Album Review: OneRepublic Goes 'Native'

Native is the latest album from OneRepublic and it is a satisfying one. Ryan Tedder, who has been producing some of the pop music charts’ biggest hits, is back in his own element, making something that is his. Native features all of the tell tale signs of a OneRepublic album; grand melodies and inspirational lyrics.

The lyrics on this particular album really speak to learning lessons and fully realizing adulthood. It also talks about the world around us and philosophizes about the people in it. Native is a great album, it really is.

Personally, it’s just not as good as their previous two. Waking Up was a sensational triumph that featured one of the best album openings in recent memory. Opening with “Made For You” (a brilliant song) and bleeding directly into “All the Right Moves” (another brilliant song) with effortless cohesion. The two songs perfectly crafted for each other.

Those opening songs jump started an album that was a standout for OneRepublic. Catchy riffs, lyrics with some incredible swagger and the confidence to pull it all off. Native is self-reflective and more mature, a step to something more thematically grown up.

It doesn’t rely on waxing on about a love that is over or making grand pronunciations about the latest. Native is just that, Native, it speaks to everything that is essentially human and in that regard, acknowledging something that is innately primal.

Now a quick review of the 5 best songs from the album:

'Counting Stars' - The starting line of the album; it kicks right into classic OneRepublic, a fevered base that will permeate your mind.

'Feel Again' - This is the best song on the album, hands down. It is an instant montage maker that will have you recalling all of life’s best moments. The feel-good song of the year (so far).

'I Lived' - This song starts out a little reminiscent of Philip Philip’s hit single Home. It quickly sheds that after the introductory beats and into something distinctly fresh.

'Burning Bridges' - A slow burn and rewarding love song.

'Preacher' - This song capture everything that most Top 40 pop singles fail to capture; soul. There’s just something about an artist talking about their grandfathers that is so rewarding. It’s nice to hear about the family that inspired them to be where they are today. 

Some would have you believe that it happened in some kind of vacuum. The grandfather homage was also a successful treat from Jason Mraz in his track 'Frank D. Fixer', one of the stand-out songs on his album, last year’s, "Love Is a Four Letter Word". 

Album Rating: 3/5