Review Summary: A great pop rock album in it's own rite. Look forward to watching these guys in the future
Thought I'd try to tackle this one, so here we go.
Well over a year ago, I didn't know about Sputnik, or any other underground music sites
for that matter. My main source for finding music was either by watching music videos on Yahoo, or browsing through myspace's large assortment of artists. My tastes were very mainstream at the time, enjoying only things that would plant themselves in my mind and bounce around for about a week or so, then becoming very old shortly later. This is one reason I love Sputnik for opening up my mind a little.
Anyway, upon searching myspace, I would always see Onerepublic at the top of the Alternative genre. The song "Apologize" was already very well known on the site and had attracted much attention. I liked it, and I searched for their album on Google. To my amazement, they didn't really have one, except for a cd released in 2005 that didn't gather much attention at all. I thought it was a big pity, as the band would no doubt be a hit with its cross between Coldplay and Goo Goo Dolls type songs.
Well apparently this Timbaland fellow had the same feelings I did about the band and collaborated with them to realize a remixed version of "Apologize". The song has been a HUGE hit, and has even set some airplay records. In my oppinion, the original version is far better than the remix, but what do I know" Well following the publicity, Onerepublic was in need of an album to go with their new-found mainstream attention. So that is how "Dreaming Out Loud" came to be. I didn't follow the band since the previous year, but I found the album at my local Walmart. If it was like anything I remembered, then I knew it couldn't be too bad.
Onerepublic is an alternative pop rock band formed in Los Angeles in 2003. In 2005 they went into the studio with Producer Greg Wells to make their first cd mentioned above. The band is currently composed of five members. Ryan Tedder sings and plays guitar and piano. Zach Filkins is on rythm guitar, as well as vocals. Eddie Fisher is in charge of percussion. Brent Kutzle is the replacemnet for Tim Myers and plays bass, cello, keyboards, and sings as well. Drew Brown is another guitar player. Following their hit, they recorded "Dreaming Out Loud".
Now onto the music. When I first listened to this album, I got three strong reactions. The first was it was inevitably pop. These songs were meant to be heard by the masses. Ryan Tedder really has a great voice and a good range as well, evidenced in the opening track. While mainstream has it's share of downfalls, I found this to be very different than much of the stuff I hear already on the radio. Very refreshing.
The second reaction I got was a very solid selection of songs. "Apologize" had worn it's welcome out, but there are still some very good tracks here. Being a pop record, the first four songs are the best, but "All Fall Down", "Tyrant", "All We Are", and "Come Home" are all honorably mentions as well. It's good to see this record has some life, even when you reach the end of it.
The final reaction was just a since of peacefulness. I felt very calm after listening, and that's an aspect I find somewhat rare and very good to have with music. This is an album I could listen to alone while staring out a window while snowing or raining or something like that. Only a few other artists I know can do that for me, like Nike Drake or Sufjan Stevens.
While probably one of my favorite pop records of 2007, it's not perfect. Some songs lack depth, and definitely won't last forever. This might also be to sugery for some. Ryan Tedder's voice is very sweet and affectionate, in turn, putting some off. Another down side is lyric content. While the masses won't care as much, the songs mostly deal with the cliche of love, redemption and emotional loss. I expected this, but it would be nice to hear some more untouched topics. That beings said, I look forward to watching these guys in the future.
"Say (All I Need)"- Begins with some kind of cool vocal effect, and leads to a overlooking verse on a girl's soul by Ryan Tedder. The chorus is unique, as he sings very high, and shows his vocal range well. An excellent track and a favorite.
"Mercy"- Another popular track credited with getting them noticed on myspace. Starts out with some clean pickings but picks up to an upbeat chorus.
"All Fall Down"- Begins with an acoustic riff followed by strings that follow this riff. Creates a very catchy arrangement and The verses follows the instruments as well.
"Tyrant"- Begins with a fast piano playing. Ryan Tedder enters slowly at first, but picks up speed with a drum beat that enters too. A very unique sounding track.
"All We Are"- This song also begins with piano, though much slower. The song has a certain atmosphere that seems to carry importance. The song gets much louder with the chorus. Another Favorite.