OneRepublic are one of the strongest bands working in music today. Led by the beautiful vocals and master songwriting of Ryan Tedder, they've given music fans both fist-pumping anthems and heartbreaking ballads. (And one theme for NHL hockey coverage.) There's not much that this group can't do. Here are the top ten songs that represent the best of OneRepublic:
10. "All This Time"
From Waking Up, "All This Time" is a beautiful ballad that many listeners missed. Tedder is fantastic in his sweet, simple vocal delivery of lyrics that say so much without being too much. You can feel the emotional swell of the song as it plays out. And the violin that sweeps in just makes it perfect. Go download it on iTunes and prepare to be melted.
9. "Feel Again"
OneRepublic's album Native was pretty much an embarrassment of great songs. "Feel Again" is one of those songs. It's undeniably catchy and has a jazzy beat to it that's endearing. If there's any criticism of the track, it's that it might actually be moving too fast for its own good. Unlike some of their other hits, it doesn't allow its quality to sink in. But having said that, it is still a very fun and upbeat listen.
Somehow, "Burning Bridges" was one of the songs on Native that didn't pop and it makes no sense why. The drum track on this song is perfect and sets the whole tone. Tedder responds with well-paced, well-delivered lyrics that roll over the listener like a solid wave. Just the note that he hits when he repeats "set me on fire" is ridiculous. "Burning Bridges" is efficient and beautiful.
7. "I Lived"
The only reason "I Lived" is so far down this list is because of the number of hits OneRepublic had before it. It's a beautiful ode from Tedder to the audience with a very important message. This is the old saying "carpe diem" perfectly wrapped up in a song. It makes you want to get out and see the world, and it does it all with a very simple presentation that drives the message home. So many other inspirational tracks try to do too much, but in scaling theirs back OneRepublic hits a musical and emotional bullseye.
"If I Lose Myself" is sort of the spiritual counterpart to "I Lived." It has the same emotional vulnerability and sincerity, except it's about true love rather than inspiration. OneRepublic pair the message with an almost dance-like beat that keeps the song moving forward at a steady clip. But it's Tedder that really sells this one, particularly in the chorus when the percussion dies down and we can just hear him. The chorus is fantastic and the music gives the rest of the song a soaring quality.
If Ryan Tedder ever ended up on stage, one thinks that his performance would sound a lot like "Love Runs Out." This is OneRepublic's big, totally blown out, go for broke musical number. It's as if Tedder just went a little crazy and started attacking the piano, and everyone else followed. There's not a quiet or a weak note in the entire song. It's one-part rock hit and one part church anthem, and the result is complete awesomeness.
4. "Good Life"
With "Good Life" OneRepublic created one of those songs that lifts the listener no matter what's happening. There are very few songs that can transport an audience completely and this is one of them. The lyrics really put into perspective that life is pretty good no matter where you are or who you're with. And again, the band makes a wise choice to let those words resonate and not drown them in music. "Good Life" doesn't need to be a huge ballad; it's a great song with just the right amount of every element in play.
Here's the single that most people think of when the name OneRepublic comes to mind. It remains one of the band's largest successes almost a decade later. That includes being certified five times Platinum here and registering as a number one hit on six different charts (once again not including the US, where it only rose to number two). We can attribute the staying power to a showcase for Tedder's vocal abilities plus another excellent application of the violin. Then throw in the producing power of Timbaland and how could this not be an eternal hit?
You have to give no small part of the success of "Apologize" to Timbaland. In contrast, "Secrets" is all OneRepublic and that's why it gets the higher position on this list. It's just as grand a song musically but it's a better sense of who they are an act. Everyone in the band gets to do just a little bit more here and create a single that fits all its pieces together like this is the song they were brought together to make. And there's the string section again; this band deserves a gold star for best use of strings in rock music.
"Counting Stars" was a smash hit for OneRepublic. It went Platinum in seven countries (surprisingly not in the US, where it was only certified Gold by the RIAA). It also landed within the Top 10 on charts in ten countries (number two in the US, but number one in Canada). But aside from how well it did from a commercial standpoint, this song is pretty amazing. Tedder's machine-gun vocals alone are no small accomplishment and the band backs him up in this freight train of music that grabs you and doesn't let go.
No matter what type of song you're looking for, OneRepublic has something to offer you. Any of the songs on this list will find an instant home on your playlist. The band is currently in the studio recording their fourth album, so they have not announced any tour plans for 2016. Yet whether live or recorded, they're an act to love. Fans can keep up with the latest news and information on OneRepublic at AXS.