Entertainment Weekly - p.75
"This is chemically pure pop-rock...potent enough to melt your resistance like battery acid." -- Grade: A-
Photographer: Neil Krug.
As a songwriter for other contemporary pop stars, Ryan Tedder has proven his talent for writing intensely catchy songs that stick in people's heads. This is evidenced not only by his success producing songs for such artists as Adele, Leona Lewis, and Maroon 5, but also with his own band OneRepublic. And as with 2006's Dreaming Out Loud and 2009's Waking Up, One Republic's 2013 third studio album, Native, once again gives Tedder a vehicle to turn his hitmaking abilities on himself, and in the process, steal just a little bit of the spotlight away from his more recognizable clients. And why shouldn't he? Tedder has a burnished, resonant singing voice and passionate, emotive vocal style that's perfectly suited for the uplifting crossover songs he so expertly writes. In many ways, OneRepublic are a clearing house for mainstream pop sensibilities, and Native is no exception, with songs such as "If I Lose Myself Again," "I Lived," and "Au Revoir," touching upon the soaring, piano-driven alt-rock of Coldplay, the funky, synthetic, blue-eyed-soul of Maroon 5, and the slick yet earnest R&B balladry of any number of modern divas. Which isn't to say that the songs on Native are unremarkable. On the contrary, Tedder reveals a broad palette of stylistic inspiration, and cuts like the roiling, romantic "Light It Up" and the atmospheric and yearning "Can't Stop" touch upon the ruminative qualities of indie rock, the falsetto-heavy tones of Prince-styled lead vocals, and the wide-eyed drama of '80s Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. Elsewhere on Native, tracks like "Counting Starts" reveal that Tedder has clearly been listening to the British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons and, as evidenced by the percussive operatic of "Feel Again," Florence and the Machine. Of course, with Tedder having possibly worked with any one of the artists mentioned here prior to recording Native, one could argue that he's merely been listening to his own music. Ultimately, that music, as heard on Native, remains as catchy as ever. ~ Matt Collar