Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Republic - Dreaming Out Loud - Album Review

Dreaming Out Loud is One Republic's latest album. You know, the band who's song "Apologize" rose to the top of radio play lists and charts all over the world, without the support of an album? Very impressive exploit, I must say. But if you base your judgment of their album on that one song, you would be dead wrong. This band has been influenced by many different genres of music, and it shows in this very well produced and diverse album. Bending and twisting the line between rock, pop, r&b and alternative, Dreaming Out Loud is a consisten, fluid, tight album that is worth listening to from top to bottom.

Lead vocalist Ryan Tedder is not only a talented singer, he is also a producer and a song writer. He has produced tracks for Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lewis, as well as co-written material for Natasha Bedingfield, Hillary Duff and Blake Lewis. His crisp, plaintive vocals are reminiscent of The Fray and Coldplay. And the band backing him up is nothing short of spectacular.

One Republic is also a great live band. Tedder's vocals have a very good quality in a live setting, and the band sound is just really awesome. One could be worried that some of the more produced songs would not go over well in a live setting... For having seen them play in a very intimate setting (150 people at most), believe me when I say - their songs are fantastic live.


1. Say (All I Need)
Right from the get go, the epic-like Say (All I Need) grabs you and makes you take notice. This very well produced song just soars higher and higher as it goes. Tedder's falsetto is impressive, giving a deeper meaning to the already beautiful lyrics.

Well, bless my soul
You're a lonely soul
Cause you won't let go
Of anything you hold

Well, all I need
Is the air I breathe
And a place to rest
My head

2. Mercy
Soaring and addictive chorus. Very reminiscent of Coldplay, but with a refreshing twist to it. I love the guitar work, the passionate vocals, the intricate lyrics.

Angel of Mercy
How did you find me?
How did you pick me up again?
Angel of Mercy
How did you move me?
Why am I on my feet again?
And I see you

Whoa Whoa Whoa
I feel you
Whoa Whoa Whoa

3. Stop And Stare
One Republic's second single, this song sets itself apart with its lyrics. Catchy chorus, believable and emotional vocals. The guitar work and the bass are exceptional on this.

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're 'here' not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can u see what I see

4. Apologize
Is it even necessary to say anything about this song? Addictive beats, catchy lyrics, amazing production. The album version features more cello, which ties in nicely with the beautiful vocals and artful lyrics.

I'm hangin' on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground.
And I'm hearin' what you say,
But I just can't make a sound.
You tell me that you need me,
Then you go and cut me down...
But wait...
You tell me that you're sorry,
Didn't think I'd turn around...
And say...

That it's too late to apologize.
It's too late...

5. Goodbye, Apathy
The piano is put to the foreground in this song, without stealing the spotlight. The layering of the vocals on the chorus brings so much more meaning to the words... Beautiful.

So don't sit still, don't you move away from here
So goodbye apathy (as I'm trying), so long fancy free
(just to keep things right)
Goodbye apathy, (kill myself to make everything perfect for ya)
I don't wanna be you

6. All Fall Down
The cello line is brilliant. It adds a touch of drama to the song. Despite a slow tempo, this is a very uplifting song.

Lost til you're found
Swim til you drown

Know that we all fall down
Love til you hate
Jump til you break
Know that we all fall down

7. Tyrant
The verses are a bit weird, but the chorus and the bridge are amazing. The bridge is so different than the rest of the song, it reminds me of those big anthem like songs from the 60's and 70's.

Feel capable of most anything this crippled bears gonna sing gonna bring you all the years is quick turn around look your shadows could could not beautiful lies for you is what they do ..

And it feels so real from the outside looking in
And it feels so real from the outside
From the outtttt
From the outtt tyrant
Tyrant tyranttt

8. Prodigal
Very slow at first, the song picks up after the second verse. After a short bridge, the guitars and drums just explode and takes this song to the next level. The lyrics are touching, and Tedder's vocals are simply beautifully emotional on this. IT has a strange "live" feel that I love.

And I take everything from you
But you'll take anything
Won't you?

Run away, run away
Like a prodigal
Don't you wait for me
Don't you wait for me
So ashamed, so ashamed
But I need you so
And you wait for me
And you wait for me

9. Won't Stop
Nice change of pace. The drums and the guitars are light, encouraging, hopeful, uplifting. The cello makes it all even more comfortable. The vocals are not as plaintive as in the other songs, but they are beautiful just the same. I could see this song being used for a movie.

Now you were fine by night
But when the morning light comes
Comfortable as rain on Sunday
And I'm a lucky soul
That holds your hand so tight
Hope you hear this one day
Don't fool yourself
This is my truth

10. All We Are
The lyrics of this song are unbelievable, touching and moving. I love Tedder's vocals, so passionate and full of tangible emotions. The chorus is so damn catchy, it makes me want to sing at the top of my lungs. Everyone can relate to the feelings explored in this song.. Beautifully done.

Every single day that I can breathe, you changed my philosophy
I'm never gonna let you pass me by

So don't say your goodbyes you know its better that way
We won't break, we won't die
It's just a moment of change
All we are, all we are, is everything that's right
All we need, all we need, our love is at a bind

11. Someone To Save You
Starts big and stays big throughout. The chorus is catchy, great sing along song.

Is what you need
It sets you free
Like someone to save you
Let it go
But hurry now
Theres undertow
And I don't want to lose you now

12. Come Home
About someone who got sent to Iraq shortly after getting engaged, this song is very personal. Despite the sad content, the song is beautiful. Tedder's vocals shine really bright, accompanied only by a piano and a cello. Chills inducing. Even more so in a live setting.

Come home
Come home
Cause I've been waiting for ya
For so long
For so long
And right now there's a war between the vanities
But all i see is you and me
The fight for you is all I've ever known
So come home

13. Apologize (with Timbaland)

The itunes album also contains three videos:

1. Apologize
2. Stop and Stare (I love to watch this one for the drummer - he sings to himself while drumming, it's beautiful to see!)
3. All Fall Down

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