics, and how our parents influence us, but my favorite is a Hamilton reference.

    "If I keep on talking politics, my friends will dip, they're over it / If I keep on talking politics, I'm Hamilton (without the hits)"

  4. 4. My Play

    This song centers around a child being impacted by his parent’s divorce and how his opinions on love and relationships are warped. He wants to put on a play for his parents, but he wants to do it for both of them.

    “I worked really, really, really, really hard / Let me show you my play/ And I don't wanna do it twice / 'Cause it's not the same”

  5. 5. Joe

    Joe is about a childhood idol that you look up to and want to impress, but they never seem to have time for you. No matter how old you get, you still want their approval.

    “It took a little while, but I found love / I thought you'd reply, you just thumbed up”

  6. This song is about the restlessness that comes after being in the same routine for a long time but also manages to ask an important question: after I lose my socks, do they have more fun without me?

    “Adventure is out there / So why am I in hеre today?”

  7. 7. Bang!

    As the first single from this album, Bang! set expectations high for the rest of the album and relies heavily on the theme of growing up. In Bang!, we see how it can be hard to straddle the line of being an adult by definition but not feeling like one in practice.

    “I'm way too young to lie here forever / I'm way too old to try so whatever”

  8. The “trick” referenced in the song is only presenting the best parts of yourself—or even straight-up lying about yourself—to seem more interesting.

    “My dad doesn't lie, so you can't meet my dad / 'Cause you fell in love with the me that went to France”

  9. Ordinaryish People, like Bang! is about feeling like you’re at an in-between stage of life, not being enough of something for some people but being too much of that same thing for others.

    “When you're nobody, then nobody minds”

  10. Humpty Dumpty references the popular children’s tale to tell the story of someone who is going through a hard time but doesn’t want to burden anyone else with their problems.

    “If you get sad, then I'll feel bad / That I told you at all”

  11. This song might just be my favorite—someone’s problems are still problems even if they’re not as grand or heart-wrenching as other people’s problems.

    “I think I bored my therapist / While playing him my violin”

  12. Way Less Sad is about managing expectations. You may not be happy yet, but at least you’re way less sad.

    “I wake up / And I'm not so mad at Twitter now / Living sucks / But it's sucking just a little now”

  13. This song talks about making time for relationships when, in the singer’s case, his job had him across the country for the holidays.

    "You're no longer gonna be the plan I miss / I won't ever let you down / But just in case, can we do Christmas in June?”

Make sure to check out the acousic livestream concert of the album and then add each of these songs to your queue. You'll have Way Less Sad stuck in your head in no time!