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OneRepublic ready with melancholy anthems after Rays game


Published:   |   Updated: August 17, 2013 at 01:02 PM

Ryan Tedder could be content just being the Max Martin of the United States. Much like the Swedish uber-writer-producer who has crafted chart-toppers for Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson, Tedder is a hitmaker for hire. Tedder has helped make smashes for Adele, Beyonce and Daughtry.

“Ryan has the touch,” Chris Daughtry said. “He really knows what he's doing. He has a great ear, amazing songwriting skills and is an unbelievable collaborator.”

Tedder, who also is an accomplished singer, spends a good deal of time collaborating with his OneRepublic bandmates.

“Ryan is just so talented,” OneRepublic guitarist Zach Filkins said. “It's tremendous to be in a band with him. It's always been a blast.”

Tedder, Filkins and bandmates, guitarist Drew Brown, multi-instrumentalist Brent Kutzle and drummer Eddie Fisher, who formed OneRepublic in Colorado Springs a decade ago, are out behind their third album, “Native,” which dropped in March. The latest batch of songs are as catchy as fans would expect. Some of the cuts are anthemic, particularly the leadoff track, “Counting Stars.” Some tunes are poignant, and others are melancholy, but the common denominator is big hooks.

“Ryan writes in a certain way,” Filkins said. “He has great pop instincts.”

But Tedder and OneRepublic, who will perform Saturday at Tropicana Field after the Rays-Blue Jays game, avoids being repetitive, which is a rampant problem in pop music. “Native” isn't one of those albums that packs a single and has eleven songs that sound like the featured track.

The band tries its hand at folk-rock and there is the baroque, soaring “Feel Again.”

“We always try to mix it up,” Filkins said. “It makes it more interesting for us and our audience.”

An element that works for the band is that its tunes are relatable. “I think it's so important that our songs are honest,” Filkins said. “Fans can connect with them since the material is anything but foreign to them. The songs are direct and I think people can latch on to what they're about.”

OneRepublic songs are catchy like the songs Tedder writes for other artists but the tunes he writes for his band stand on their own.

“The OneRepublic songs are unique,” Filkins said. “The songs Ryan writes for this band are his platform. A OneRepublic song is very different than a Beyonce song. A OneRepublic song is nothing like anything else. It's great to be in a band with an identifiable sound.”

But the group will veer from that sound by delivering covers on occasion. U2's “With Or Without You,” “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys' are examples of songs OneRepublic has tossed into its set list.

“It's about having fun,” Filkins said. “We play songs that we enjoy doing. Covering 'With Or Without You' makes so much sense for us since U2 is a big reason we formed this band. We love looking back to bands that influenced us and we also like to look ahead with our own songs.”

OneRepublic

When: Saturday, after the 7:10 p.m. Rays vs. Blue Jays game

Where: Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg

Tickets: free with game admission; $20 field passes available; (727) 825-3250

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