Kygo & OneRepublic – Lose Somebody

“It’s not exactly pineapples, coconuts and xylophones.”

Tim: Kygo’s got a new album coming out next Friday, and I’m interested to see what it’ll be like – so far, some of the tracks from it have been very very Kygo (Higher Love, Freedom), but some of them aren’t very Kygo-ish at all. Take this, for example.

Tim: You see? It’s a decent enough track, there’s no doubting that, and the high pitched bits in the background take it away from being a typical OneRepublic track – but it’s not exactly pineapples, coconuts and xylophones.

Tom: I mostly found that a bit confusing. That first chorus sounds like a pre-chorus, like it’s building to something — and given the name Kygo, I think we both know what it’d be building to. Yes, that does eventually sort-of resolve for the middle eight and on from there, but it’s in this odd in-between space.

Tim: Yeah, you’re not wrong there – sounds almost like there was once a big post-chorus that got binned off. 

Tom: This feels more like someone decided to slightly remix a mediocre OneRepublic track. It’s not anthemic enough, nor is it dance enough: it’s in a weird space in between the two.

Tim: It’s also interesting comparing it to their previous collaboration (though that was technically a feat.), which had a pure Kygo chorus. Here, there’s very little at all, outside the brief middle eight. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind – it’s a good track, and a perfectly good listen if it came on the radio – but given the equal billing, I wouldn’t say no to a bit more Kygo.

Galantis feat. OneRepublic – Bones

“It’s good! Like, really really good!”

Tim: It’s almost sad when a new release from your previous favourite brings a sense of trepidation rather than excitement; this got released last Friday.

Tom: I remember when you used to send every Galantis track with enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I think Satisfied is a great track — it grew on me despite those initial reservations — but yeah, they’ve been suffering from regression to the mean recently.

Tim: It’s good! Like, really really good!

Tom: That’s because that millennial-whoop chorus is straight from Owl City’s Good Time!

Tim: Oh, yes, so it is. That maybe plays a part in it, then.

Tom: As ever, I don’t think it’s deliberate, but it’s all I can think about while I’m listening.

Tim: I’m guessing it’s just Ryan from OneRepublic and the rest is all Galantis, and those drumbeats and massive brass melody all work together so well, along with all the twiddling samples in the backing.

Tom: It goes on for one chorus too long, but, sure, it’ll… it’ll do, I guess.

Tim: I don’t know if it’s just relief, but I’m fairly sure this is their best work since Love On Me, and I’m so happy about that, I really am.

Kygo feat. OneRepublic – Stranger Things

“(a) a good Kygo track and (b) a good OneRepublic track”

Tim: Another one off his EP of duets, which quite pleasantly is (a) a good Kygo track and (b) a good OneRepublic track; hopefully you’ll agree.

Tim: Yes?

Tom: Qualified yes. Odd choice of title: I know that ‘Stranger Things’ comes from an idiom, but given the success of the show it seems a bit weird to use the same title. Or maybe they’re just hoping people will click on the video title in confusion while trying to find clips of the show on YouTube. As for the track…

Tim: Obviously it’s very much more Kygo than OneRepublic, particularly the chorus, but the verses aren’t far off standard OneRepublic fare, and I think the two complement each other very nicely.

Tom: It’s not quite as catchy or as upbeat as I’d expect, but given the title and collaborators that makes sense. Not one for the playlist, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with it.

Tim: It’s nice to hear Kygo back doing music that sounds like him, and while this song might not quite be MASSIVE and BANGING and HUGE…I like it. It does what it sets out to, the talent’s all there and on display, and it works. Good stuff.

OneRepublic & Seeb – Rich Love

“Those are promising names.”

Tom: Those are promising names up there.

Tim: Seeb, the Norwegian trio known originally for making Mike Posner listenable and more recently for reworking Ed Sheeran, produced their own What Do You Love last year, which did fairly well. Now they’re up with OneRepublic, with this delight.

Tom: Delight? I mean, it’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but delight?

Tim: I think so, and that’s largely because it has pretty much everything I want from a song. Good vocal, check. Good melody and beat behind that vocal, check, both in chorus and verse. Flipping GREAT dance breakdown after the chorus, massive check.

Tom: I must be burned out on music again, Tim, because I just don’t hear any of that. I mean, it’s good, don’t get me wrong, Seeb know what they’re doing, but it’s still just a middle-of-the-road dance track.

Tim: Ooh, big disagreement here, then. I do have one complaint about it, though: what on earth does “broke as a bottle of wine” mean? I’ve never heard it before, can’t find any examples of usage of it, and it’s quite annoying, because it spoils what it otherwise a perfectly decent narrative in the lyrics.

Tom: I… guess someone broke a bottle of wine? I mean, it’s a thing you can break. But you’re right, it’s weird.

Tim: Flip side of the lyrics, though: I love the ‘hey man, nice to meet you’ distorted vocal in the chorus, really hits the spot for me. I love most of it, in fact. Just, aargh, what does that seemingly very important line mean?

OneRepublic – Kids (Alex Ross Remix)

“Speed it up by 20%, stick some piano dance beats underneath.”

Tim: The original of this is pretty good, as you’d expect, but is basically just standard OneRepublic fare. This, though, shows what can happen if you speed it up by 20% and stick some piano dance beats underneath. In short: BANGER.

Tom: I do like it when a song’s been sped up just enough that it’s almost impossible that it could actually be sung that clearly by a human. That’s not a complaint, I just like the effect.

Tim: Is it ‘better’ than the original? Not objectively, no, but then it’s not worse either – it’s different, for a different setting. You’ve already got the original for your standard listening, doing whatever you do while that’s going on; you’ll now have this for jumping around and waving your hands in the air.

Tom: And I really did want to do that. I mean, I didn’t, it’s 10pm as I write this and I’m really jetlagged, but on a different night, yep, I’d be doing that.

Tim: On the other hand, I heard the original on the radio in the background and thought “oh, it’s alright” but then I heard this remix and thought “YES PLEASE”, so maybe it is better. For me, at least.

Tom: And for me.

OneRepublic – Secrets

“I’ve found myself liking OneRepublic. I can’t explain why.”

Tom: I’ve found myself liking OneRepublic. I can’t explain why. Apologize was good, of course – and a lot better before Timbaland decided he’d put a few ‘eh, eh’s over the top and re-release it. But twice now I’ve heard a song being played somewhere, really liked it, and found out it was by OneRepublic. First, there was All The Right Moves – the first single off their latest album Waking Up – and then I heard Good Life, which is that rare thing: a really top-notch album track.

Secrets is the second single from Waking Up, and I’m starting to question – in a good way – whether OneRepublic can actually write a pop single that isn’t anthemic. Yes, the cello part is either a Bach prelude ripoff or homage, depending on how much charity you want to give them. Yes, the lead singer does his usual trick of singing a long string of syllables without changing note. But let those slip away and there’s a really good pop song in here; it’s not a dance floor filler, but it’s movie soundtrack material for sure.

Tim: Okay, this will be a tricky one for me to review objectively – not because I have any predisposition towards the band or anything, but because about seven months ago, I began to get very excited whilst hearing it. It is, as you suggest, movie soundtrack material, but more importantly it’s also awesome TV promo material.* I still get a bit excited when I hear it now, so HURRAY for it finally swimming across the channel.

* For completeness, it’s also suitable for phones (50 seconds in) and aftershave. We get a lot of adverts out here in Canada.

Tom: The album’s been over here for a while; the single didn’t trouble the charts but it’ll be re-released separately soon, in what’s technically termed a “blatant cash-in”.

Tim: It is definitely a Very Good Song, and the fact that it got used as accompaniment to both the conclusion of a huge TV series and (what was meant to be) one of the biggest movies of the year says a lot to back this up. It’s big, it’s powerful, and like all proper songs it starts off quiet; mind you, here it’s so obviously waiting to explode it could get picked up for loitering with intent. Is that a bad thing? No. It would be it if never did explode, but it doesn’t disappoint. It hits, and then keeps going at full pelt until an incredibly (and slightly annoyingly) abrupt ending.

As for the video, well, there’s a choice of three, really, and for sheer amazingness I pick the one where the impact of the chorus makes a plane split in half. In fact, I might just go and put on a DVD.