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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