OneRepublic Album Review: Native

April 11 2013, 11:56 AM

OneRepublic fans rejoice: Native, the group's third album, was released last week. Front man Ryan Tedder buckled down with bandmates—lead guitarist Zach Filkins, guitarist Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher, and Brent Kutzle on bass and cello—to wrap up the album, which was originally expected to hit the market last fall. We've been eager to hear the finished product, and it was worth the wait.

The upbeat melody and dynamic harmony of the opening song, “Counting Stars” immediately hooks you in with a catchy, poppy vibe that begs you to sing along: Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep/Dreaming about the things we could be/But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard/Said no more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars. The lyrics reveal Tedder’s inner vulnerability, the turmoil between staying true to his creative muse while simultaneously trying to appeal to a global audience.

The rest of the record showcases One Republic's versatility. From the gospel influences of “Feel Again,” to the cello- and piano-backed solemnity (and positivity) of “Au Revoir,” to the deep drum beat of “Can’t Stop,” to the catchy “If I Lose Myself,” Tedder and crew have assembled the collection their fans have been anticipating.

As Tedder shared with us last November, he has a tendency to coop up in the recording studio until he feels the band's creation is ready to share with the world. The sought-after Tedder—he has produced and co-written songs with Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Adele, Leona Lewis—is still a little shy about the spotlight, and on this record OneRepublic wanted to take their creativity to new heights while staying true to their roots. They also wanted to create an album that was universal—something that anyone could relate to at any time. With Native, the band has admirably achieved its goal.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock