OneRepublic – Native

OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder has become a big name on the pop music scene over the past couple of years. Not only has he written, sung and produced most of his band OneRepublic’s music, he has also written and produced songs by Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Béyonce, Adam Lambert, B.o.B., Maroon 5, Carrie Underwood, and The Wanted. That is quite a list. What you can glean from his band and that list is that the man can write a killer hook. His songs are usually instantly catchy and are downloaded tons. Though there is no denying that he is a master at constructing a pop song he is also a weakness within OneRepublic. To explain, though he does write great pop songs what he does not do very well is sing. His voice is passable at best and does sometimes drag down songs that would have been much stronger with someone else with a better voice singing them. There were a couple of times while listening to OneRepublic’s latest album, Native, that I thought that. All the other requirements for a catchy pop song were there with the flowing melodies and inspirational, but easy to sing choruses. The glaring weakness was what at the same time is the best part of OneRepublic. Once you push past that you recognize that many of the tracks on Native are exactly the type that will be played ad nauseam on Top 40 radio. More upbeat than their previous efforts, the songs walk that likeable line in between pop and dance.

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