A long, long time ago, for some reason or other, I bought the OneRepublic album Waking Up on Mom’s iTunes account without thinking twice about it, which shortly faded into the back of my memory. Fast forward three years or so and you’ll come to me deciding to temporarily put the entire album on my iPod Nano 7 to listen to. I had read all the negative reviews. I had read all the complaints. Heck, I had even listened to some of the songs myself on my screen-less iPod Shuffle in years long gone. However, nothing could’ve prepared me for the sheer blandness of what is truly one of the worst pop albums of all time.
To start with, there's a “concept” at the album’s core that is (seemingly) about a pop star's life of glamour and how that lifestyle has ups…and absolutely nothing else. Of course, I’m not saying the topic of success is a bad one, but since the entire album (barring the surprisingly bitter "All the Right Movies") is wholeheartedly devoted to only showing that side of life WITHOUT revealing an even slightly deeper or darker side to things, well, it basically just wades through an emotional kiddie pool. Even the music is cringe-worthy, with songs ranging from enjoyable enough (“Good Life”) to completely unlistenable (“Everybody Loves Me”), and too many of them falling rather ungraciously into the latter category. Add in horribly overlong runtimes, ridiculous song structures, and even some ludicrous genre-crossing (classical, country, and even opera all show up at some point), and you have the (seemingly) impossible: a pop album that will leave the most casual listener saying “huh?” Look, if you liked some of the better songs on here, fine, get those. Otherwise, there’s absolutely no doubt that you should skip this album and start Waking Up to better, more-deserving music.