One Republic Can’t Make A Bad Album

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image: wikipedia.org

Oh My My, is the title of their latest album since their 2013 release, Native. A 16-song tracklist reminds fans just how unstoppable they are. One Republic feels like an old friend, that you’ve had most of your life. You love them dearly, they are always there for you, and whenever you start to forget or lose touch with them they come right back into your life again, for the better. They make you a better person and an even bigger fan.

This album takes a slight turn down a path we’ve never heard from this talented group. Pulling influences from electronic leaders like M83 and Miike Snow, the boys pull back from their usual rock-alt/pop sound. While listening to the album you find yourself getting lost in it (like you would any other 1R album) but this time the music is more rich and unique. The songs are heavier while the lyrical quality remains as One Republic as ever; beautiful, poetic, and slightly cliche.

Lead singer, Ryan Tedder talked about the album as a whole to officialcharts.com saying, “It’s a very diverse album, but when you start hearing some of these songs, the humanity is there – that’s what took so damn long to make it.” Songs like, “Kids,” “Future Looks Good,” and “Wherever I Go” sound like the band we know and love. Catchy choruses and a thudding array of instruments float through each verse in the most cohesive way. While “Oh My My,” “NbHD,” and “A.I.” make you realize that this band CAN succeed at electronic music. They keep a gentle balance between overboard and juuuust right. Each one still feels like it could be stripped down and played in a coffee shop. The instrumentation is still present, even though the sound has shifted. Tedder’s voice motivates you on “Future Looks Good”, singing “you are, you are the future, and the future looks good.”  Which is something he’s been good at; writing lyrics with meaning that most artists can’t do their whole careers. One Republic have kept a close grasp on why they are a band in the first place; for the music.

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image: the upcoming.co.uk

“Born” is one of the best off the album. A song bound to be played at many future weddings (only if they have good music taste, like me.) The lyrics make you wish you were in love; “Yeah found someone to keep my head up, yeah trading darkness for the dawn, I was born, born to love you.” The chorus is so angelic, it feels as close to heaven as you’ll ever get here on Earth. In a world full of so much disagreement and hate, One Republic manages to sprinkle our souls with pure appreciation and love.

One Republic have once again shot themselves to the top of my list. Just when you think they can’t get any better, they do. Notorious for giving you a big warm hug and reminding you that life is beautiful.


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Worth Your “Time”

mikky ekko
image via bing.com

Mikky Ekko’s debut album Time is indeed a long time coming. This is surprisingly his first full-length album and now I know why it took so long; it’s superb. Ekko combines elements of mainstream pop, poetic lyrics, and his incredible vocal range to pull on every heart string in your body. And he knows it.

Ekko’s voice reminds me of Ryan Tedder (lead singer of One Republic). His effortless falsetto, raw emotion, and lyrical power are elements both these men possess. Time is what I would imagine a Ryan Tedder solo album would sound like. Which I hope NEVER happens, because One Republic is absolute dynamite and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ekko’s voice is just as technically beautiful as Tedder’s but with a more sensual edge.

image via bing.com
image via bing.com

Time opens the flood gates of everything you’ve ever felt in your life. Songs like “Comatose” are so powerful. Ekko describes it as, “Trying to find your way back to a moment. ‘Comatose’ is about chasing the reflection, chasing the memory, being in the dream of the coma and trying to find your way back to the light.” The song features dream-like piano chords and Ekko’s voice quietly floating over the music. Once you hear this song, you won’t forget it.

-Even better live, ohhhh myyyy lordddddd.

“Pull Me Down” is another track off this album that is powerful and eclectic. It sounds like something an alternative band would produce, but has several R&B elements to it, which is something Ekko is passionate about. The lyrics tell a story of a mutual love between two people. It’s passionate and beautiful; “Pull me down if you want to/ and I hope that you want to/ cause I want to be your man/ and I wanna say it loud.”

“U” is another song off the album that pulls on the more sultrier R&B side of Ekko. It mixes bits of electronic sounds, handclaps, and a reoccurring backbeat. This track delivers pure LOVE. These are lyrics you want your husband/wife to sing to you one day; “You’re the only one I live for, try for, weep for, die for, you know I’d give it all for.”

Songs like, “Made of Light”, “Love You Crazy”, and “Smile” have a more uplifting vibe to them. All have incredible rhythm patterns and leave a hook stuck in your head. Ekko’s singing style borderlines soft rap sometimes (especially in “Love You Crazy”) and is so interesting to listen to. Not many artists are as tapped into the flow of a song as he is.

On his website, Ekko describes Time as, “Pretty eclectic sonically, but lyrically there are moments of love and angst and things that many people deal with on a daily basis. I’m just trying to be honest about all of that stuff…People just want to feel something real.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. When you mix purely produced lyrics with unforgettable rhythms and hooks, you have found the key to the music kingdom. My point is, albums that are this flawless start to finish deserve all the success in the world. I will be BUYING this album.

-Abbey