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MusicUnderFire | April 16, 2014

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Album Review: Owl City, The Midsummer Station

Album Review: Owl City, The Midsummer Station
Michele

Pop/electronica outfit Owl City, aka Adam Young, just put out his fourth record The Midsummer Station on August 21st, an appropriate near-end of summer release.  This is the guy who brought you the quadruple platinum single “Fireflies” from the record Ocean Eyes in 2009.  His latest is expectedly synth and percussion-forward, as per this songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s usual scheme.  It conveys overarchingly upbeat insights, and more than invites some dancing of the teenage variety.  It even includes texturally-dirty, techno-inspired synth riffs and splice action, as in “Bombshell Blonde”, perhaps the album’s most instrumentally interesting track.  The song that seems to have earned a spot in the limelight  is “Good Time”, featuring “Call Me Maybe” chick Carly Rae Jepsen, as well as a chorus of youngsters singing along to the melody.

The album encompasses quite a bit of an astronomical theme, with lines like “…it’s time for you to shine brighter than a shooting star, so shine no matter where you are…”, and “…when it’s all said and done we’ll shine like the sun…”.  The former lyrics belong to “Shooting Star”, a tune packed with Young’s trademark fast and trance-like drums, and some digital keyboard work that zaps around like- you guessed it, a shooting star.  “Speed of Love” involves some mention of satellites and streaks of light, with the song’s subject watching the world from a bird’s eye view.  Even the star song of the record references the sun and moon, in the lines “Good morning and goodnight, I wake up at twilight.”

“Dementia”, sporting vocals from Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, starts off with percussion a bit more complex and acoustic-sounding than Owl City’s usual, straightforward drum grooves.  He is being clever albeit a little redundant here in singing “Dementia, you’re driving me crazy,” in a song that’s hinged on the same jovial melody and bouncing beat as many of his other songs.  But the album also takes a balladic turn with “Take it All Away”, slowing it down just a bit with a forlorn story about loss of love.

More than half the songs on The Midsummer Station are up to snuff with the chart-topping “Firefly”, and will undoubtedly garner Owl City similar accolades that he earned for his previous output.  He may not be doing anything new, but he’s certainly keeping the midsummer jam alive by perpetuating the electro-techno beat.  If you’re looking for a feel-good dance record, this certainly fits the bill.

www.owlcitymusic.com

Listen to “Bombshell Blonde”

1 comments
Brendan
Brendan

Young sounds quite a bit like Tom DeLonge in "Dementia". I'm guessing this is just what Hoppus is used to which profusely bled into that track. Nice review!