Follow Us on Twitter

OneRepublic - Dreaming Out Loud

OneRepublic, Dreaming Out Loud

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ONE Republic have enjoyed some of the biggest airplay hits across the radio stations in recent months, following the massive success of breakthrough hit Apologize, produced by Timbaland, and their current single, Stop And Stare.

The LA-based outfit is also the first rock band to be signed to Timbaland’s record label, while their debut album Dreaming Out Loud has been produced by lead singer Ryan Tedder with the help of Greg Wells (of Mika and Rufus Wainwright fame).

With such heavyweight backing, it’s little wonder that the album is a slick, incredibly polished affair that contains both the epic sweep of bands like Coldplay with the instant pop appeal of Mika. Yet while massive success is virtually guaranteed at this stage (especially since OneRepublic have enjoyed over 20 million plays and counting on their MySpace page), critical acclaim may be slightly harder to find from the more discerning listener.

Dreaming Out Loud is an OK listen and there are some moments when it genuinely comes alive. But it struggles to maintain a consistency and can be bland and formulaic in places.

Stay (All I Need) is a fairly routine entry point, for instance – polished, carefully constructed and capable of easy appeal to the Apologize fan brigade. But it’s also pretty similar in terms of construct and doesn’t really announce their arrival with the expected bang. Coldplay fans will probably take note of the structural similarities ( epic guitars, synths replacing organs and soaring, falsetto backed vocals).

Mercy is a little more rousing and more in keeping with their rock band status, while Stop And Stare is actually quite a decent combo of anthemic guitars and insistent vocals that tackles a decent subject: arriving at that place in your life where you might wonder how you got there and allowed it to pass you by.

Apologize needs no introduction and is probably the big drawing point for album buyers – Timbaland’s remix also appears at the end as a bonus track.

But Goodbye, Apathy is a firm highlight: a piano led effort that, vocally, contains the emotive sweep of Aqualung’s Matt Hales. Likewise, the acoustic guitar intro (Coldplay’s Yellow anyone?) and fiddle that pre-empt the start of All Fall Down actually helps to give rise to another gutsy effort that could well be destined for another big singles push.

Tyrant, too, makes good use of some brooding piano chords, a thumping back beat and some epic guitar riffs that could also have come from the Coldplay/U2 school of songwriting. Tedder’s vocals, too, show why there’s such a rapid buzz surrounding him as a vocalist.

Thereafter, the album is more hit and miss. Tracks like Prodigal and Come Home are average ballads that will tick all the right boxes for fans of Apologize, Won’t Stop is a blatant Coldplay rip-off that somehow remains endearing, and there’s a rousing, anthemic quality about a slow-builder like All We Are.

Title track Dreaming Out Loud, which incredibly appears as a bonus track, is also a decent slow-burner that once again bears decent comparison to Matt Hales vocally. But there’s a nagging sense that the album doesn’t take enough risks to establish OneRepublic as anything other than a commercial safe bet. They’re almost doomed to become Virgin Radio stalwarts – the type of act that appear too much for their own good and end up sounding repetitive.

Dreaming Out Loud is an above average album – but only just. It offers easy accessibility and mostly easy appeal. But next time out, we’ll be expecting a lot more.

Download picks: Stop And Stare, Apologize, Goodbye, Apathy, All Fall Down, Tyrant, Dreaming Out Loud

Track listing:

  1. Say (All I Need)
  2. Mercy
  3. Stop And Stare
  4. Apologize
  5. Goodbye Apathy
  6. All Fall Down
  7. Tyrant
  8. Prodigal
  9. Won’t Stop
  10. All We Are
  11. Someone To Save You
  12. Come Home
  13. Dreaming Out Loud
  14. Something’s Not Right Here
  15. Apologize

  1. great cd like apologize much better with timberland on it like every song on the album

    Jenny    Mar 21    #