Ryan Tedder, singer and driving force of Denver's OneRepublic, already has a busy career writing for others (he's the one to blame for Leona Lewis's Bleeding Love), which has eclipsed his own band's achievements. Despite their 2007 soft-rock single, Apologize, being one of America's top-selling singles of the noughties, they're still essentially anonymous. Waking Up is their do-or-die attempt to grab some of the limelight for themselves.
Success is the gateway to many indulgences, not just those born of the flesh. Success opens the gates to any numbers of pretensions: sawing strings, children's choirs, minor-key piano lines reminiscent of Nigel Tufnel, cavernous U2 reverb, long ponderous instrumental sections of piano and orchestra duets. OneRepublic hits every one of these marks on their second album, Waking Up, along with numerous other excesses, including a title track that bears echoes of the Killers, only with their goofy pomp replaced with po-faced circumstance.
Waking Up’s mass-appeal anatomy is oddly admirable. Mike Diver 2010 Musical magpies by their own admission, the “sum of a bunch of parts”, Colorado-formed pop-rockers OneRepublic aren’t afraid to confess their unoriginality. Of course it helps that their debut, Dreaming Out Loud, sold by the skip load and that sole creative force Ryan Tedder has a tidy sideline in writing for artists like Leona Lewis and Westlife to supplement the day job income.