OneRepublic debuts new identity, modernizes sound

Image used under fair use doctrine

Image used under fair use doctrine

Brittany Cornelison

Image used under fair use doctrine
Image used under fair use doctrine

I’m a huge sucker for songs that have catchy tunes, one that I replay over and over again in my head for days. So it seemed natural that I was drawn to the single, “Feel Again”, released this past August by the well-known band OneRepublic. The upbeat sound and simple lyrics had me hooked and had me anticipating the release of their complete album in the upcoming year.

When the album finally came out on March 26, I was pleasantly surprised. OneRepublic is known for their stylistic blend of modern rock and R&B influences; however, Native showcased a new side of this band. There is a very strong electronic vibe that comes off with this album, and you can hear it instantly. Though I tend to favor music with a more simple, acoustic feel, this album definitely caught my attention. It’s something about lead singer Ryan Tedder’s smooth voice that gets me hooked.

Despite slight changes in their sound, OneRepublic still stands on the same core lyrical foundation as their past two albums. The band sings mainly about the journey of love, whether lost or gained. The song that drew my attention the quickest was “Counting Stars”, with its catchy sound and relatable lyrics. The song talks about how sometimes what we desire is not always what’s best for us. I mean, come on, we’ve all been there.

Another theme I picked up on in this album is about living life to the fullest. One song that stands out to me is the well-crafted and uplifting “I Lived”. Tedder encourages people to live life in a way that won’t leave regrets. He sings, “I owned every second that this world could give/ I saw so many places, the things that I did/ Yeah with every broken bone/ I swear I lived.”

As well as his lyrical genius, Tedder is known for his spot-on falsetto, which is brilliantly portrayed through the song “Can’t Stop”. This song once again talks about love and not being able to get your mind off that one special person. Adding this song to the album definitely gave the band some edge; it’s catchy and unique.

OneRepublic has been around since 2002 and since then has built off their many musical influences, which include U2 and Coldplay. Their first hit was a song titled, “Apologize”, that reached No. 1 on music charts in sixteen countries. Eventually, this song was reintroduced as a remix on Timbaland’s 2007 album, “Shock Value”. This song alone peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop 100 for eight consecutive weeks. Several other memorable songs from this band include, “Stop and Stare”, “Secrets” and “All the Right Moves”.

I’ve been a secret fan of this band for years now. Though I’m not a die-hard follower, some of their hit songs have made it to my “favorites” playlist. I was really pleased with this album; it definitely brought about a new, edgier sound that keeps up with the modern music trends of our day.

By Brittany Cornelison