Entertainment Music

Solo act Owl City’s latest album not worth a hoot

By Chase Stevens ’12
The Roundup

Every once in a while, a musician comes along and revolutionizes music with great visionary skills, genius writing and incredible talent.

Adam Young, the musician behind Owl City, is not one of these people.

Owl City’s first major album, “Ocean Eyes,” was released on iTunes on July 14, while the physical copy was released on July 28. Owl City consists of Adam Young, and only Adam Young. He started out by writing his music in his parent’s basement.

Before “Ocean Eyes,” Adam Young had released two independent albums on his own. He gained popularity through putting his songs on Myspace.com.

“Ocean Eyes” is Owl City’s first major album. If you like electronica and pop music, then you’ll love “Ocean Eyes.” Young maintains a good mix of electronica and pop throughout the album. That being said, if you have music taste above that of a 12-year-old who listens to Radio Disney, then Owl City is not for you.

The hit single of “Ocean Eyes” is the song “Fireflies.” With the Auto-Tune vocals and nonsensical lyrics it’s a wonder as to how it got to No. 1 on the charts.

The lyrics are horrible. Lightning bugs aren’t going to give you hugs. I don’t care about the description of the disco ball and other random items in your room. And yes, we get it, you like to believe planet Earth spins slowly.

Sarcasm aside, the lyrics make no sense at all.

The fact that Adam Young’s voice is essentially run through a synthesizer makes him indistinguishable from every other musician who has bought a copy of Auto-Tune and magically produced a top 40 song.

The other songs are mainly like “Fireflies,” except no better.

“Umbrella Beach” is more hyperactive than a three-year-old who just ate a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

“Hello Seattle” is also a foul perpetuator of horrible lyrics and bad synthesizer.

An example of better music is the solo project The Postal Service. The man behind The Postal Service is Ben Gibbard, along with producer Jimmy Tamborello. While Tamborello helps with some instruments, the majority of music by The Postal Service is performed by Gibbard.

With similarities in style, vocals and band setup, many people think that Owl City is a rip-off of The Postal Service. Even Young himself admits that Owl City sounds a lot like The Postal Service.

If I had to give this album a rating, it would be 2 out of 5 stars. “Ocean Eyes’” only redeeming quality is that it’s a somewhat different sound in the mainstream music, and can be catchy at times.