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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Dreaming Out Loud' (Interscope)
Artist - OneRepublic

After seeing their performance of "Apologize" on "So You Think You Can Dance" this past summer, I had been awaiting the release of OneRepublic's first album more anxiously then I've been for a CD in a few years. I literally couldn't get that song out of my head, and couldn't wait to see what else the band had up their sleeves. Somewhere along the way, though, that dreamy fantasy became a nightmare.

The first time through, as I sampled the first few seconds of each track, I kept hearing the same song. Later, when I played each song in its entirety, I got the same feeling: the songs all start out a little uniquely at first, but once the lyrics start, they break into the same familiar beat as "Apologize," only set to a different key. Besides "Apologize," the only other track that even stands out just a little bit is "Goodbye, Apathy." The other eleven are little more than remixed variations of the same tune set to different lyrics.

To say the least, the disappointment of Dreaming Out Loud was pretty disheartening to see from a group that is so capable of works so brilliant and original as their breakthrough "Apologize." I really expected more of them, and other true music enthusiasts should too. When musicians waste their talent on commercial mish-mosh like this, it's no wonder consumers are increasingly turning to places like I-tunes for a more selective fix. In hind-sight, I would have been better off going there myself, spending $2 or $3 on the couple of songs that are actually worthwhile, and saving the rest of my money for better selections.

While this album, in truth, is underwhelming for a potentially superior group, it is still above average compared to current industry standards (Ashley Simpson, anybody?). I would still definitely recommend OneRepublic's first effort to people merely looking for something new to listen to, just can't call it a "must own."

The real shame here is that the squandered opportunity of real talent might just have made a once "next big thing" band into the latest one hit wonder. Hopefully, though, the guys will rebound with a more solid sophmore effort if they survive to get the chance.