Label: Interscope Records
OneRepublic’s upcoming album Native is not your typical mainstream Rock band release; it’s something so much more—filled with musical exploration, dense lyrical themes, emotional depth, and diverse instrumental execution. A serene, sometimes haunting, sense of ambiance exudes from the album on tracks like “What You Wanted” and “Feel Again.” Even with this album’s ambient side, the band still manages in transitioning to more fan-familiar piano driven tales of lost love— “Can’t Stop” is a prime example of this with its key driven melody, complimented by heavy percussion and lyrical regrets like: I don’t wanna live without you. Though still piano driven, “Au Revoir” softens the tone with a delicate use of keys that shines more so in it’s emotional conveyance than sonic performance.
Enticing electronic elements often surface in some of the previously discussed tracks but hit an apex in the dark single “If I lose Myself” nearly a techno/dance song in its own right—a flood of EDM DJ remixes imminent. OneRepublic shows they’re not afraid to mix it up with songs like the soulful “Something I need” a more indie, retro sounding number, and “Light It Up” with its funky/experimental rhythm and distorted vocals. Singer Ryan Tedder shows he can still hit the high notes, flexing his range; at best in the tracks “Preacher” and “Burning Bridges.” I will admit my hipster guilt: I went into this review expecting a “Stop And Stare” marathon but came out emotionally moved, artistically blown away, and with a new-found respect for this band’s musical talent. You can Pre-order your copy of Native on iTunes today.
Review by Matt Crane – HHM