Customer Reviews: Waking Up
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on January 8, 2010
To be honest, I'm not sure what made me buy this album. I guess I'd heard "All the Right Moves" and dug the overall sound [heavy on the drums, touches of cello, etc.]. I don't own "Dreaming Out Loud", but of course I've heard the singles from it [Apologize, Stop and Stare, All I Need] many times on the radio. I wasn't *quite* sure what to expect when I bought the follow-up, "Dreaming Out Loud". After I listened to it the first time, I needed a few days to let it sink in before I could form an opinion.

Well, after owning and listening to this album for several weeks now, I am absolutely in love with it. It's like one of those great movies that you can watch over and over and discover something new about it every time. One Republic blends everything good from the history and various genres of music and creates work that is both current and catchy, while being complex, touching and [ultimately] classic. I'm struck by how their songs can be simultaneously funky and symphonic, inspirational, and achieve a depth that you would NEVER, EVER find on the vast majority of pop albums out today. They leave "artists" (and I use the term lightly) like Britney Spears and Black-eyed Peas in the dust, and rise to the ranks of true musical icons like U2. In fact, the title rack "Waking Up" could FLAWLESSLY slip into a place on any U2 album and fans of either band would not be disappointed.

What I'm noticing with the [few] people who don't care for this album and gave it only 1 or 2 stars is they are likely used more mainstream "pop" albums, and "Dreaming out Loud" (based on the singles released) was a little more of the radio-ready/traditional/safe type of music people are accustomed to hearing. However, "Waking Up"(in my opinion) goes deeper and further than that, and really shows off what Ryan Tedder and the group are capable of, which is nothing short of musical genius. What you have here is a band whose success is not anchored by having a hot lead singer or hot single you can blast at your next party - they are the real deal, they understand music as a whole (as evidenced by the vast variety of artists Tedder has produced songs for), and I hope they stay around for a looooong time, because they deserve to.

Favorite tracks:

Good Life - you can't listen to this song and not feel happy

Secrets - one of those classic power ballads that will get stuck in your head

All This Time - sweet and emotional love song that builds to a BEAUTIFUL instrumental break towards the end

Marchin' On - inspiring, great beat, gets me to push a little harder on the treadmill

Everybody Loves Me - funky, Southern-rock infused ditty satirizing self-absorbed people
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on November 18, 2009
An Intricate & Captivating Masterpiece!

When I heard "Apologize" for the first time on my stereo I was immediately blown away. I haven't heard such a beautifully, elegantly orchestrated song before in my entire life, or at least for a very very long time. I can't recall such an experience in the last couple of years.

Needless to say, I purchased "Dreaming Out Loud" on a whim because it was on sale for eight bucks and an album can't be that awful, contain fifteen songs, and be hideous for that price. I ended up discovering probably one of my favorite new bands of all time and discovering music on a level unexplainable.

Ryan Tedder is music producer talent extraordinaire. He has been on the map for the last few years being behind the scenes, but his duet with Timbaland really put this superstar on the map. Lyrics and production by Ryan for "Bleeding Love" just really put him on the map and it only went uphill from there when "Halo" was released. The boy just excels, but I digress.

Dreaming Out Loud was constantly being rotated on my Zune and its one of the few albums that I listen to on a daily basis. With each listen I found something new to love, or noticed something in the lyrics that wasn't there before and just fell more in love with OneRepublic. I always thought in my head that if time came for their next album that it would just be a big feat to topple the mass appeal that was DOL. I have to say after listening to "Waking Up" that OneRepublic has done just so. If you loved DOL then you will love their latest effort "Waking Up". It's a CD full of new great material from an amazing band. The album is definitely more alternative and a bit different from the first, but it's still got the OneRepublic magic touch. Ryan has such a wonderful way of using words, so intricate and captivating. The album is a feel good album and just gives you the feeling of hope and the sentiment emotion to want to leave earth a better person.

My favorite track is SECRETS. When the song starts and I heard those violins playing, I knew I was in for a treat and it was nothing bit a sweet treat. The sound of those violins were beyond hypnotic and Ryan plays and blends the lyrics and the chorus so seamlessly that it's nothing but stellar. Profound music on a cosmological level.

The only down side is that there are only eleven tracks. I was hoping for fifteen again. Get the album and enjoy what a real masterpiece album is about.
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on November 17, 2009
I'm really loving this album. I loved their first one, and love this one just as much, if not more. Each and every song is an extraordinary musical experience. To get the full effect of the album though, it really helps to listen to it all in sequence. Each song helps strengthen the others. It's almost like a live show more than a CD. Awesome job OneRepublic!!!
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on November 20, 2009
EDIT: I am raising my rating on this album to 5 stars because I just realized that it is four years old and it STILL sounds fresh every time I listen to it - including right at this very moment. That is serious quality. If you just picked up their new album "Native" and are looking to complete your collection, please add this. Immediately.

I was introduced to OneRepublic by a friend of mine who lent me their first CD. I wasn't overly impressed at first, but as time went on, I appreciated it more and more. I also realized I had heard of the frontman Ryan Tedder waaaaay before Timbaland got a hold of "Apologize" (which, imo, he gets too much credit for - the original's not much different from the remix) and I was thrilled he'd finally gotten his break. This kid is CRAZY talented (vocalist, producer, songwriter, and he plays 4 instruments!) and that kind of talent can't stay secret for too long. Before I knew it, I was playing "Dreaming Out Loud" constantly and it's still on regular rotation. So it was with little hesitation that I picked up their latest effort, and I was not disappointed. The group has managed to retain their signature sound while still demonstrating growth. While there were a couple of tracks on "Dreaming Out Loud" that sounded too similar, here, each tune is distinctive. Every time I listen to the CD, I have a new favorite (today it's "Good Life") and I love that it continues to surprise me. "Made For You" opens the CD and I knew it was a hit when I was walking around singing it after only one listen! "Secrets," "Everybody Loves Me," "All The Right Moves," and "All This Time" are also standouts, but I can't say there are any truly weak tracks. It will suit your mood - regardless of what your mood is. Overall, I am VERY happy with my purchase. This one will remain in rotation for quite a while as well. Can't wait to heare the new songs live. Bravo!
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on July 22, 2011
One Republic's "Waking Up" was a refreshing surprise. Brilliantly written modern urban-rock songs that demonstrate rock is not going to die quietly. In fact, I believe One Republic has set the standard to how modern rock should be played today. Each song brings an interesting concept to the listener; with enough twists and diversity that balances the musical hooks just enough to keep the CD on the art-rock side of the equation rather than candy-pop.

The song tracks blend into each other, very much like a concept album; but, there is an inconsistent sound production throughout the CD. Not as bad as Brian Eno's miserable production qualities (IMO) heard on Coldplay or U2. In those recordings, the vocals are buried into the music. One Republic's singer, Ryan Tedder, can be clearly heard.

The first time I heard "Good Life" was on "The Voice," when Tedder sang it with contestant Beverly McClellan and I loved the song along with their performance. Another side note, Ryan Tedder co-wrote two great songs on Adele's 21 CD (Rumour Has It and Turning Tables). He is a superb songwriter.
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on August 27, 2011
This is a very unusual album, due mostly, I believe, to the talents of Ryan Tedder, who is responsible for the vocals and the bulk of the writing, producing and arranging, as well as playing piano and other instruments. The result is an album that has solid beats and bright, structured production to ensure pop success, but also features diverse, sometimes complex arrangements, with many of the tracks including melodic piano and strings combined with heavy percussion. This is important because it gives the album a quality which makes it a cut above the ordinary pop album, a sound which is, at times, almost symphonic.

For example, the first track, "Made For You", begins with soft drums and piano, then the vocals come in backed by heavier percussion, then later there is an interlude of only vocals and strings, then there is chanting of "All the right friends in all the right places", which are actually lyrics from the second track, which opens with a choir singing those lyrics. Got that? "Missing Persons 1 & 2" is, as the title suggests, actually 2 songs, connected by a short bridge of electronic sound. "Waking Up" begins with a vocal backed by a church-organ sound, then quickly turns harder, featuring chiming guitar reminiscent of U2. If fact, this track reminds me of U2's "Joshua Tree" period, except that it changes again at the end to a peaceful instrumental of piano and strings. "Marchin On" does indeed have the beat and rousing quality of a march, but even this track contains a softer interlude.

And there's more. "Good Life" is a very positive, happy song which has as its background an 80's-90's synthesizer sound; this is what attracted me to the album in the first place. "Everybody Loves Me" (another of my favorites) is a rock track with bluesy guitar and a sort of "talking" vocal. Ryan really frees his soul on this one! "Fear" is a beautiful ballad introduced by stacatto strings, then piano. "Lullaby" really does sound like a lullaby - hypnotic, comforting. In general, the lyrics are personal enough to relate to but abstract enough to appeal to the general pop audience. Ryan Tedder's voice is high-pitched and goes frequently into falsetto, which fits the arrangements and material. A deep voice would not enhance the aura of musicality and vague spirituality that is part of the album's charm.

Even more amazing is the fact that all this creative diversity is contained in an album that is slightly under 48 minutes long. That is remarkable in itself, but it makes me wonder what Mr. Tedder could accomplish if he set out to write an opera or perhaps a standard full-length symphony.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2012
One Republic's "Waking Up" contains an emotionally driven set of songs from track one to eleven plus one (the Amazon Exclusive Version contains a cover of Duffy's "Mercy"). The album does not skip a beat with its energetic instrumentation of pulsating rhythms that breathes into the band's initial sound as well as a tinge of influences that are undeniable from The Beatles, U2, and Coldplay. All of the tracks are deeply intimate and intense that has a somewhat subtle theme of treading on.

The opening track "Made For You" contains a thumping intro and inter-play of Ryan Tredder's signature vocals and the string and chorale arrangements a la the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which is identifiable and perfectly flows into the next track "All The Right Moves." "Moves" along with the other singles off the album "Secrets" and "Good Life" possess a powerful musical executions and memorable choruses that pound with much exuberance from beginning to end. The band slows the tempo with the following tracks that sound very much like Coldplay and U2 "Fear" and the title track "Waking Up." But beyond the comparisons, the piano ballad "All this Time" is simply unforgettable.

In essence, "Waking Up" is an album worth listening to and adding to one's play list. With its revolving theme of longing and waiting and marching to a beat of one's own, there is sure to be several favorite songs that may prompt the listener to replay with the volume set louder than usual.
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on August 29, 2013
Purchased the cd for "Good Life," but didn't realize the curse words on it. It should have been Amazon should have mentioned this information. Had been hearing the song on Disney commercials, etc. Just wished there was an alternative to this version. I have heard One Republic perform this song on TV and they didn't use the curse words. Besides that, I simply love this cd. This was my first purchase of theirs and since I don't really listen to the radio, I will probably chance purchasing other cds by this group.
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I really like OneRepublic. I remember when I first heard `Apologize' and I was instantly hooked. I love their style and their sound and Ryan Tedder's voice is magic to my ears. He has the perfect falsetto, yet he never comes off as anything less than masculine in his delivery. Lyrically, they have a nice repertoire, and just when I think that they can't one-up themselves I hear the next track and I'm engaged all over again.

All of this said, they have yet to produce an album as universally complete as I know they are capable of.

In parts `Waking Up' is a great album. Sadly, OneRepublic winds up tied down by the one thing that makes them so unique; their sound. When you hear any of the songs on this album it is instantly obvious that it is a One Republic song. Even before Ryan starts serenading us, we know that his voice is about to be broadcast. OneRepublic has a signature sound that they drench each and every track on this album with to the point where their songs start to run into one another.

It's a shame, I know.

The eleven tracks on this album range from great to mediocre, with only really one song standing out as unappealing to me, but then again only three stand out as truly amazing to me.

The album opens with a gigantic bang, the first three songs basically setting the bar SO high that the only way to go from there was down. `Made For You' is a fantastic opening track, perfectly fusing the pop beats with the soft piano and that chorus is just hauntingly hushed yet loud with emotional merit. `All the Right Moves' keeps the energy high with a chorus so energetically engrossing you can't help but become a part of the song. Still, `Secrets' is even better. The musical opening is stunning and instantly grabs the listener. The lyrical content is pure and poignant. When the songs snaps into attention less than 40 seconds in with that stunning chorus you know that you have found this bands opus.

And then the album starts to spiral away from itself.

`Everybody Loves Me' is rich with satirical content, but it just doesn't manage to be anything more than a Beck soundalike. `Good Life' is `happy-inducing' but it is also a tad lazy. It just sounds so familiar for them, with no real newness to it. That said, I really like the song. In fact, I really like the entire album, it just doesn't wow me like I expected after that one-two-THREE punch right off the bat. `Marchin On' has grown on me, if not for the fact that it shows true ambition. It can feel a tad long, but no where near as long as the title track, `Waking Up', comes off as. In fact, that song is the one that I just DO NOT LIKE. It is just really bland and it carries on for far too long. `Missing Persons 1 & 2' is nice and subtle, yet it doesn't leave a major impact. It is pretty to listen to, but Ryan's voice does seem to strain in parts. I do like the haunting quality to the song, but it just doesn't live up to potential. The shift in song structure is also odd. Why didn't they separate this into two tracks? `All This Time' sounds like something they've already done, with no real spark or anything to remember. In fact, it actually sounds a tad dated. `Fear' is simply forgettable. It almost feels like an afterthought.

The closing song `Lullaby' would have been less disappointing had the rest of the album been more impressive. It isn't a bad song at all, and it would generally be a great way to end an album (soft, sweet, serene) but instead it just becomes another seemingly dull song.

In the end, I still give this album a B and recommend it if you are a fan of the group. Ryan Tedder is going to stick around (highly in demand as a song writer and producer as well) so I don't expect this band to go away anytime soon, which is a good thing. I want them to release an album that lives up to what I know they can create. They have the goods and they have a unique and signature sound that I really wish they would use to the full instead of allowing it to defeat them by rendering them seemingly `one-note'.

Here is my ranking for those interested:

1) Secrets
2) Made for You
3) All the Right Moves
4) Good Life
5) Marchin On
6) Everybody Loves Me
7) Lullaby
8) Missing Persons 1 &2
9) All This Time
10) Fear
11) Waking Up
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on December 11, 2014
This is One Republic's second release, and it's a lot better than the first. They're finding their way. Dreaming Out Loud only had about two or three songs on it I liked at all; most of the rest were just irritating. Waking Up has only about two or three songs on it I dislike, most of the rest being at least OK, and several songs are actually pretty good.

This trend of improvement continues with their third release, Native.
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