Review of OneRepublic's 'Native'

By Rachel Karach,
Author Rating: 
3.5 Stars

With OneRepublic’s lengthy 2014 tour coming to a close, I figured a review of their most recent album Native was in order.

OneRepublic entered the music scene with front man Ryan Tedder in 2007 after gaining a considerable fan base through MySpace. Their first album, Dream Out Loud features hit singles like “Apologize” and “Stop and Stare.” Their second album, Waking Up was released in 2009 with smash hits such as “Secrets” and “All the Right Moves.” A handful of singles on both albums made it into the Billboard Hot 100. Tedder has written and produced songs for other major forces in the music industry, such as Adele and Maroon 5.

Tedder has focused his songwriting talent on his own band yet again with the group’s third studio album, Native. While the album was released in March of 2013, it didn’t start making waves on the radio until mid-2014, when the group extended their Native tour through late August. With 17 tracks on the original version of Native, including several acoustic pieces, it seems the band’s three-year hiatus has ended with a bang.

OneRepublic has reinvented their style with their powerful return onto the music scene. While the band once focused entirely on jazz-inspired emotional ballads, Tedder and Co. have output a series of lighter, more upbeat pop songs that still manage to display their pension for meaningful lyrics. In short, the album is a collection of jams perfect for summertime with hints of indie rock and synthetic pop. OneRepublic’s evolution is reminiscent of Coldplay’s 2011 change in sound, as both bands traded soulful piano pieces for more buoyant dance compositions.

Native has all of the lyrical inspiration of OneRepublic’s previous albums with a more accessible sound. Most of the songs on the 17-track collection feature catchy melodies, rhythms and beats that make for an exciting listening experience. Native is a perfect album if you’re looking for something bright, pop-y and inspirational with just the right amount of deep emotion. I recommend turning this album up if you’re having a rough day; the sound will bring a smile to your face and the lyrics are profound enough to provide you with perspective on different aspects of life.

Standout tracks include “I Lived,” “Something I Need” and “Life in Color.”

Native is a wonderful little collection of music that will undoubtedly brighten your day. Side Note: Definitely check out OneRepublic in concert if you have the opportunity—even if you don’t know their music well, they put on a fantastic show!

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