OneRepublic - 'All The Right Moves'
Growing up in Essex, you learn to dance in a certain way. For some reason Essex boys dance like over-confident, robotic, American R&B stars. If you're looking for an example: think Olly Murs from X-factor fame (but slightly less coordinated).
Now, dancing this way is fine in the Essex clubs, but this New Year's Eve I was invited to a country village hall, in the back of beyond, near my girlfriend's home village. After a few 'shandies' the Essex moves were out in full force and everyone was looking at me like I was diseased. My problem, along with OneRepublic's is that I had all the right moves, but in all the wrong places.
(Here's the video. Don't they look pleased to be in a music video.)
In theory this track should be a sure fire winner, it's got a catchy pop hook, with a rock/pop backing, mixed with this kind of building orchestral feel, but it's parts never add up to anything impactful. The brief piano solo feels like it should be at the beginning rather than the bridge and the song builds so quickly in the first 45 seconds you feel there's nowhere left to go. It's like they wrote one verse and chorus, then got bored and decided to copy and paste till they could pass it off as a full song.
The melody is quite addictive and it does keep ringing around in your head, but because it never escalates I find my mind drifting into songs it sounds similar to. It's a bit like Michael Jackson's 'They Don't Really Care About Us', but without the punch or TATU's 'All The Things She Said', but without the girl-on-girl kissing. Basically, it's missing the edge that takes it above mediocrity. You keep waiting and waiting for something to happen but nothing does.
Ryan Tedder has an incredible voice but it's definitely more suited to an R&B backing, hence why 'Apologise' has been more successful than anything else he's done. His normal use of falsetto may work well in other tracks, but he needs a bit of gravel or force for this song to match the production behind him.
I read recently that Ryan aims to keep the songs he does for other people and the music he does with his band entirely separate, which begs the question: Why would he do this? That stuff is good. This, unfortunately, is not.