"Secrets" is the second single released from OneRepublic's second studio album Waking Up. It was released as the first single in Germany and Austria owing to its presence on the soundtrack of Til Schweiger's film Zweiohrküken. The movie is the sequel to the film Keinohrhasen, for which "Apologize" was the film soundtrack. The song rocketed up the German and Austrian airplay charts. The song was released in the United States iTunes Store on November 3, 2009. The song was due for a UK release on April 5, 2010 but was later canceled. It was sent to U.S. Top 40/Mainstream radio on June 1, 2010.
The song was prominently used and featured in the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and was also used to launch the "Big Pony" fragrance line for Ralph Lauren. An instrumental version of "Secrets" also featured prominently in the FaceTime portion of Apple's iPhone 4 video introduction in 2010. In the same year, it was used in many promotional trailers for ABC Family's new series Pretty Little Liars. In 2011, the song was featured as runway soundtrack at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. The song has been heavily utilized in network promotional advertising for various series and several other film trailers in the United States.
The song was featured at the end of episode 6 ("Reality Kills") of season 9 of the CBS series CSI: Miami.
John Hill from About.com rated it with 4.5 stars (out of 5), praising Tedder for bringing nuance to the lyrics. Hill writes "The song starts out more like a conversation, but turns into a powerful plea by the time the chorus comes around." Hill speculates as to the meaning of this plea but thinks it best that listeners find their own meaning.
The music video debuted on German television on October 16, 2009. It shows the band playing their instruments and Ryan Tedder singing. Furthermore, it features scenes from the film Zweiohrküken.
A second version of the video, was released as a promo for the premiere of the sixth season of the US TV seriesLost. This version has takes from the original video, with the band playing on a studio, mixed with scenes from the series.
A third version, the music video that is used worldwide, has scenes from the original video with clips of a woman (Nora Tschirner) waiting for someone at an outdoor restaurant. It premiered May 17, 2010 on VEVO.
"Secrets" debuted at No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later re-entered at No. 83, reaching its peak at No. 21. It is their fourth top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has sold 3,070,000 digital copies in the US as of January 2014.