OneRepublic’s new album ‘Native’ pleases old and new fans


Alison Clem

Photo from the official OneRepublic website, used with permission under fair use.

Photo from the official OneRepublic website, used with permission under fair use.

OneRepublic’s new album, released March 26,  features 14 unique songs that express their talents in a different style. OneRepublic has created a masterpiece, and it’s called Native.

First off, the album cover is so neat. It definitely stands out on the CD racks with the bright colors and artwork. The abstract painting of the animals provides the perfect preview to the sound of the album. The band manages to preserve their base of an alternative sound while adding some pop and an African-inspired twist.

While searching the songs on YouTube, bands such as Muse, Mumford and Sons, Imagine Dragons and Fall Out Boy repeatedly popped up in the “similar videos” sidebar. I easily drew the connections. Though each song resembles one of these bands, they still create their own style.

The first song on the album is “Counting Stars.” I heard this song on the day the album came out. My eighth grade brother ran into my room and forced me to listen to it. He already knew all the words and soon we were dancing. This is my favorite song on the album. It’s energetic and has fun lyrics to sing along to. It reminds me of Imagine Dragons, so if you are a fan of “It’s Time” or “On Top of the World,” you’ll enjoy this song.

Next up are “If I Lose Myself” and “Feel Again.”  “If I Lose Myself” is too poppy and repetitive. “Feel Again” brought back the alternative style and meaningful lyrics. The next song, “What You Wanted,” is the first song where the African vibe appears. It relates perfectly to the album cover and the title. Although it is kind of flat and lacks variation, it’s very unique.

The “I Lived” intro reminds me of The Lumineers. It’s upbeat indie tone makes it one of those “feel-good” songs. Their use of background singers is awesome; it makes their music motivational and also helps continue the African adapted style flow through the album. A grungier style is introduced with “Light It Up.” Somehow, the African vibe continues into this song and meshes perfectly. Their songs are different, yet still stay unified.

“Can’t Stop” is another heavier song. It’s a bit slower, which allows a break from the upbeat songs previously listed. The singer, Ryan Tedder, has terrific falsetto. The distant, heavy drums make the song slow and smooth. “Au Revoir” features a cello, and it sounds beautiful. Orchestra instruments are soulmates with rock music; a huge thanks to OneRepublic for allowing these two wonders to come together. It’s a reflective slow song perfectly placed in the album.

After taking a breather, the poppy music comes back with “Burning Bridges.”  Pop isn’t my favorite, but I couldn’t help but respect this song. This pop music has true lyrics, unlike that nonsense that somehow makes it’s way to the Grammy’s.

Another Imagine Dragons style song, “Something I Need,” features intense backup vocals. The song begins as your typical alternative rock song, then transforms into that gospel music that makes you just picture a whole bunch of people moving side to side, clapping and singing in perfect unity. “Preacher,” the next song, is just like “Something I Need.” After hearing these two songs and researching, I found out Tedder was Christian and though the band wasn’t considered religious, he likes to write some songs about God. You learn something new every day.

“Don’t Look Down” is a short song and is basically a breather for the listener. It’s beautiful and well planned. “Something’s Gotta Give” is related to “Light It Up” and “Can’t Stop”. They have similar sounds. Despite the annoying tendency for the band to use “something” in their titles, it’s easy to rock out to this song. A creative song name finally appeared with the Coldplay influenced “Life in Color.” With that song, the album came to a wondrous close.

OneRepublic has mastered the style of music that makes you want to get up and start dancing. They create happy, upbeat music that warms your heart. So, if you ever feel down, pick up the iPod and play some OneRepublic.

If you like Muse, Coldplay, or Imagine Dragons, head out to the nearest music store and purchase a copy of Native. You won’t regret it.