Mikael Wood
November 13, 2009 AT 05:00 AM EST

Waking Up

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an B-

In the two years since this Colorado band struck Top 40 gold with ”Apologize,” frontman Ryan Tedder has become one of pop’s most in-demand producers, helming hits for the likes of Beyoncé, Leona Lewis, and Kelly Clarkson. OneRepublic’s sophomore disc, Waking Up, reflects that studio experience with loads of sleek synth licks and juicy percussion tricks; it’s much more flavorful than the band’s Fray-like debut. Still, though he can certainly carry a tune, Tedder rarely musters the kind of vocal character that turns a good song into a great one, let alone an entire album. He’s a strong man in need of a stronger woman. B-

Download This: Listen to the song Good Life at last.fm

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