Release Date: Aug 21, 2012
Record label: Universal Republic
Adam Young, a.k.a. Owl City, seems to be a nice guy, and he knows how to put together a pop song. But he's also a menace. On Young's fourth LP, he delivers universally annoying synth-pop pep talks – "It's time for you to shine brighter than a shooting star"; "Follow the light through the dreams and disasters" – in a dweeby Mr.
Owl City’s current smash ”Good Time,” his sunny, appealingly stompy collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen, seems to promise an evolution for the bedroom artist (born Adam Young) who scored with his tinkly 2009 hit ”Fireflies.” But the insufferably mushy, relentlessly synthesized The Midsummer Station is loaded with so many platitudes and puns (if Young isn’t ”chasing rainbows,” he’s fawning over his ”constellation prize”) that it quickly descends into sugar shock. At one point, he literally croons, ”It’s time for you to shine brighter than a shooting star/So shine no matter where you are.” Who wrote these lyrics, a man or a My Little Pony? C+ Best Tracks:Good TimeGold .
Adam Young's sugary emo electronica pop as Owl City has been a highly polarizing entity since he broke through in a huge way with runaway single "Fireflies" in 2009. Critics and naysayers dismissed the project as a watered-down Postal Service ripoff way too late in the game, but millions and millions of fans dismissed the critics and made the song an international chart-topper. While "Fireflies" was a really rare accidental Top 40 hit recorded by Young in his basement, The Midsummer Station is the most transparent bid for mainstream airplay imaginable, with each of its 11 tracks so tailored for pop radio, teen movie soundtracks, and soft drink commercials it's laughable.
Pop quiz: Of the four quotes below, which ones are from my high school valedictory speech and which are lyrics from the new Owl City album, The Midsummer Station? 1.) “When the sun goes down and the lights go out, it’s time for you to burn brighter than a shooting star.” 2.) “Shout out to the dreams you’ll chase. Shout out to the hearts you’ll break.” 3.) “I know you’re gold… Shine forever.” 4.) “Oh oh oh watch the world fly by. Oh oh oh rev your engine up.” Actually, that’s a trick question.
A bold and brave new album that steps from the bedroom into the spotlight. John Aizlewood 2012 Arguably the first serious pop star to rise via MySpace and YouTube, Adam Young seemed set for stardom when 2009’s Ocean Eyes, his second album as Owl City, and its attendant single Fireflies took him out of his Minnesota bedroom and into the British and American top 10. Things are rarely so straightforward.