Waking Up (Deluxe Version)

Waking Up (Deluxe Version)

Still riding high off the success of its smash 2007 debut, Dreaming Out Loud, OneRepublic released its playfully diverse 2009 follow-up. A lot had happened in the two years between albums. Most notably, the band scored two massive international hits with “Apologize” and “Stop and Stare,” but its members were already anxious to show off another side (or two). For the aptly titled Waking Up, the members break out of the melancholic dream state of their debut to let loose—and show a little attitude, too. “Can you feel all the love like it was made for you?,” vocalist Ryan Tedder croons with a hint of snark on chamber-pop opener “Made for You,” which haunts with big beats and piano filigree before an angelic children’s choir pops up in the end. The track bleeds into “All the Right Moves,” the buoyant hit single that claps back at anyone claiming the band has “all the right friends in all the right places.” This defiance, heightened by a heavy rhythmic focus, fuels much of Waking Up—a significant difference from the sweeping balladry that dominates Dreaming Out Loud. You can hear it in percussionist Eddie Fisher’s hefty wallops on the fist-pumping “Marchin On,” in the plunky marimba on “Missing Persons 1 & 2,” and in Tedder’s vocals, which quicken to a rapper’s cadence on the funky groover “Everybody Loves Me” and the Bach-sampling anthem “Secrets,” in which he pokes a little fun at himself: “When a situation rises, just write it into an album,” he spits out. “Send it straight to gold, but I don’t really like my flow, no.” While the band saves its most ambitious moves for the title track—part U2-level stadium rock, part gorgeous orchestral elegy—it stirs up just as much excitement with breezy sing-alongs like “Good Life,” whose unbridled optimism hints at OneRepublic’s next album, 2013’s shoot-for-the-stars juggernaut Native.

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