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December 9, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: One Republic’s ‘Oh My My’ offers thought-provoking lyrics

One Republic

"Oh My My"

One Republic’s fourth studio album “Oh My My,” released Oct. 7, offers listeners a nicely balanced variety between moving power ballads and easy-listening dance tracks. Despite some awkward beats and faulty falsetto, the album shows off the band’s talents through powerful vocals, thought-provoking lyrics written by the band and varying styles of instrumentation.

An acoustic guitar solo introduces listeners to the band’s first track of the album, “Let’s Hurt Tonight.” Lead singer Ryan Tedder displays his vocal talents through this emotional song. His voice starts slow and quiet but becomes louder and stronger throughout the song. Lines such as “Don’t walk away, don’t roll your eyes / They say love is pain, well darling, let’s hurt tonight,” tell the story of a tattered relationship between two lovers. Listeners who have been in challenging relationships may be able to connect with the song’s passion and lyrics.

A synthesizer and a string section create an energetic and rhythmically fun melody for the track “Better.” Sing-songy rap combined with an emphasized vocal chorus adds a funky overall sound to the track. Upbeat in sounds and lyrics, the song sends an encouraging message that things can get better, even if they seem like they are at their worst.

Though the song “Human” has an interesting percussion composition and lyric concept, the entire track is ruined by Tedder’s failed attempt at a falsetto sound. The song is about having a conversation with God who wonders what it feels like to be human and what it’s like to “dance till the sun comes up.” Though the song’s story has interesting potential, some of the lyrics repeat too frequently and become monotonous. One Republic tried to vary its vocals and overall sound in the song, but the vocals layered on top of a keyboard and dubstep composition sound clumsy and distract from the lyrics’ intriguing concept. The band should have left this song out, but nonetheless, “Oh My My” could be considered some of the band’s best work.

One Republic had mostly hits and only a few misses on this album. The band created a fantastic album full of emotional and sound variety. “Kids” and “Wherever I Go” are the leading singles from the album, and have already received radio airtime. It is only a matter of time before more songs from the album hit the airwaves and climb the charts.