OneRepublic
Oh My My


1.5
very poor

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
October 13th, 2016 | 78 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oh my...

Remember Dreaming Out Loud" Those were very promising times for OneRepublic, because they displayed a ton of potential for being both unapologetically pop yet also possessing actual talent (well - vocally, anyway). They even garnered the ever-so-coveted label of “heirs to Coldplay” (it seems every couple years a new artist relishes this title, which is hilarious because Coldplay sucks now) – and of course they subsequently squandered that by spinning their wheels while the real Coldplay went on to redeem themselves with Viva La Vida. But OneRepublic’s potential no longer matters in light of Oh My My – an album that sees the quintet collectively and abruptly run out of ideas. At least that’s what I choose to believe happened, because the alternative is that these guys actually wanted to make a terrible, hour-long pop album with cover art that features bassist Brent Kutzle trying (and possibly failing) to fist bump himself while the others are decidedly mesmerized or otherwise staring into space.

The biggest problem with Oh My My is that OneRepublic forsakes the few characteristics that once made them relatively unique in favor of bland, done-to-death radio pop. The good songs are stacked up in the beginning, and there are really only two of them – ‘Future Looks Good’ and ‘Kids.’ To be fair, ‘Kids’ is one hell of a tune, and it’s easily on par with some of the best mainstream songs you’ll hear all year. The pre-chorus is catchy as hell and the atmosphere allows it to feel as though it would have blended in seamlessly on the far superior Native. Unfortunately it’s all downhill after that, though. The title track possesses the same beat as a Robin Thicke song and has one of the worst choruses ever – Ryan Tedder simply repeating the words “just what I wanted”; ‘A.I.’ has this funky yet somehow un-danceable beat that makes it seem like Peter Gabriel’s guest feature was some type of hostage incident; and ‘Better’ sees the band go the route of The Script with some awkward half-rap verses and wobbly high-pitched synthesizers that sound comically misplaced. ‘Fingertips’ tries OneRepublic’s hand at going lo-fi, but it just ends up sounding like Tedder wailing atop a classical piano about someone he had sex with last summer; ‘Human’ begins with the line “Yesterday I talked to God we had a conversation” and then proceeds to see Tedder declare “But I just, I just needed some holiness.” This album truly isn’t for the faint of heart, because there are cringe-worthy decisions made at every turn here from the lyrics to the production.

Every track follows the same sort of template as well – faux R&B beat, Tedder mumbling something that is supposed to be deep, pre-chorus, and then falsetto. Critiquing one track on this album is kind of like critiquing them all, which is why it’s such a shame that the majority of this outing strays from the dynamic, upbeat style of ‘Kids.’ An unintended result of these songs’ homogenous formulation – not to mention the absurd sixty minute album length – is that even some of the more tolerable tracks (‘Choke’, ‘NbHD’) end up either blending in to the surrounding forgettable moments, or taking way too long to reach in order to be worth enduring the mess that precedes them. Even for avid OneRepublic fans, it’s difficult to imagine this being the sort of album that you might listen to all the way through. When the worthwhile tracks are this few in number and so easy to pick out from the surrounding bunch, it becomes more about taking what you want and getting the hell out. But I guess that’s what happens when a band is in the midst of an obvious cash-grab; one or two legitimate songs get padded with whatever it takes to make an album and meet a deadline.

Oh My My marks a low point in OneRepublic’s career. It’s actually a little bit surprising, considering that the preceding Native could easily be considered their strongest showing to date. Unfortunately, whatever magic they captured to create that quality blend of atmosphere and pop sensibility is now totally gone. They clearly still have the talent to recover, which is evidenced by small bursts of creativity here and there, but their apparent satisfaction with resorting to a quality single or two in order to define an entire record won’t keep the ship afloat for very long. If you look at Coldplay’s recent struggles with the underwhelming Ghost Stories and A Head Full of Dreams, it almost lends credence to the early comparisons between these bands: both appear to have reached an impasse in terms of creative direction. It just took OneRepublic half the time to come crashing down in that fiery, insipid wreck.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
2
poor


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

They get a half a star for 'Kids'

Digging: John Nolan - Abendigo

danielcardoso
October 13th 2016


11768 Comments


ugh this band lol. quality review as usual man.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I actually sorta like these guys



But this is every bit as bad as that artwork indicates

PumpBoffBag
October 13th 2016


933 Comments


Great review sowing.
this sounds like everything I hate tbh...

FreddieDelaney31
October 13th 2016


4903 Comments


was sorta looking forward to this because I've always enjoyed them and thought Native was great, shame to hear this is so awful : /

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

It really is.



And I like these guys too which makes it suck even more, agreed.

VaxXi
October 13th 2016


4367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is nowhere near as good as Native was, but I think that it does a good job at what its doing.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Glad you found enjoyment in it. I was only able to enjoy the first few tracks, and maybe the choir style of 'Choke.' But at 16 tracks and 60 minutes, most of this is just bland beats and falsetto. No catchiness or atmosphere whatsoever.

VaxXi
October 13th 2016


4367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its hard to explain, but I think this album just works well with the style its presenting, or maybe my relentless bias for falsetto is showing.



This album is still better than Waking Up tho.

TVC15
October 13th 2016


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Agree totally

Digging: Therapy? - Infernal Love

Sinternet
October 13th 2016


17535 Comments


nah Waking Up had some good singles and this band tends to live or die by its singles, what i've heard from this though suggests we need to get out the funeral plans

Digging: Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex To

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

If you're just going by singles though I'd say 'Kids' is up there with their best

TVC15
October 13th 2016


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

These guys had such a potential to create a pop album rivaling Viva La Vida (no these guys never sounded like Coldplay but they showcased how creative they were on Waking Up). This album is really just sad

VaxXi
October 13th 2016


4367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Native is an incredible album, though, easily one of the best pop albums for the decade. This albums an absolute misfire, but I wouldn't be quick to call it a failure.

WatchItExplode
October 13th 2016


6019 Comments


That album cover has got to be no lower than the top five worst of the 21st century. They all look a bit "touched" tbh.

Digging: Four Stroke Baron - Planet Silver Screen

jsaf7
October 13th 2016


381 Comments


Yea, album art is terrible and i've only heard Kids which i really liked to be honest, and A.I. which i actually thought was decent, but i'll still take your word on how mediocre this probably is... I thought Waking Up and Native were good though, haven't heard their debut

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Dreaming Out Loud and Native are both really good

cm7com
October 13th 2016


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just a heads up, that's not Zach fist bumping himself, it's Brent Kutzle lol.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2016


28386 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Ahh, thanks for that. I eyeballed it and got it wrong.



Still a fucking stupid cover.

CaliggyJack
October 13th 2016


2226 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Honestly I love One Republic and this review makes me sad. Mostly cuz Native wasn't too bad.



Excellent review once again Sowing. You're the only person I listen to when it comes to One Republic.



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