ONEREPUBLIC : Oh My My (Deluxe edition) (Interscope Records)
Formed in 2002 this isn’t a new band so have had plenty of time to refine their art and took 3 years to release this follow-up to “Native”. This album has an acoustic pop/rock feel to it which made me think of Coldplay – especially when the piano comes in on “Future” and the vocal “woo-ooo-oo”s didn’t dispel that impression. Otherwise they sound more like a cross between an acoustic Australian teen band (such as 5 Seconds Of Summer), pop-funk (such as Bruno Mars) and 90s electronica (such as Underworld) with sidelong glances towards Labyrinth, John Legend, latter day Take That and (somewhat eclectically) Peter Gabriel, who makes a guest appearance on “A.I.” which also features some nice synth work. Lyrically they’re human relationship centred with a slight exception in “Human” where the protagonist has a conversation with God (in which God asks “how does it feel to be human?”). The songs are well constructed, performed, recorded and produced but did make me feel like I’d heard it all before. That said, none of these tracks would sound out of place on a Now compilation so they are of a decent standard. Overall I preferred the more overtly poppy material such as “Choke” but could see how the other (dance-oriented) material might go down better live. There are 16 tracks on the main album, plus four bonus ones on this edition so no-one can claim they’re not giving value for money, especially as the two alternative versions of songs appearing here are (in my mind) better than the ones on the main album – “Better (String Version)” was so good it almost made my “best of” selection. Best track: “Choke” 7/10 Paul Ganney.