Are they really this desperate? Last week my 6 yr daughter was watching a kids awards show and one of the awards was for best musical act. One Republic was one of the nominees. Now this awards show was aimed squarely at kids between 5 - 10 yrs old. This is the guy U2 are going to for advice and to produce them? Are they this outta touch? What happened to the Bono who once said "f**k the pop kids".
As bad as OneRepublic can be, trust me, there are FAR worse acts out there. Pop radio today is such that bands like OneRepublic and Twenty One Pilots are actually considered GOOD bands. Up til the last album of theirs, I'd happily listen to a OneRepublic song above any of the other dredge on the radio. Also, lots of bands are nominated for kids awards, even Coldplay in their heyday. Doesn't cheapen the music, it's just another award show like the Grammy's.
Tedder has worked with artists like Adele, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift. We might not like any of those artists, but they are considered some of the best artists in music today. In the case of those first 3, justifiably so because they are good singers.
This is not like U2 working with, say, Justin Bieber or heck, even Ed Sheeran (who, while being talented, I don't think deserves to work with U2 just yet). They're working with a guy who has a crazy amount of experience and respect in the industry. Again, I am not a fan of his but as a amateur musician, I get why he's respected and why certain artists are HUGE today. That's why I'm not panicking about him working with U2. It could end up being good. He did a decent enough job with SoI, which makes me optimistic that he and Lillywhite can do an even better job on SoE.