With so much musical diversity and discovery, it wouldn't seem possible for a band to sound completely unique.
Ryan Tedder, lead singer for the band OneRepublic, understands this reality and has used members' collective musical influences to the band’s advantage.
“We're no respecter of genre,” Tedder said. “If it’s a good song or a good artist whether rock, pop, indie or hip hop, they've probably influenced us on some level. Nothing's new under the sun; we're a sum of a bunch of parts."
A beat-heavy band with both rock and hip-hop sounds, OneRepublic exploded onto the music scene in 2007 with the single “Apologize.” The group’s most successful song received the highest number of plays of any song during a one-week period in the history of radio, with more than 10,000 plays the first week.
OneRepublic is everything that’s great about music right now: killer sound, great beats and ubercreative songs with a great lead singer. You turn on the radio and hear about two bars before saying, “Oh! That’s OneRepublic.” They are distinct yet still mainstream friendly, pleasing both music snobs and typical teens who just want a catchy tune. Several of OneRepublic's songs have been featured on TV shows, including "Lost," "Smallville, "Gossip Girl" and "American Idol."
What may come as a surprise is that band leader and lead vocalist Tedder has been employed as a songwriter and producer for large acts, such as Leona Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Beyonce and Adele.
OneRepublic shatters the cookie-cutter pop-rock mold with versatility and is familiar without being predictable. Like the band U2, OneRepublic has a way of transporting audiences into their world with its haunting melodies.
Besides “Apologize,” my favorite songs include “Secrets” and “Good Life,” although this song could have done without the cursing and still have been every bit as effective.
If you’d like to see OneRepublic rock in person, the group will be in Utah on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium following the Real Salt Lake vs. D.C. United game, at 7 p.m.
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former “American Idol” contestant and writes about entertainment for the Deseret News.