Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"Waking Up" after "Dreaming Out Loud"

First post for December. Yeay! Less than 4 weeks left before saying goodbye to 2009. So can't wait for 2010.

Finally the album I've been looking forward to buy since its release in November 09. Next up will be Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot. Tapi tak sampai Malaysia lagi... =(

The first round, I was disappointed. Knew I had to be fair so I played the whole album for a second round.

The thing is (and this is from my humble point of view of course), their first album, Dreaming Out Loud was so good that I fell in love with it just after listening for one round. The 2nd time I was really impressed with Ryan Tedder for being able to create such an outstandingly good and worthy album. He had me at Apologize (I preferred the original version compared to the remix made by Timbaland) then he graced me with Stop and Stare. And before Say (All I Need) became a radio mainstream material already was the song one of my favourite hit. Other tracks that weren't played for airwaves were equally good. There was All Fall Down, Mercy, Dreaming Out Loud, Tyrant and Goodbye Apathy. Goodbye Apathy really spoke to me. Like it understood what I was feeling that time. In short, practically the whole album was brimming with good quality tracks.

Am not feeling the same way with their sophomore album though. It's sad because I was really looking forward to the release of Waking Up. It's not that it's really bad, it's just I'm not getting the "Oh-my-God-this-is-one-heck-of-an-album" vibe I usually get when listening to a really good album.

What I do like about OneRepublic's second album is there's more of Brent Kutzle (say Hello to my other guy infatuation =D ) and his cello in this album compared to the first one. Here's the thing, if you could incorporate any classical music instrument in a pop/rock genre then you've got my vote. If the instrument happens to be a violin or cello, lagi la I'm over the moon. Somehow I find the fusion of Vivaldi-like classic with modern rock to be very appealing. But that's just me.

So, what are the recommended tracks to watch out for? In order of most favourite :

Secrets - Next to Say (All I Need), this is my other top choice thus far. An awesome song by again the talented Mr Tedder. Sila tengok the video clip. Brent Kutzle is so damn.....attractive (can't think of other adjectives to describe him but I do know he's everything I looove in a musician)...Lol! Okay, okay. I'll try and be objective here. If you listen, as in really listen, you'll find the composition of this song is beautifully arranged. Kind of like symphony-rock.

All The Right Moves - This is the first single to be released for Waking Up. A polished piece of fusion between rock and contemporary R&B. Video clip can already be seen on MTV. Again, sila lihat Brent Kutzle main cello. *Swoons*

Fear - A slow number. Think Enya and her ethereal sounds.

Made For You - If you buy the album, this track is the first track. This particular song is...hmm...a bit tricky. In a good way...Because the first part was kind of pop/rock-ish. Then there's a pause at the middle of the song and followed by a gospel-like choir singing "All the right moves bla bla bla..." at the very end of the song. But the beautiful thing here is, as soon as they end then it's cue for second track, All The Right Moves. The transition from the choir's low tempo to high was nice.

Good Life - The picture that came into my mind when first listening to this song was a backdrop of wild-life Africa with half-naked men beating drums and big falcons soaring in the skies. Just like the title, I think this is one of those "feel-good" song. The kind that makes you want to throw up your hands in the air and live life for the moment.

Waking Up - I do not like this song. The first half sounded something like Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon, the next half is confusion for me and at the very last minute the tempo slowed down to a piano tune that lasted for 2 minutes and 48 seconds. And this 2 minutes and 48 seconds sounded exactly like November Rain by Guns and Roses. Huh?? Sangat tak suka lagu ni.

OneRepublic - All The Right Moves [Official Music Video]

To sum it up : Dreaming Out Loud was a variety of experimental sounds.
Apologize -> Stop and Stare -> Say (All I Need) all sounded different from each other.

For the second album, it's like they've decided to stick to just one kind of sound. Okay, you may not get my point. I think repetitive would be the word for Waking Up. Lots of chanting and drum beating/thumping. Which is why I imagined the whole Africa wild-life backdrop.

I don't however regret buying this album. OneRepublic is one of the few music groups out there whose sole intention of becoming musicians is to just create genuine, good music.

OneRepublic is not the only (nor the first) band to ever include a classical music instrument in their music. Chris Martin and his piano put a new twist to the huge and famous band, Coldplay. Then there's Keane who for the first 2 albums made music without the use guitar. Cool kan? It was just drums, piano and cymbal. Melee also relies on the fusion of piano and guitar for Devils & Angels. And who could forget Yellowcard. Seriously, dahla punk rock. Lepas tu boleh pulak gabungkan the sounds of violin and make really good songs out of it. Who did not like Ocean Avenue or Only One eh? If there is someone who don't, then dude you're officialy tone deaf. (LOL! Suka-suka hati je kata orang tone deaf).

Oh and a special shoutout to my dear bestie, Nurul Ain a.k.a fake plastic trees : Welcome home darl! =) Assuming of course by the time you read this you've landed safe and sound in Malaysia.

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