It’s crazy to think that One Republic’s ‘Apologize’ came out almost 10 years ago back in 2007 and now they’re back with frontman Ryan Tedder promising that this time, they’re going to push musical boundaries with their most adventurous album to date. It’s a mix between powerful, heartfelt ballads and upbeat tracks you can lose yourself too.
With a number of collaborations such as Santigold, Peter Gabriel and Cassius, this is their most anticipated album as of yet!
The first track on the album is what Tedder describes as his most favourite song to have written. ‘Let’s Hurt Tonight’, immediately throws us back to the One Republic we already know and love, this familiar feeling is one we’ll never forget; with its rousing chorus and roaring vocals, it’s one we’ll be singing for a long time.
‘Future Looks Good’ is the second track which has one of the best build ups a song could have, leading up to an electric instrumental that no doubt would sound absolutely mental live. A bit different to their usual stuff, but it’s a clever way to introduce a new sound.
‘Oh My My ft. Cassius’, is the first collaboration on the album, who is renowned for their French house music all over the world. This song doesn’t hold back with its electric guitar solo with some sick sounding synths thrown into the mix. Although the chorus might be a little Euro trash pop for some peoples tastes, it definitely works. ‘Kids’ is the fourth song on the album which also delves deep with its electro pop synth sound featuring Tedder’s amazing falsetto during the chorus, this is another one not to be skipped.
The fifth song ‘Dream’ is one of the most upbeat and catchy songs on the album. You could also argue that it’s one of the more personal tracks which gives the album a hidden depth to it.
‘Choke’ is the first ballad after 5 thumping tracks. It’s strong and powerful and with the choir adding more volume to the song, it’s one that definitely tugs the heartstrings. It’s a standout track that is sure to give us goose bumps.
‘A.I. ft. Peter Gabriel’ is the second collaboration and probably the most bizarre track on the album. It’s almost hypnotic in that way switches from up upbeat to instrumental to haunting, revolving mainly around Gabriel’s vocals. This is a turning point within the album as the band is definitely showing us how many different styles they can achieve.
The eighth track ‘Better’ features that famous choir once more, bringing back the synths and even throwing a bit of scat into the mix as well. ‘Born’ is more of a slow beat that has a rather uplifting chorus, it’s shorter than the rest but it works as a great lead up to the next track, ‘Fingertips’ which is another ballad. It’s a lot subtler than the other songs and he’s not laying his heat completely bare but the lyrics and the music are something definitely worth listening too as they don’t lose that nostalgic feeling.
‘Human’ to me sounds a little bit darker than the previous tracks, the melody itself carries the song but quickly distracts the listener from that eeriness with a quick tempo beat pumping over the top. It’s a bit more old school and shows us a side to the band we haven’t seen before.
‘Lift Me Up’ has that well known sound of One Republic we’ve heard before, as if to say although the band is experimenting with different sounds, they will always go back to their roots. The last collaboration on the album, the band teamed up with Santigold to create ‘NbHD’ and although it’s a bit boring during the verse, the chorus quickly picks it back up again.
‘Wherever I Go’ is a lot grittier than the other tracks which Tedder stated he was a bit nervous about releasing at first. It’s a song that definitely shows an alternative side to the band which I think works well when experimenting with new sounds. Calming things down a bit, ‘All These Things’ is more laid back and mellow, it’s a great way to start winding down the album and introducing the last track, ‘Heaven’ – it’s feel good, optimistic and full of warmth.
The band have done such a good job and rounding off this artistic, albeit in some areas, bizarre sounding album!