Monday, 20 August 2012

Owl City 'The Midsummer Station' Album Review


1. Dreams and Disasters 4.5/5
3. Gold 4/5
4. Dementia ft. Mark Hoppus 5/5
5. I'm Coming After You 3.5/5
6. Speed of Love 3.5/5
8. Embers 5/5
9. Silhouette 5/5
11. Take It All Away 4/5
12. Bombshell Blonde 4/5

The album begins with 'Dreams and Disasters', a beautifully named track which will hook you from the start and reflects the developed sound which is consistent throughout the album. This is followed by tracks released from EP 'Shooting Star' out earlier this year, a teaser to the album. 'Shooting Star' and 'Gold' are both very upbeat and radio-friendly tracks which timelessly makes you feel good and you can listen to again and again.

On this album, Young specifically wanted to collaborate with different people having worked a lot on his own on prior albums. Dementia ft Mark Hoppus is an addictively catchy track (one of my favourites) with a developed sound; whilst some argue has commercialised, I feel it is not a bad thing if more tracks like this were to be made! 'Good Time' on the other hand featuring Carly Rae Jepsen (singer of smash hit 'Call Me Maybe') is again catchy and commercial but lacks the deeper, poetic lyrics I so loved from previous records.

Sandwiched between these two collabs are two rather fun songs about love: 'I'm Coming After You' is quirky whilst 'Speed of Love' makes you want to jump around and dance to, with just the right amount of cheese.

The next few songs are clearly the climax of the album and it is sheer perfection. 'Embers' has some beautifully poetic lyrics (And when it’s all said and done we’ll shine like the sun so don’t let the fire die/ And we’ll watch the sky as it fills with light/ And though the embers are new, whatever you do just don’t let the fire die), yet powerful and dramatic with such an overwhelming chorus, I can't stop listening to it. 

'Silhouette' is the only soft song on the album which draws a lot of attention to it musically and lyrically. Sounding like it could be from 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', the song reminds us all why we love Owl City and lyrically it is genuine and heartfelt: "I'm a silhouette, chasing rainbows on my own/ But the more I try to move on, the more I feel alone/ So I watch the summer stars to lead me home".

As the album comes to an end, 'Metropolis' brings the fun back in this upbeat song that has a great pop feel but doesn't stand out and may take a few more listens to really fall in love with. 'Take It All Away' bookends the album nicely with a coherent sound similar to tracks earlier in the album.

Bonus track 'Bombshell Blonde' closes the album with an edgy and darker sound which is surprising in a good way. With lyrics like 'She's a bomshell blonde, light her up to detonate/ I'm Flames Pond, live to die another day /Bombshell blonde, high explosive dynamite /She's all I want, so I am on a mission tonight", it's hard not to get addicted to it! I have no words- this definitely doesn't sound like anything we've heard from Owl City before but is an exploration and interesting development... maybe stick to the likes of 'Embers' and 'Silhouette' but interesting nonetheless. 

SONGS TO LOVE: Dreams and Disasters, Dementia, Embers, Silhouette

Many people claim that this is a departure from his previous records and this is not 'Owl City' anymore... Of course the sound will change- it is called development- and I am so happy that Adam has decided to explore other areas of music that interests and inspires him in order to create better music. You won't learn unless you try. On this album, there are some truly brilliant songs which would not have come about had he not ventured into this new area. As an artist, he is showing that he is growing, changing and not just staying the same creating the same record again and again and I applaud him for that. 

Overall, 'The Midsummer Station' is a solid fourth album from Owl City showing diversity and a developed sound which is upbeat and catchy, super fun yet honest and genuine. Time to listen to it on repeat.

Adam Young has been putting a few demos onto his tumblr as I just want to say that 'Beautiful Mystery' sounds amazing and compliments this album really well. 

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