Owl City’s miserable hoots
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Album: The Midsummer Station
Release Date: August 21
Label: Universal Republic
Synthpop project Owl City, also known as Adam Young, is recognized worldwide for his hit track “Fireflies” that ruled radio airwaves in 2009. Young has since failed to write another album or single that matches his one-hit wonder.
After the dismal sales of the third album, All Things Bright and Beautiful, Young decided to take his sound in a new direction by collaborating with various artists on The Midsummer Station.
The Midsummer Stationproduces a sense of going into a time machine, with its pop hooks and the soft choruses reminiscent of the ’80s – a time when MTV actually played music. However, this attempt is lackluster with Young’s integration of electronica.
The Stargate-produced track “Shooting Star” is overflowing with positive messages, which are embedded in its spirited beat. However, this style comes off as a bit cheesy. It seems as though the track tries too hard to be accepted into the club scene.
“’Cause it’s time for you to shine/brighter than a shooting star shine/no matter where you are,” Young sings.
The theme of positivity is also exemplified in “Gold,” and is bearable only due to its stuttering chorus. Listeners will find themselves singing the chorus as it becomes stuck in their brains, like gum to a sidewalk.
“Dementia,” with pop-punk band Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and “Good Time” with overnight success Carly Rae Jepsen are manufactured for the radio with Young’s signature heavy use of auto-tune.
“Good Time” has already become a commercial success due in part to the “Call Me Maybe” songstress, and “Dementia” might not be far behind if the public is excited by the idea of Blink-182 with a synthesizer.
Young closes out his album with the track “Silhouette,” which channels the ambiance of past hit “Vanilla Twilight.”
However, the airy vocals are replaced with a saddening croon of a heartbroken Young. The track does not fit the previous feel of the album and the lyrics make little sense as Young sings about chasing rainbows on his own.
Although Young’s initial success granted Owl City a household name, The Midsummer Station did not come up to par with “Fireflies” and is forgettable as a whole.