American pop-rock band OneRepublic released their third studio album, Native, in late March this year. It has been four years since their last album and the band has returned to the music scene to capture audiences with their melodic tumbles in this 12-track album.

Compared to previous albums, Native is more up-tempo and diverse. The songs, mostly written by lead vocalist Ryan Tedder, are emotive and express real-life experiences in an energetic style. The lyrics are complemented by complex electronic melodies. Their sound has evolved slightly, but has stayed true to the band’s style.

“Feel Again” was originally released as the album’s lead single in August last year and peaked at number 36 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 19 on the US Billboard Pop Songs. In January this year, OneRepublic released “If I Lose Myself” as the new official lead single from the album. Tedder described the inspiration behind the song as his fear of aeroplane travel: how he panics about the flight and then finds comfort in the fact that the person next to himself feels the same anxiety.

The band wanted this album to make a difference rather than just entertain. The album’s release was pushed from April 2012 to May 2013 as the band didn’t want to rush the production process and impair the quality of the music. When listening to the album, you are inspired by the lyrics, especially in “Counting Stars”, “Preacher” and “Au Revoir”.

The band is currently touring through Europe and the UK to promote the album. The band has released an iTunes Deluxe Edition to keep sales up. It contains two original tracks and an acoustic version of “If I Lose Myself”, “What You Wanted” and “Burning Bridges”.

For die-hard OneRepublic fans, Native is a must-have and everyone else should at least chance a listen to see what all the hype is about. Eventually, you will hear these songs somewhere, whether it’s on the radio or on an episode of Glee because there’s just something commercially contagious about this band and resistance is futile. After all, no one wants to be left behind.

RATING: 8/10


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