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Music / OneRepublic

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From left to right: Eddie Fisher, Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Brent Kutzle, Drew Brown.

"Everything that kills me makes me feel alive!"

OneRepublic is a pop-rock band from Colorado.

Having its origins back in 1996, with school friends Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins (current lead vocalist and lead guitarist, respectively), the band was established in 2002 and started gaining prominence on the website MySpace under the name Republic. They caught the attention of, among others, Timbaland's label, Mosley Music Group. Timbaland would then, in 2007 (the year OneRepublic released their first album, Dreaming Out Loud), remix their song "Apologize", turning it into a major hit, contributing to the band's success.

In 2009, OneRepublic launched their second studio album, entitled Waking Up, which spawned four singles, among them "Secrets" and "Good Life". Their third studio album, Native, was released in 2013, containing probably their biggest international hit, "Counting Stars". The album was re-released in 2014, with the inclusion of a new song, "Love Runs Out". Oh My My was released in 2016.

Despite being classified as a pop-rock band, OneRepublic's music style is very variable, being influenced by genres such as alternative, hip hop, ballad and classical music. Life and optimism are frequent themes in their songs, as well as some tunes about specific feelings, Silly Love Songs and songs with religious allusions (and those allegedly religious).

Principal Members (current members are in italics, founding members are in bold):

  • Ryan Tedder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, bass guitar, tambourine
  • Zach Filkins - lead guitar, viola, backing vocals
  • Drew Brown - rhythm guitar, piano, backing vocals
  • Jerrod Bettis - drums
  • Tim Meyers - bass guitar
  • Eddie Fisher - drums
  • Brent Kutzle - bass guitar, cello, guitar, piano, backing vocals


  • Dreaming Out Loud (2007)
  • Waking Up (2009)
  • Native (2013, reissued 2014)
  • Oh My My (2016)
  • Human (2020)

I'm staring down myself, counting up the tropes:

  • Audience Participation: "Something I Need" and often "Apologize".
  • Album Title Drop: In "Come Home" for Dreaming Out Loud.
  • Animal Motifs: The Native album cover features five animals, each one representing a member of the band: Ryan Tedder=fox; Eddie Fisher=puma; Drew Brown=owl; Brent Kutzle=gazelle; and Zach Filkins=bison. These animals appear on the covers of some Native singles, in the video for "If I Lose Myself" and as the background for live performances of "Counting Stars" during the Native Tour.
  • Badass Boast: Parodied in "Everybody Loves Me".
  • Badass Longcoat: Ryan Tedder wears one in the "Love Runs Out" video.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the funeral in the "Something I Need" video, a man walks to the coffin and looks like he is about to cry. No, he is just pulling the book off the dead guy's hands.
  • Book Ends: In "Apologize": "I'm holding on your rope/Got me ten feet off the ground" is repeated at the beginning and end of the song.
  • Break-Up Song: They have a few, starting with "Apologize".
  • CamelCase: How the band's name is officially written as.
  • Carpe Diem: The theme around "I Lived". The lyrics speak about making every moment you live worth it.
    I owned every second that this world could give
    I saw so many places, the things that I did
    Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived
  • Cheap Heat: The lyrics of "Good Life" are frequently changed. Colorado can be changed to Carolina, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.
  • Concept Video: "Something I Need".
  • Cover Version: Released a cover of Champagne Supernova in 2017.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the video for "Something I Need", the hashtags "#BLESSED" and "#WINNING" appear when the man is being attacked by the dog (and spitting blood in the second instance).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Stop And Stare". "I think I'm moving, but I go nowhere..."
  • Dress Rehearsal Video: "Mercy", "Secrets", "Good Life" and "Counting Stars", albeit having additional sequences other than the band performing the song.
  • Epic Rocking: "Waking Up" is six minutes and nine seconds long (the longest song of the band). The main part of the song is loud and a little more rock-oriented, while its latter half is entirely instrumental and orchestral.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Preacher" into "Don't Look Down".
  • Floorboard Failure: Happens at the end of the video for "Counting Stars".
  • Genre-Busting: Quoth Ryan Tedder: "We're no respecter of genre. 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."
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In "Love Runs Out", "Got an angel on my shoulder, and Mephistopheles".
  • Grow Old with Me: "Something I Need" goes further, asking for the loved person to die with the singer.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: "Feel Again" uses children's heartbeats, as the song was released as part of the Save the Children's "Every Beat Matters" campaign.
  • In Da Club: Half of the video for "If I Lose Myself" – a mild and family-friendly example, though.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: "Secrets" is about a man willing to reveal all his secrets.
  • Keet: Ryan Tedder just cannot stand still when he's performing.
  • Kids Rock: "Made For You" uses a children's choir.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "All The Right Moves" sounds quite happy, but the lyrics are depressing.
    • Also "If I Lose Myself". It is a soothing song about (according to Word of God) being about to die in a falling airplane.
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: "Mephistopheles" is mispronounced as "Mestopholes" in "Love Runs Out" so its respective line flows better.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: The videos for "Something I Need" and "Love Runs Out" have nothing to do with the songs.
  • Masquerade Ball: The video for "All The Right Moves" is set here.
  • Money to Burn: "Counting Stars" has "Make that money, watch it burn".
  • Music Video Overshadowing:
    • In the video of "If I Lose Myself", a group of teens plays a clue chasing game around the city, which ultimately leads to OneRepublic's secret concert. The song is about Ryan Tedder's fear of dying in a plane crash, yet finding comfort in the person by his side, as aforementioned, but it gives the party night vibe nonetheless.
    • "I Lived" was written for Ryan Tedder's son (even though its meaning is universal), but the corresponding video about a fan with Cystic Fibrosis leads some to think the song is specifically about that disease.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • Ben Haenow's version of "Something I Need" replaces "I wanna die with you" with "I wanna live with you", and "there's one killing me" with "there's one loving me".
    • "If I Lose Myself."
  • New Sound Album: Waking Up deviates a lot from Dreaming Out Loud, switching from the predominantly pop-rock and ballad songs to much more pop-sounding songs.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Au Revoir" and "Burning Bridges".
  • The Oner: A good part of the music video for "Kids" is a continuous take in a street sitching focus on the band and two teenagers.
  • Recycled Lyrics: The lines "All the right friends in all the right places / All the right moves in all the right faces" from the chorus of "All the Right Moves" are used in "Made for You", the preceding song in the album.
  • Rejected Apology: "Apologize" is about this trope, and provides the page quote.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Counting Stars" and "Good Life".
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • "Marchin' On" rhymes "marching on" with "moving on", as well as:
      For this dance we'll move with each other
      There ain't no other step than one foot right in front of the other
    • The chorus for "Feel Again":
      I'm feeling better ever since you've known me
      I was a lonely soul, but that's the old me
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: "Secrets" incorporates Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude in G-Majeur in its instrumentals.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • "All The Right Moves", supposedly.
    • In the "Something I Need" MV, the main character rips two OneRepublic posters off a wall and throws them away angrily.
  • Shout-Out: The music video for "Love Runs Out" might be a huge one to Sade's "Soldier of Love", being even directed by the same person, Sophie Muller.
  • Silly Love Songs: "What You Wanted", "Feel Again", "All This Time", "Passenger", "All We Are".
  • Surreal Music Video: "Love Runs Out". The trippy cloudy backdrop, the old lady playing the piano, the dancers, the plastic sea and the "ninjas" kicking stacks of books may or may not be related to the lyrics.
  • Talky Bookends: More discernible in "Stop and Stare" and "I Lived", whose intro sequences are more or less one minute long.
  • Technicolor Fire: In "Apologize": "I loved you with a fire red, now it's turning blue."
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "Apologize" uses this chord progression.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "What You Wanted".
  • Title Track: Waking Up.
  • Unplugged Version: The deluxe version of Native has acoustic versions of "If I Lose Myself", "Burning Bridges", and "What You Wanted".
  • Video Full of Film Clips:
  • Vine Swing: In "Counting Stars": "I see this life like a swinging vine."
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Everybody Loves Me" and parts of "Tyrant".

"Sometimes there's airplanes I can't jump out
Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now
We all got our stories, but please tell me
What there is to complain about"