Owl City – The Midsummer Station

By sara.walz on August-17-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , | Share

Owl City – The Midsummer Station
Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/53
3.9 (7 votes)

Artist: Owl City
Title: The Midsummer Station
Label: Universal Music Group
Release Date: 08/21/2012
Reviewer: Sara Walz

Tracklisting:

  1. Dreams and Disasters
  2. Shooting Star
  3. Gold
  4. Dementia (ft. Mark Hoppus)
  5. I’m Coming After You
  6. Speed of Love
  7. Good Time (ft. Carly Rae Jepsen)
  8. Embers
  9. Silhouette
  10. Metropolis
  11. Take It All Away

Coming off the heels of a not-so-critically-acclaimed sophomore release, Minnesota native, Adam Young, steps up to the plate again to see if the third time’s the charm. With the single “Good Time,” featuring “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen, already making huge waves in radio the rest of The Midsummer Station seems to follow suit.

Young stepped out of his comfort zone (aka, his basement) for this release teaming up with various other writers, producers, and artists to create quite possibly the most diverse Owl City record to date. Enlisting the help of Relient K’s Matt Theissen, Robopop, and Stargate it comes as no surprise that The Midsummer Station is a smorgasbord of ear candy. With everything from punk to pop to polished electronica there’s a little something for just about everyone. “Dementia” ventures into the punk rock arena and has an edge that we haven’t seen from Owl City before, guest vocals from Blink-182 singer Mark Hoppus are the perfect addition to give it that punk feel. “Speed of Love” is electronically charged and sounds more like a former side project of Young’s (Swimming with Dolphins) than the electronic-lite we have come to know and love. “I’m Coming After You” is a fun, poppy ditty that includes siren-wails made by Adam himself and “Gold” is classic Owl City.

While The Midsummer Station is a solid release some of the whimsy that captured our hearts, think “Fireflies,” “Strawberry Avalanche,” and “Alligator Sky”, is missing. What was once word pictures that teased our imaginations and dared us to live in a different reality are now straight forward songs about love and loving life. It’s not bad at all, just different. Piano driven ballad “Silhouette” shows the quiet, searching side of Young “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” and “Shooting Star” shows the hopeful side singing “When the sun goes down and the lights burn out/ Then it’s time for you to shine/ Brighter than a shooting star/ So shine no matter where you are.”

Overall: Collaborations and genre-crossing have produced one of the most distinct Owl City records to date, with a little something for everyone to enjoy. Honest, heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics give us a glimpse at the real Young. In one word, it’s #owlsome.

 

Owl City - The Midsummer Station, 3.9 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

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About the author sara.walz

sara is a mid-twentysomethings dreamer from minneapolis, mn. she has a giant crush on jon foreman and just wants to live on a tour bus. she tweets approximately once a day: @storiesofagirl View all posts by sara.walz

15 Responses to 'Owl City – The Midsummer Station'

  1. Lucas says:

    The songs I’ve heard so far range from awesome to super meh. From what I’ve heard it doesn’t look like this will be his best album, but will pick it up nonetheless. Even if it’s a total flop I’ll support Adam Young in whatever he does. Such an amazing man!

  2. Luke Foster says:

    Dementia, embers, silhouette

    Thats where all positives end for me.

  3. I probably will never listen to this but I appreciate Owl City reviews that don’t think Owl City is the savior of pop music nor its lowest point because Owl City is neither imo.

  4. Dakota says:

    I LOVED All Things Bright and Beautiful and am iffy about this one. I’m still thinking about buying it because some of the previews sound good. Especially the itunes exclusive Bombshell Blonde.

  5. Chris says:

    I think it’s either a dumb move on the part of the record label or an arrogant move on the part of Young to make an Itunes bonus track.

    1. Some people hate Apple for the way they’ve treated employees overseas, their DRM, their overpriced products and/or for how they waited so long to go high-quality with their downloads.

    2. Ultimately, a lot of the audience already had adverse reactions to some of these songs and/or already has 5 of them by buying Shooting Star EP and “Good Time”. WHY WOULD YOU HAVE ANY TREPIDATION ABOUT GIVING EVERYONE WHO DOWNLOADS OR BUYS IT – AMAZON, EMUSIC, CD – 7 NEW TRACKS?????!?!??!?!?!

    It’s so absurd. More songs equals more chances someone will want to buy the whole album. I understand the concept of sequencing, and trying to create a cohesive album of just your best songs. Yet, it just seems like a bit of a rip-off you buy the album on Amazon because you prefer their system or company, and then you gotta create an Apple ID, sign up, download Itunes, then pay another $1.29 or maybe more to get one song that you deserved to have in the first place.

    Also, no offense to Sara, the ratings system is flawed and/or not being followed consistently.

    Some of the reviews on here have been excellent and give you an idea of what it sounds like and what the lyrics are.

    Rather than having to click on a bunch of links to finally find a good review or click on multiple individual song links to get a collection of the lyrics, IVM often gives you all you need in one place.

    Yet, I would feel more comfortable if everyone stuck to one of these rating scales:

    0 = 0%, terrible
    1 = 20% , awful, rounding up 15-19%
    2 = 40%, rounding up 35-39%
    3 = 60%, rounding up 55-59%
    4 = 80%, rounding up 75-79%
    5 = 100%, maybe rounding up everything 95% and up

    or

    1 = 0%
    2 = 25%
    3 = 50%
    4 = 75%
    5 = 100%

    My guess is there has been some blowback for too many 4 and 5 star reviews, but it’s just odd.

    “A little something for everyone”? “A smorgasbord of ear candy”? “Owlsome”? 3 out of 5?

  6. What do you guys think of this article? A guy from Australian Owl City-esque band, Summertime’s End has some critical thoughts on the new direction of Owl City

    http://summertimesend.tumblr.com/post/29695237385/whyimnolongerafan

    • Chris says:

      Eh, he doesn’t complain of the lack of explicit Gospel message in his previous albums.

      Owl City is inoffensive, often fun (in my opinion) music. A third of this article is spent criticizing his fans. This is the most ludicrous section (because the article’s point is to express disappointment in Adam) but maybe the most fruitful if Adam reads it and decides – as Tim Tebow should – to let his fans know he can’t save them from their sinful condition, that he’s a sinner just like them, that the Triune God is the only one worthy of worship. Owl City, Tim Tebow, and Ron Paul aren’t responsible for the blind idolatry of their followers. However, Christians are all called to proclaim the Gospel and it’s probably a good idea to help out fans who are building themselves up for a letdown (faith in any human being is only temporally satisfying, and the worship of man incurs God’s righteous wrath).

      Stylistically, Adam says he wanted to go this route. We can question his motive$, but it’s pretty pointless since we can’t prove it, nor would it matter if he did abandon art for money (that’s not some heresy in need of public rebuke, nor sin in need of private admonishment and restoration).

      I’d rather just believe him when he says it, and not be surprised or disappointed if he admits later that this was just a cash grab. It’s a tough economy, and if you’re going to spend a lot of money on producing an album, you gotta have hit singles on it to make a profit.

    • Iaya97 says:

      For once, I agree with Chris.

    • Chris says:

      If an artist who calls himself Christian is twisting Scripture or presenting a different gospel, then let’s publicly call him out, regardless of how many people inside and/or outside the church call it “judging”.

      If an artist who calls himself Christian is choosing not to share with others through his music, but would rather make poetic and non-Biblical music, I don’t care.

      I won’t measure lukewarmness by how deeply Underoath or Owl City hide their Christianity in their lyrics and on stage.

      I mean, if Owl City wanted to dub his albums “Christian”, I’d laugh at that, given the lack of any sort of cohesive thoughts or direct Biblical references, but I wouldn’t mock him.

      I have several screenplays brewing. They all have Scriptural messages embedded in them, but does each of them blatantly call sinners to repentance to the God of the Bible and faith in His Son Jesus Christ as the sole substitute for their sin? No.

      This is a gray area, one where you have to trust that artists are following their convictions, hold them accountable if you know them personally and they admit they aren’t, or just don’t buy their music.

      The best thing this guy who’s disappointed should do is create the Owl City album he wanted to hear, if that’s monetarily possible.

      One of my comments that never made it explained my issue with the “Itunes” exclusive track and how inconsistent it is to see “#Owlsome”, “a smorgasbord”, “a little something for everyone to enjoy” and only a 3 star rating.

      I also think it’s stupid when fans already have four of these songs and you’re only giving them seven more, to stash an eighth one on Itunes when many people don’t like Apple or their products.

    • Iaya97 says:

      Owl City has not hid his faith though. He has even released a couple of hymn covers, including “In Christ Alone.”

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, but, how many people have heard that? You don’t hear about man’s sinful condition and the sanctifying work of Christ explicitly on his albums. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. If someone wants to hear the Gospel, timothy brindle’s “The Restoration” is constructed to give it to you over and over again with all sorts of insight.

    • Iaya97 says:

      Yeah I definitely know what you mean. I haven’t really listened to Owl City so I really can’t talk about his songwriting or whatever. I was just really impressed that he would cover “In Christ Alone” instead of something a bit more generic like “Amazing Grace.” Nothing against “Amazing Grace,” of course.

      And yeah, Timothy Brindle presents the Gospel. Not really a fan of his though.

  7. Yorik Bruhl says:

    Didnt Owl City just put out a full length like a couple months ago? I’m confused.

  8. Len says:

    They put out an EP, that was a teaser to this one… and the last full-length was about a year or two ago.

  9. Lucas says:

    As a big fan of Owl City, I’d probably give this a 3/5 at the most. I think “Shooting Star” is the weakest song (the very definition of “generic”) and I’m not big fan at all of the dance portion in the middle of the record. That said I did really love “Dementia” and I thought the last four tracks were all pretty great. (particularly “Silhouette”)
    My ultimate opinion of this record will probably depend on how good the next one is. If the purpose of this record is to give Owl City more relevance in the industry, and the next record ends up being awesome, then I totally understand. But if this is where his music is going then I’ll consider this the beginning of the end.

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