Dreaming Out Loud by OneRepublic

 

Rock bands are always innovating fresh ways to burst onto the scene in today’s Internet era. OneRepublic were catapulted into commercial attention through MySpace, which has long been a productive resort for unsigned yet talented musicians. The five piece milked the website judiciously and by 2006, the then four year old, Colorado based, self-proclaimed “genreless” band became the most prominent unsigned group on the website. So much so that they caught the attention of Timbaland’s record label, which made up it’s mind to sign the band on as their first rock act.

 

That didn’t turn out to be a bad decision with Apologize, the lead single from their debut effort clocking up as many as 10,331 plays in a single week, thus projecting the radio friendly outfit and their album, Dreaming Out Loud as something worth checking out.

 

Simply put, this album comprises of rock ballads from start to finish. The sublime, melancholic vibe is complimented reasonably well through Ryan Tedder’s vocals over ambient piano melodies. From the edgy Tyrant to the up-tempo Someone to Save You, you can’t really fault OneRepublic for their talent with the instrument. This is in stark contrast to most soft rock bands these days, who swear by that acoustic something, so it’s refreshing to hear something different with albums like these every once in a while.

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Say (All I Need) 3:50
#2. Mercy 4:00
#3. Stop and Stare 3:43
#4. Apologize 3:28
#5. Goodbye, Apathy 3:32
#6. All Fall Down 4:04
#7. Tyrant 5:03
#8. Prodigal 3:55
#9. Won’t Stop 5:03
#10. All We Are 4:28
#11. Someone to Save You 4:15
#12. Come Home 4:27
Bonus Tracks:
#13. Apologize (Remix) 3:05
#14. Something’s Not Right Here 3:01
#15. Hearing Voices 3:55
#16. Dreaming Out Loud 4:39
#17. Sleep (Remix) 5:56

 

PERSONNEL:
Ryan Tedder: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Keyboard, Tambourine
Zach Filkins: Lead Guitar, Viola, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
Drew Brown: Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Eddie Fisher: Drums, Percussion

 

PRODUCERS:
Greg Wells
Timbaland
Ryan Tedder

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
November 20, 2007

 

SINGLES:
Apologize
Stop and Stare
Say (All I Need)
Mercy
Come Home

 

Of course, it’s not that the band has abandoned the guitar. Most of the tracks receive some electric treatment, more often towards the choruses while the acoustic variant dominates the retro Won’t Stop, among other songs.

 

Even so, it will probably take the average rock fan a while to appreciate this album. Everything, from the rather mundane lyrics to the lack of heavy guitar may be quite a turn-off the first time around, but hopefully only for a bit as decent tracks such as Mercy sink in the second or third play through. Being one of the singles off the album, the melodious Tedder pulls it off really well despite repetitive power chords scattering the verses. Apologize, on the other hand will probably catch on pretty quickly and no surprises there thanks to it’s commercial success.

 

Looking at the album as a whole, it’s not too off the mark to assert that the latter half does sound a little…..varied. Tyrant flags this phase off with it’s beatish keyboarding, and All We Are and Someone to Save You are soon to catch on to this speedier theme. Conversely, the first half plays it safer with nothing special to report in the tunes of Say (All I Need) and Stop and Stare. Ditto is the case with Goodbye, Apathy and Prodigal where the high pitched vocals sound rather unappetizing after a few listens. The last track, however is worth more than all of that. Titled Come Home, it follows the typical pattern of vocals over piano; but the lyrics painting an aura of crumbling friendships and relationships give the song a well deserved dose of life.

 

As for the bonus tracks, they are worth a listen too. Dreaming Out Loud especially does a good job of summing up the album pretty well so it’s pretty unfortunate that it eventually became a B-side of sorts. It had the name going for it too!

 

So in essence, this album is one of those growers. Perhaps if you’re a Coldplay fan, you might be quicker to appreciate it but in any case you’ll be a rare breed if you end up liking it in it’s entirety from your first listen and at any given point of time.

 

Not one of the easiest records to review either, coming from a supposed “genre-less” band. A solid debut, nevertheless. And to think it all began just a few years ago, from MySpace.

 

 

 

 

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