Game seemed to fall off a bit since his last album. He doesn't seem as hungry as the last one and he's really not saying a whole lot on this record. We could have done without the interludes and it seemed there was too many little guest spots. Some of the tracks are unlistenable but some of them are really good. As usual Game had a good ear for the beats and for the most part he got some respected names on the production. For once he got something good from Kanye West after their previous two bombs (I can't stand "Dreams" and "Wouldn't Get Far"). Hi-Tek did it again, 3 for 3 on Game albums, delivering another soft percussion number with intense bass that takes over the whole track, he seems to invent everytime around, I like what he does. Nottz came through as usual but he was 1 for 2. "Ya Heard" got a great beat but I was not liking "Cali Sunshine" for some reason, very lame. JR dropped a couple worth keeping and even Scott Storch popped up with something. I have to mention "House of Pain" by DJ Toomp because it's the worst on the album. Talk about boring, this will put you to sleep, why do they leave this on the cd? On the lyrics side he doesn't seem to always stand out though, which is what you want from a rapper like Game, rhymes with energy. I listen to "State of Emergency" and he's ripping it apart, then you turn to "Ya Heard" and he's got a terrible flow while getting killed by Ludacris on his own tape (Luda is the only reason along with the production to listen to it). He seems lazy at times and or drunk/high.. He must have been high to try and recreate the deaths of big rappers on one song, I get tired of that stuff, not to mention he ruined a good beat. My main review of the album is that when he's good he's good, when he's bad he's bad. A handful have been on constant replay and others have quickly found the trash can on my computer.

3 Doors Down

I'm a huge fan. I love these guys, and I've been hooked since the day I bought The Better Life years ago. 3DD, in my opinion is the most talented band out there. I have always related to their music - they're just average guys who are passionate about the music.

But having said that, I'm disappointed in the new album. It's hard to explain what I don't like about it, other than it's too clinical. It just sounds like the band went from music as their lives to music as a job. The talent is there, but I'm not feeling the power or the flow that they've spoiled me with the first 3 albums. My wife said that the album sounds rushed. I'm not so sure what it's missing, other than it's missing something. I put on a song like Father's Son from their last album and I just FEEL it.

I heard a live version of "It's not my time", and this new studio version doesn't compare. They made it more "poppish" and it lost something in the translation. It's a great song but it could've been so much better. Everyone else seems to love this version though, so I know I'm in the minority on this one.

"She don't want the world" is my favorite on the new album. It reflects their evolution but still keeps to their roots. "When it's over" almost channels their first album, and it's growing on me.

The rest of the album sounds like they showed up to work one day and cut a bunch of tracks. The songs *almost* do it for me, but they just fall short. They're still my favorite band, but this album could've been better than it is.

Hopefully the new album will grow on me over time, but for now I'll be getting my fix from the previous albums.

By Some Guy

OneRepublic - Dreaming Out Loud

The good outweighs the bad on 'Dreaming', March 28, 2008
It's not very often that a band from my home state of Colorado hits it big, but that's precisely what OneRepublic has done. With the help of Timbaland, the band scored one of the biggest hits of this decade to date with the remix of "Apologize", which spent 25 weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100, is one of only three songs to date to surpass three million in U.S. digital downloads, and spent 14 weeks at #1 on the United World Chart to name a few of its accomplishments. Needless to say I had to check out the band's debut album, especially considering how addicted I was to "Apologize." The album is one of those "singles" albums in my opinion, where about 5 of the songs are great and sound like big hits, but a lot of the album is filler.

Unsurprisingly to me, I did not find another song I liked as much as the Apologize remix, which is a bonus track on the album. Although I dislike that the remix is credited to Timbaland featuring OneRepublic (it should be vice versa), I have to admit there's something about the remix that sends the song into that upper echelon of mega hit that only happens rarely, and the original version of the song just can't compete. The song is much more than just a hit though, as everything about the remix is the total package of lyrics, beat, hooks, and vocal performance that seamlessly meshes to make it one of those universally likable songs. Enough about that song though, the rest of the album has some other tracks that are worth talking about, starting with second single "Stop and Stare." The song seems to be about evaluating your life and questioning why it is the way it is. The song has a big chorus and is one of the most re-playable tracks on the album. "Mercy" is a more rock tinged affair that first gained the band notice when they put it on their MySpace. It is somewhat reminiscent of a song U2 would do, and is well written and produced. My favorite track besides "Apologize" would have to be "Say (All I Need)" a song that crescendos from a gorgeous soft rock ballad into a soaring melodically layered piece of music. Most definitely a hit, but more importantly a superb song, and I have to also note that lead singer Ryan Tedder gives an exceptional vocal as well on it. The album isn't all good news though, as about exactly half of the tracks are filler that go in one ear and right out the other. Songs such as "Prodigal", "Tyrant", and "Won't Stop" to name a few just leave no real impression on me.

What saves "Dreaming Out Loud" from being disappointing is that the good half of the album overshadows the unmemorable portion. It's been a while since I've heard tracks as overall well put together such as "Apologize", "Stop and Stare", and "Say (All I Need)." Other highlights are "All We Are" and Coldplay esque ballad "Come Home." The band also seems to be talented lyrically as well, and Ryan Tedder might be quite the up and coming producer/songwriter already having huge production/writing hits for other artist such as Natasha Beddingfield's "Love Like This" and the mega worldwide smash "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. "Dreaming Out Loud" is a promising debut that is satisfying but leaves plenty of room for future growth. 4/5 Stars

My Top 5:
1. Apologize (Remix)
2. Say (All I Need)
3. Mercy
4. Stop and Stare
5. All We Are

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