As some of you would know, I’m a big music lover, & a huge fan of the band OneRepublic. So much so that last year, I went to the NRL Grand Final just to see them play live (I’m not an NRL fan). I have followed this band for years, likely around a decade. I listen to their music pretty much every day. They’ve release four albums since their conception, the last one released over three & a half years ago. So you could imagine my excitement when I heard they would be dropping their 5th album, Human, on May 8.
In the lead up, there was the release of a number of singles. First, “Rescue Me”, then “Somebody To Love”, “Wanted”, “Didn’t I”, & most recently, “Better Days”. All the fans including myself were gearing up for the album release, anticipating new music to get us through this period of isolation thanks to the coronavirus. The band’s lead singer, Ryan Tedder, & a producer he was working with, Tyler Spry, even gave us some snippets of new songs on the album, including my personal favourite “West Coast”. It stuck with me so much so that I’ve been listening to the snippet almost every day in the lead up to the release of the full song upon the album’s release.
But, due to the coronavirus, the album has now been delayed once again, with no apparent release date. Having already been delayed once from November 2019 to May 2020, it’s not great. I understand that this is likely a money/business thing, whereby there’ll be limited promotion of it in terms of touring & promoting the album on talk shows. However I really do question why there would be an issue with releasing it as scheduled, rather than waiting it out for possibly many months, potentially longer, for the pandemic to die down.
Other musicians have released their music as planned. For example, R&B singer The Weeknd released a new album a little over two weeks ago. Pop singer Dua Lipa also released a new album two weeks ago. OneRepublic have built up a fan base of millions worldwide over the years, & so there’s no reason the album wouldn’t be successful if released as planned on May 8. Many have already pre-ordered the album, & there is no doubt it would get an astronomical number of plays on Spotify. They could promote it as they have their new songs through Instagram Live concerts, & through other social media. Everyone has been looking forward to this album’s release so that we had new music to listen to while we’re all stuck in isolation.
In fact, if anything, we need music now more than ever. It’s something that unites us, something that can bring us all together at a time when everyone is separated from each other. It’s something we can share with each other, something we can listen to together, something to connect hundreds of thousands of people all around the world. It’s something that can get us through even the toughest of times, times like the ones we’re traversing now.
Just a few weeks ago, when Ryan Tedder was in quarantine with Tyler & fellow band member Brent, he was asked on one of his livestreams why they chose the name OneRepublic for the band. In answering, he said they wanted to have a name that people from all countries, of all nationalities, speaking all different languages, would be able to know & understand & unite under. Because the name ‘OneRepublic’ is very similar in multiple languages. Now is the time to bring people together. OneRepublic’s music can do that.
I really hope they might reconsider this, or at least release “West Coast” as a single in place of the album’s release next month. It’s a true hit.