Ryan Tedder and the boys are back with their latest single, Counting Stars. It’s the third single from their latest album, Native. Not that most people would have noticed…their first two singles didn’t exactly have the chart topping success that we usually associate with OneRupublic. With Counting Stars, the band continues to try and expand their fan base by appealing to a wider audience. Unfortunately, they’ve spread themselves too thin, leaving us with a song that’s big in scale, but low in substance.
Don’t get me wrong. At its heart, Counting Stars is a decent song. The band’s signature style is intact; a driving beat and lush melody provide the backdrop, while Ryan’s powerful and emotional singing take center stage. Even the lyrics are some of the band’s heaviest and most significant to date. All the elements are there…the combination should yield the same powerful results of the band’s first two albums. Unfortunately, like the rest of the songs off of Native, Counting Stars just collapses in on itself due to the overwrought production.
There’s just so many bells and whistles attached to this song that it quickly goes from likable and interesting to bland and disconnected. The background vocals are overdone, the airy synths are annoying, and the vocal arrangement is a bit too dramatic. It all detracts from what is, at its heart, a decent song. In the end…Counting Stars comes off as trying too hard, and takes itself way too seriously.
Final Score: 2/5