Native is the third studio album by American pop rock band OneRepublic. It was released on March 22, 2013 in Germany and Ireland, March 25 worldwide except North America, and March 26 in North America. The album was originally planned to be released at the end of 2012 with the lead single being "Feel Again", which was released on August 27, 2012. However, due to the album not being completed at the time, it was pushed back to early 2013. "Feel Again" was later branded as a promotional single, and on January 8, 2013, "If I Lose Myself" was released as the lead single for the album.
The most successful single was the third single "Counting Stars", which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their highest-charting hit since "Apologize" also peaked there in 2007. It has also become their biggest hit in the United Kingdom—it topped the charts there for two non-consecutive weeks—and has charted within the top ten in nine countries, including top five placements in Australia, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. The album's fourth single, "Something I Need", has since been certified 3× Platinum in Australia and Gold in New Zealand, peaking in the top 5 in both countries. Fifth single "Love Runs Out" charted in the top 5 in thirteen countries, including the United Kingdom, whilst the sixth and final single "I Lived" was a minor success.
The album received positive reviews from critics. It charted in the top 20 in eleven countries worldwide. It has been certified Platinum in the United States and Australia, and Gold in the United Kingdom.
On February 4, 2012, OneRepublic announced via Twitter that their third studio album was scheduled to be released in Autumn 2012, and that the band was hoping to release the lead single from the album around April or May. The band stated that they were "not rushing it", saying that the album "has to literally be the best thing we've ever done".
The artwork for the album was brought up on the idea of how different each member of the group is from each other and that each one is like a different animal. Frontman Ryan Tedder is represented by a fox, drummer Eddie Fisher is a mountain lion, rhythm guitarist Drew Brown is an owl, bassist Brent Kutzle is a gazelle, and lead guitarist Zach Filkins is a bison. Kutzle also came up with the idea of calling the album Native. According to Kutzle, it means indigenous to every country and how different they are as individuals.
In support of the album, OneRepublic launched the Native Tour on April 2, 2013. Beginning in Europe, the band performed a total of 21 shows throughout April and May. In June 2013, they announced a second leg, to be played alongside Sara Bareilles which was to take place through 52 shows across North America until October. From here they would travel to Asia for a total of six shows across Lebanon, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and ending in the Philippines on November 6. Their final leg for 2013 was across Australia and New Zealand, marking their largest tour across Australia and their first visit to New Zealand. A total of four shows were played across Australia, beginning in Perth and ending in Melbourne, from here they went on to play two shows in New Zealand, one in Auckland and one in Wellington, ending November 17.
On January 29, 2014, the band began their second European leg, and their fifth leg of the tour. They played a total of 22 shows in February and early March, ending with two shows in Paris on March 7. The band then traveled to the United Kingdom where they played seven shows, beginning in London on March 16 and ending back in London on March 27 after a trip through the UK and Ireland. On May 10, 2014 the band embarked on their second US tour, their Native Summer Tour, and their sixth overall leg, riding on the success of the song "Counting Stars." They played a total of 48 shows, ending in Aspen, Colorado on August 30. On April 8, 2014, the band announced a seventh leg of the tour, and the second European tour, beginning on October 19 at the 3Arena in Dublin. This leg would mark the band's first arena tour, and would include their first show at The O2 Arena in London. They played a total of 23 shows across Europe, ending at the Meo Arena in Lisbon, Portugal on November 21, 2014. This marks OneRepublic's largest tour to date, playing a total of 185 shows throughout 2013-14.
In April 2015 they began the last leg of the tour. They performed in Canada, in Europe and, for the first time, in South America, including a show at Rock in Rio.
Native received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, a website which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 from reviews and ratings by mainstream critics, it currently holds a metascore of 65, based on seven reviews. Matt Collar of AllMusic asked the question "How do they stand out in a sea of other artists who sound so similar to them, primarily because as a songwriter, Tedder has largely defined much of the entire modern pop sound?" To this, Collar found that "In many ways, OneRepublic are a clearing house for mainstream pop sensibilities, and Native is no exception", which this leads him to espouse "Ultimately, all of this might seem like more of a knock against OneRepublic as pop opportunists, if the music weren't so dang catchy." At Entertainment Weekly, Adam Markovitz signaled that this album "is chemically pure pop-rock: flavorless, transparent — and potent enough to melt your resistance like battery acid", and said that the album contains "soaring, evangelical choruses of prescription-strength goose-bump inducers like "Feel Again" and "If I Lose Myself."" Johan Wippsson of Melodic.net wrote that the band has taken its sound to the next level with "Coldplay's atmospheric and epic melodies."
Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone alluded to how "Native is "catchy and predictable: big melodies, inspirational lyrics, production that sits between pop and rock and dance", but was critical of Tedder, who he called "a song savant who's a boring and characterless singer."musicOMH's Elliah Heifetz surmised that "Often enough though, Native does truly shine", which he noted the fact "there's no question the man can write", but that "it's just a real shame that Tedder seems to have forgotten how to write for his band. And this, ultimately, is what keeps Native from both from being a great OneRepublic album, and from its true potential as a great album by Ryan Tedder." Hellhound Music's Matt Crane found the release to be "filled with musical exploration, dense lyrical themes, emotional depth, and diverse instrumental execution." Elysa Gardner of USA Today evoked how "Ryan Tedder neither surprises nor disappoints, offering sturdy, atmospheric pop" on the album.Idolator's Emily Tan said that "Native has OneRepublic demonstrating how they’ve grown as a band while also somewhat managing to stick to their musical foundations." At the Knoxville News Sentinel, Chuck Campbell noted that with Tedder he "happily sticks to his guns, relentlessly firing off the ammo until he wins the battle with irresistible refrains and a mostly optimistic attitude", which contains some "unapologetic hokum in 'Native,' from the sweeping choruses to the upbeat themes to the quaint keyboards," and the album is not "artlessly endearing." In addition, Campbell highlighted the fact that with respect to the album "the sonic manipulation is transparent: The more blatant OneRepublic is with the hooks the better, plus the more extroverted sounds are far more effective than the subtler arrangements", which if it is "dance music, at least it's smart-ish dance music." Tony Cummings of Cross Rhythms claimed that "with such passionate vocals and Tedder's multi-layered production virtuosity the overall effect is pop rock of the highest standard."
Haley Black of Highlight Magazine said that "Native is no exception and the band keeps producing catchy tunes that appeal to a wide range of listeners", however Black cautioned that "Tedder's vocals are somewhat suffocated and the instruments that are supposed to be dominant are diluted by synthesizers. If many of the songs were slightly more stripped down, this record would have exceeded all expectations." John Pareles of The New York Times gave a positive review of the album, when he praised that "The craftsmanship is painstaking and impressive: layer upon layer of glossy keyboards, reverberant guitars and choirlike backing vocals. But these crystal-palace productions are proud showcases for unctuous, sometimes oddly morbid lyrics." At the Daily Star, John Earls surmised that "Ryan Tedder sings as beautifully as ever and he can’t help writing slick, soulful harmonies" that "even by their standards, the band serve up polished, radio-friendly hits-in-waiting." However, Victoria Segal of Q felt otherwise writing that "Ryan Tedder should have so strikingly failed to include one memorable tune on his own band's album," which is because she noted he has done them for the likes of Adele and Beyoncé. Also, Segal noted how the band would "go through all the emotions in a blaze of overproduced glory, but it's like being hit by a wrecking ball of polysterene[sic], a big swing with very little impact."
The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, making it OneRepublic's first top 10 album. In its first week, Native sold 60,000 units, which is the band’s best sales frame since 2007, when their debut album, Dreaming Out Loud, sold 75,000 in its first week. As of January 2015, Native had sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US. As of August 2015 the album has sold over 4.5 million albums worldwide, or "Track Album Equivalents."
In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 35 and fell out of the top 75 the following week, but re-entered the chart at number 35 in September 2013 after the success of "Counting Stars". The album has since peaked at number nine. In February 2014, Native was certified gold for sales of 100,000 units in the UK.
"If I Lose Myself" was subsequently released afterwards as the second single and new official lead single from the album on January 8, 2013. The remix by Alesso song was featured in the season premiere of the 2013 revival season of One Life to Live.
"Counting Stars" was announced as the third single from the album and was released on June 14, 2013. It was released as the lead single in the UK and several other countries. The song has become their most successful thus far from the album charting within the top five in Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland and New Zealand, and being certified 5x Platinum in Australia and 2x Platinum in New Zealand. In the UK "Counting Stars" became OneRepublic's first ever number one single. In the U.S. "Counting Stars", has peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their highest-charting hit since "Apologize" also peaked there in 2007. The music video for the single was filmed in Louisiana and was released on May 31.
"Something I Need" was announced as the album's fourth single for Oceania and parts of Europe on August 25, 2013. The music video was directed by Cameron Buddy and was released on October 7, 2013. It has been certified 3x Platinum in Australia and Platinum in New Zealand, despite little promotion due to the late success of "Counting Stars".
"Love Runs Out" was announced as the fifth single from their album on April 9, 2014. The song was meant to be released as the lead single from the album, but Ryan stated, “The verse was an A, and everything else was an A, but the chorus was a B. So we tabled it.” The song was released on April 14, along with a re-release of the album in the US. The song was released to US Top 40 radio on May 6, 2014.
"I Lived" was announced as the sixth single from the album on August 13, 2014. It was originally planned to be released as the fifth single but was scrapped in favor of "Love Runs Out". On September 23, 2014 the Arty remix was released as a single on iTunes Store.
"What You Wanted" was released as a promotional single from the album on February 19, 2013, available to download on iTunes in the month leading up to the album's release on available listings of the album. The song was also featured on the trailer for the movie adaptation of John Green's novel, The Fault In Our Stars (2014).