Release Date: Jul 10, 2015
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Pop, Electronic, Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic, Emo-Pop
During the three years between Midsummer Station and Mobile Orchestra, Owl City's Adam Young kept busy contributing songs to film soundtracks and releasing the Ultraviolet EP. However, Young's fifth album suggests that he paid attention to the big trends in pop music that surfaced since his last full-length. Mobile Orchestra lives up to its name, covering more musical ground than any of Owl City's previous work.
Owl City’s Adam Young makes music so bland and textureless that it should carry a health warning. On this fifth album he burbles through sweet electropop that adopts the on-trend EDM punch of his 2010 hit Good Time, with some country-pop and soft-rock thrown in for good measure. Postal Service fans may still mutter about the similarities between Young and Ben Gibbard’s dulcet vocal styles, particularly on Bird With a Broken Wing, but that won’t stop this album appealing to fans eager to lose themselves in Young’s warmly lit world of breathless crushes, his almighty God and the nostalgic markers of a 90s childhood.
Many would say Owl City—née Adam Young—makes music for teen girls. They’d be wrong. Owl City makes music for pre-teen girls. A cursory scan of the lyric sheets on Young’s previous three LPs reveal musings on bumblebees, fireflies, and shooting stars. It would be no surprise if Young’s ….
Six years after the commercial breakthrough “Fireflies,” Owl City’s Adam Young has virtually mastered his poppy electronica-lite formula, and aims straight for the mainstream with this earnest, eager-to-please new work. These carefully manicured, melodic songs are much too transparent and lightweight, though, to leave much of an impression. The moony “I Found Love” and bubblegum EDM of “Verge” (“out on the verge of the rest of our lives”) sound overly calculated, seemingly begging to be included in the next film adaptation of a John Green novel.