Although I was hesitant to listen to Dreaming Out Loud, as I was afraid OneRepublic was destined to be a one-hit wonder, I needn’t have worried.
My first experience with OneRepublic was their hit single “Apologize” (the one remixed with/by Timbaland) and I was immediately mesmerized by the beautiful sound and heart-felt lyrics. I’ve always been a sucker for songs/bands that incorporate strings, and maybe that’s why it appeals to me so much. Or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s so damn good.
Little did I know that the band’s frontman, Ryan Tedder, is not just easy on the eyes, but he can also belt (and write) a great tune. The band, which was formed in Colorado by Tedder and high school classmate Zach Filkins, also includes fellow Coloradan, guitarist/keyboardist Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher, and bass/cellist Brent Kutzle, whose work is amazing.
Tedder is also a Grammy nominated writer and has written and produced tracks with/for various other artists, including Natasha Bedingfield, Jennifer Lopez, Paul Oakenfold and Tupac.
Both the remixed “Apologize” and the version sans Timbaland (which is replete with the cello, providing more “umph” to the haunting melody) are on Dreaming Out Loud, and among the remaining songs are a few hidden gems and a lot of potential radio hits.
The album starts out with “(Say) All I Need” a U2-sounding song that is full of soaring heartfelt vocals. “Mercy” features an upbeat tempo and is full of hope and promise. “All Fall Down” brings even more themes of hope and optimism, plus it uses the cello again, which I love.
“Stop & Stare,” OneRepublic’s next official single that will no doubt be a huge hit, is also my favorite second to “Apologize.” My other (non “Apologize”) favorite track on the album is “All We Are,” which is a ballad backed by keyboards and reminiscent of The Fray in both sound and style—and since I like The Fray, I don’t think this is a bad thing.
Three oddballs on the album are “Goodbye, Apathy,” which features more U2-sounding vocals, but the chorus is a bit repetitive, which can get tiresome; “Tyrant,” which does not sound like the rest of the songs on the CD, as it’s much more up-tempo–it’s edgier, more rock than ballad, and it’s a fun addition to the album, although it’s different than all the other songs contained therein; and “Won’t Stop,” which is almost alt-country in its sound, with a dash of Coldplay, and although that may sound like an odd combination, it works for this song.
Rounding out the album are “Prodigal,” a pure ballad that uses guitar riffs and keyboards to back dreamy vocals; “Someone To Save You,” a big song, with big vocals and big sound, kind of a ballad on steroids; and “Come Home,” which, although it could just be my reading into it, offers a political stance on the war (anti) and an appeal to bring the troops home.
While some may say OneRepublic suffers from not creating its own sound, as it echoes U2 often and The Fray occasionally, I say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I also say Dreaming Out Loud is full of hopeful ballads and a couple of rock songs, and reveals OneRepublic’s vocal and musical talents.Powered by Sidelines