Produced by Ryan Tedder and fellow bandmate Brent Kutzle, OneRepublic also collaborated with leading-edge producers, such as French composer Philippe Zdar (known for his work with Phoenix, The Beastie Boys, and Cat Power), and Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay Z), on Native. Old and new fans think “the boys” still have their stuff on New Kids on the Block’s 10, the follow-up to their 2008 Greatest Hits reunion album. What do the young adults from Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School have to say about these brand-new releases?
Released: March 2013 by Interscope Records
Native is OneRepublic’s latest album and following the success of their first two, it clearly demonstrates the staying power of this band. Native is a bit more upbeat and lively, producing a bouncy and happier feel that appeals to a wide range of listeners. The music is well-crafted with inspiring and thought-provoking lyrics, catchy melodies, glossy keyboards, heavy-hitting drums, guitar synthesizers and choirlike backup vocals. A superb falsetto by the soulful Ryan Tedder does not disappoint on any of the 12 tracks from the opening “Counting Star” to “Don’t Look Down.” Other great tracks are “Light It Up,” “If I Lose Myself,” “Can’t Stop,” and “Burning Bridges.” A great album that is sure to please all OneRepublic fans.—Uma N., grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
10 (New Kids on the Block)
Released: April 2013 by the Block
It seems the popularity of boy bands and the desire to go on tour has inspired the 80’s group New Kids on the Block to release a new album. While 10 will not bring back their glory days or fan base, it does have some great tracks which demonstrate the magic that was NKOTB. On this production , the band has introduced some rock elements to their music, and that really works well for them. The lead single, “I Like The,” has great guitar riffs that work perfectly with raspy vocals. It has a playful and adventurous feel that offers the potential for this song to be a real hit. Another fresh and current track is “Now Or Never,” which has a noisy guitar–heavy chorus that sticks in your head long after the song is over. “Crash,” a high-powered dance theme with a European feel, will have a big following. The other two tracks of note are the vibrant ballad “We Own Tonight,” and the mighty vocals on “The Whisper.” Fans of NKOTB will find 10 worth listening to, but much of the album seems studio produced and lacks a personal connection to the boys.—Claire H., grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
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