Release Date: Mar 26, 2013
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
It's unfair to criticize One Republic for the formulaic sound of their walloping ballads – it was frontman/songwriting-production ninja Ryan Tedder, who, as much as anyone else in pop, helped establish that formula. Native is catchy and predictable: big melodies, inspirational lyrics, production that sits between pop and rock and dance. The main problem is also the main asset: Tedder himself, a song savant who's a boring and characterless singer.
Review Summary: . . .
As a songwriter for other contemporary pop stars, Ryan Tedder has proven his talent for writing intensely catchy songs that stick in people's heads whether they like it or not. But of course, plenty of people do like it, as evidenced not only by Tedder's success producing songs for such artists as Adele, Leona Lewis, and Maroon 5, but also with his own band, OneRepublic. And as with 2006's Dreaming Out Loud and 2009's Waking Up, OneRepublic's 2013 third studio album, Native, once again gives Tedder a vehicle to turn his hitmaking abilities on himself, and in the process, steal just a little bit of the spotlight away from his more recognizable clients.
Ryan Tedder can write a damn good pop song. There’s little to no evidence against this: Tedder’s songwriting credits include international smash hits by Adele (Rumour Has It), Leona Lewis (Bleeding Love), Jordin Sparks (Battlefield), Gavin DeGraw (Not Over You), and Queen Beyoncé herself (the colossal and brilliant ballad Halo). Tedder helped pen all of these songs, however, only after delivering his own first earworm hit: Apologize, a falsetto-laden, gut-wrenching pop ballad that the RIAA certified platinum three times in the United States.
Dido “Girl Who Got Away” (RCA) Don’t worry, Dido hasn’t cheered up too much. Advance reports that this British songwriter’s fourth album, “Girl Who Got Away,” would be a “big, fun electronic extravaganza” were misleading. Dido is still a forlorn, sensitive ballad singer, still wondering, as she does in “Blackbird,” “Why do I bring you love/When all you give me back is pain?” The electronics are there, however, and they lift the album’s better songs out of the sad-sack zone.