Owl City - The Midsummer Station
Record Label: Republic
Release Date: August 21, 2012
After releasing his platinum selling debut Ocean Eyes, Owl City's Adam Young followed up with his sophomore effort All Things Bright and Beautiful, which to date has only sold 140k, falling well short of the numbers of his highly-touted debut. Many critics began to question the direction he would take with his third full length album. After announcing that he wanted to change up his style a bit with his next release The Midsummer Station, Young also noted that he would be working with other writers and producers for the first time ever, including Stargate and Sam Hollander.
The duet with Carly Rae Jepsen on "Good Time" showcases Young's ability to craft a catchy melody that will get stuck in your head for days to come. Jepsen's vocals blend well with Young as they sing "It's always a good time". The lyrics are a little cheesy, but it's a pop song and it doesn't try to be anything more than that. I would like to hear more duets with female singers in the future, something that Young did in the past with singer Breanne Düren.
"Gold" has radio hit written all over it and is one of the highlights of the album. With a sound reminiscent of the production of Ryan Tedder of One Republic, it features Young belting out a chorus, singing "I don't need the stars in the night. I found my treasure. All I need is you by my side" It has a great melody and proves that Young can hang with the big boys of modern pop music. It could easily be a song sung by the likes of Justin Bieber and Chris Brown.
Young branches out from the dance music with his pop-rock song "Embers", which includes soaring vocals and electric guitars in the chorus. The vocals, which sound like Mae in the pre-chorus, seem to open up and show that he can really sing without the need for excessive autotune. It is a welcome break that comes halfway through the record and leaves open the window for a future Owl City rock album.
Adam Young stated before that he didn't want to be typecast into one style of music and this record proves that he can write a good melody, no matter the genre. The Midsummer Station plays out like a sampler of the potential for what is to come for Owl City. Depending on how this album does in the charts, Republic may push Young to head towards the style of "Good Time". With a little less autotune and continued help from co-writers, Owl City is sure to be around for years to come, blurring the lines between rock, pop and everything in between. Either way, Adam Young will continue to have a good time.
I've listened to this album once, and it really threw me off, because I was a huge fan of his older stuff (Ocean Eyes and back). I'm sure I'll enjoy it a bit more. Anyway, this was a great review, and I was planning on buying a copy of this soon, so I could review it myself.