Owl City - The Midsummer Station

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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.