OneRepublic
Waking Up


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
November 17th, 2009 | 123 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Further ambition results in marginal progression, but Coldplay need not fear just yet.

Pop-rock is an often derided musical genre due to its safe and inoffensive nature leaving it susceptible to little-talent one-hit wonders looking for their 15 minutes of fame. There is no reason why artists looking to ply their trade within its confines cannot display a little imagination however. More than that, there could well be a market for it. Coloradan quintet OneRepublic hinted at such ambition on their debut LP ‘Dreaming Out Loud’. Two years later they look to build on that promise with follow-up release ‘Waking Up’.

Of course, their debut did have one thing going for it; producer Timbaland remixed their single ‘Apologize’ and turned it into a worldwide smash hit. There is nothing as grand here, although lead single ‘All The Right Moves’ is another catchy & polished piece which does a not too dissimilar job of bridging the gap between pop-rock and contemporary R&B. Once more, there are plenty of choices for subsequent singles: ‘Secrets’ follows the hit-making formula near-perfectly, while ‘Good Life’ has an up-tempo feel-good vibe that is difficult to dislike. The best of the rest though, may be the tongue-in-cheek ‘Everybody Loves Me’, where lead vocalist Ryan Tedder injects some welcome character through lines such as “Don’t need my health, got my name & got my wealth”.

So what of that aforementioned imagination? The intentions of Tedder & Co. on their debut were admirable, if a little misplaced. And the same can be said second time around as well. Positively, such ambition adds some much-needed variety. For the most part, this is not a boring album. However, this ambition is never quite fully capitalized upon, resulting in a lot of hit-and-miss ideas. Look no further than the multi-component ‘Missing Persons 1 & 2’ or strings-heavy’ Fear’ as examples of this.

The latter half of ‘Waking Up’ will indeed be its barometer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hold up to the very end. Heart-on-sleeve ballads such as ‘All This Time’ & ‘Lullaby’ float on by without making an impression, while uplifting motivational piece ‘Marchin On’ will have as many detractors as fans with its military-like approach. There are other issues that work against the band also… The half-decent title track is so derivative that you would swear that U2’s The Edge was playing guitars, while (similarly to their debut) there tends to be an over-reliance on piano & strings which dulls their effect.

OneRepublic are likely be lumped into the same grouping as countrymen The Fray and Maroon 5. A more apt comparison would be English pop-rockers – and arguably genre leaders – Coldplay. As the marginal progression of ‘Waking Up’ attests, OneRepublic gladly mix things up a little. Unfortunately, whether it be through compromise, confusion or otherwise, they are still to find their consistent sweet spot. Chris Martin & Co. need not fear that their crown is in jeopardy just yet, but one would not at all be surprised if OneRepublic’s ‘Viva La Vida’ is just around the corner. ‘Waking Up’ is not quite it though.

Recommended Tracks: All The Right Moves, Secrets & Everybody Loves Me.



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user ratings (140)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Those who hated their debut are NOT going to be won over with this!

cirq
November 18th 2009


9265 Comments


its tooooo late to apologizeeee, tooooo laaaaaaaayyyyteee


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

SORRY!

AtavanHalen
November 18th 2009


17927 Comments


I just stopped and stared at this review

In other news Waking Up more lyk Falling Asleep amirite guyz

Douglas
November 18th 2009


9174 Comments


i c wat u did thar

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


10545 Comments


god david you are just nailing all the zingers tonight/this morning/whatever time it is in kangaroo-land

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

YouAreMySilence
November 18th 2009


3727 Comments


Not a massive fan of the debut but Say was an amazing song.
Anything like that on this?

AtavanHalen
November 18th 2009


17927 Comments


It's party o'clock in kangaroo land

BrandNewBoognish
November 18th 2009


1021 Comments


What's with this guy rating every shitty album ever released a 3 or 3.5

It's like reading allmusic


yeah, you gave a Saliva album 3.5, Pink a 4, the Script a 3.5.... remind me never to click on any of
your reviews ever again

Douglas
November 18th 2009


9174 Comments


Imagine whats goin down on Kangaroo Island.

YouAreMySilence
November 18th 2009


3727 Comments


Or maybe its not shitty and you Boognish are an idiot.

BrandNewBoognish
November 18th 2009


1021 Comments


Surely you have a brand new circle jerk to attend?

YouAreMySilence
November 18th 2009


3727 Comments


Nice come back.

Douglas
November 18th 2009


9174 Comments


Ill give you a come back... All over your mother face!!!

Sorry couldn't resist

Piglet
November 18th 2009


4663 Comments


buckles up for a flame war




Auldy
November 18th 2009


351 Comments


wow, how did I miss this. Tedder should stick to writing for others and stop clogging the airwaves with Fray mk2

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'Say' was a very interesting opener on their debut Brandon. I wasn't the hugest fan of it individually, but it did the job. The opener here is (initially) not all that dissimilar, but it strangely spends about a third of its running time then setting up the next track & lead single. The elements you would have liked about 'Say' are sort of littered throughout this album.

Way to be selective Boognish. I also rated a Saliva album 1.5 & a Pink album 2.5.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I dunno Auldy, I think these guys are better than The Fray... BUT I do admit their album tracks definitely have the same (relatively boring) vibe.

Auldy
November 18th 2009


351 Comments


Yeah, but my point is, this guy wrote 'Bleeding Love', 'Halo' and 'Already Gone' for Leona Lewis, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson respectivly, plus numerous other songs for other artists, I would prefer that he focus more on his writing/production skills so he can be the next Dr. Luke or Max Martin. OneRepublic get mundane too quickly.

PS Im back in australia lol

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Know what you mean. I actually had an extra half paragraph devoted to his other writing/producing credits, but felt it unnecessary to include.

I still get the feeling there are enough hints here & there that these guys could deliver something really strong one day & surprise everybody. So far, you are correct; Tedder's other work has been best. But the potential is there imo.

I never knew (or forgot) you left Oz. That explains your practical disappearance then.



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