The band OneRepublic have swept to the top of the US pop singles chart with the song "Apologize." It has received a bit of help from the remixing talents and name of Timbaland, but, ultimately, it is the song's unabashedly melodic and melancholy sound that captures listeners. The song is a grand introduction to the band's album Dreaming Out Loud which is filled with earnestly emotional pop-rock.
Melodies Front and Center
In the sometimes beat-happy world of contemporary pop radio, OneRepublic's music is a reminder that a strong melody can capture your attention as well. Aided by production from Greg Wells (Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion) with a flair for the dramatic, the band deliver songs littered with emotional pain and wistful feelings, but they never drown in intensity. Instead, you are likely to find yourself singing along and buoyed up by a mushrooming wall of guitars and drums that isn't far removed from the pop-rock drama that made Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" a worldwide smash.
Lack of Variety Drags Things Down a Bit
With little variation in tempo, Dreaming Out Loud can drag out a bit. The structure of the songs starts to feel a bit too familiar and one sonic crescendo begins to sound like another. Taken in small doses, however, OneRepublic are a welcome addition to today's pop landscape. In a similar fashion to musical brethren The Fray, those dealing with intensely emotional situations in life are likely to find support in these songs. Lead vocalist and songwriter Ryan Tedder feels your pain.
Top Tracks on 'Dreaming Out Loud'
- Say (All I Need)
- Stop and Stare
- Someone to Save You
- Come Home
Mainstream Pop Songs Fans Crave
This is not an album created for music critics. There is not a great amount of originality here, but there is tremendous confidence apparent in the craft of creating pleasing music. This is music created for pop music fans, and that is not a bad thing. Strongly melodic pop music has been in short supply in recent years from mainstream American pop artists. The stunning success of "Apologize" in breaking the all-time record for radio airplay in one week should put the music industry on notice. Pop fans haven't forgotten the joys of a simple, quality pop song...and OneRepublic understand that fact.
Released by Interscope November, 2007.
Reviewed December, 2007.