One Republic’s ‘Native’

Courtesy of Interscope Records

Courtesy of Interscope Records

With the sounds of bands like Mumford and Sons invading pop radio stations, one cannot help but reflect on the recent journey mainstream music has taken. One major milestone was the debut of One Republic’s “Apologize.” Since then, One Republic has debuted three well-received albums, with their most recent, “Native,” released on March 26.

The pop-rock band from Colorado was in no rush; while previous albums “Dreaming Out Loud” (2007) and “Waking Up” (2009) were released within two years, “Native” took almost three full years to fully develop and record. According to Ryan Tedder, the band’s lead vocalist, the album has to be “literally the best thing we have ever done.” He  also expressed the hopeful single’s mentioning title “Feel Again” and “Burning Bridges.”

Headed by Tedder, who integrates many genres throughout the album, it does not disappoint. From the Swedish House Mafia-esque breakdowns to sweet Southern-like ballads, One Republic unapologetically brings a mash-up of sounds that inspire the band, such as U2, while keeping their signature artistry prevalent. The album is fairly predictable, but still beautifully composed and written.

The composition of the music is defined by beautiful keyboard melodies, while the percussion and guitars dictate the tone and energy. While Tedder’s falsetto often leads choruses with hair-raising notes, the background harmonies and vocals induce a powerful effect.

Staying true to their roots, they wrote songs that dealt with relationships. While songs like these often end with me pushing the skip button, I find that the lyrics hold impressive depth and implied themes rather than exposing the heart of a song in a non-creative way. This is prevalent in the hauntingly beautiful song “Au Revoir,” a song that is concerned with a crumbling relationship, with its lyrics, “We’ll find other pieces to the puzzles / slipping out under the locks / I could show you how many moves to checkmate, right now.”

As the album begins, it gently descends from its upbeat tempo, I find that the songs take me on a gentle ride with steady, climatic build-ups and graceful lulls. Each song holds its own catchy vibe, from the band’s wonderful harmony in “Feel Again” to the raw tone in “Can’t Stop.” Driven by the punchy choruses and Tedder’s soulful falsetto, One Republic has truly brought an album that exudes hard work, passion for music and consideration for listeners.

Recommended: For first-time fans or longtime followers of the band alike.