Album Review :
Owl City - Ocean Eyes

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Band: Owl City
Title: Ocean Eyes
Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: July 28th, 2009
Reviewer: TylerM

Tracklisting:

  1. Cave In
  2. The Bird and the Worm
  3. Hello Seattle
  4. Umbrella Beach
  5. The Saltwater Room
  6. Dental Care
  7. Meteor Shower
  8. On the Wing
  9. Fireflies
  10. The Tip of the Iceberg
  11. Vanilla Twilight
  12. Tidal Wave

Intro: I distinctly remember when I first heard Owl City (aka Adam Young). It was approximately two years ago and a friend of mine gave me a CD he bought at a concert in Seattle (appropriate).  The CD given to me was an unofficial EP of various songs, including some that make an appearance on this album I’m reviewing.

Before I listen to an album, I usually check out the artist’s page on MySpace (the only thing that it’s good for nowadays it seems).  Finding only around 900 views on his page I assumed he must be terrible. Man, was I wrong. After listening to the EP I found myself thinking that Owl City could be “the next big thing”. I assume my intuition was correct, for he is on track to becoming one of the most popular “Electronica” artists on MySpace with over 10 million profile views, a far cry from the 900 he had just two years ago.

Review: I had high hopes for this album as I had went to an Relient K/Owl City concert just one week before the release date, and after hearing the new material live, I had a severe case of what I call “I want this now” syndrome. His concert performance was excellent, and by playing 3 new songs he had piqued my interest enough to have me get the album a week later.

The album starts out with the fun album opener “Cave In”.  As the album progresses you’ve begun to get a sense of how Adam wishes to express himself through music. His songs aren’t generally “serious”. These songs are the type you listen to when you are having a bad day, and want some happy, uplifting music. Many of the songs deal with ocean imagery and relationships; though this doesn’t get as cliché as it does with some other bands. Don’t think that Adam neglects his faith in his music. In the worshipful song “Meteor Shower” he cries out:

I am not my own
For I have been made new
Please don’t let me go
I desperately need you

The song is a perfect example of the potential for diversity that Owl City has. Ocean Eyes could be more diverse in terms of seriousness, but for this type of music it doesn’t distract as much as it would in a genre like Metal.  There are other songs on the record dealing with serious topics, like “Tidal Wave” (featuring Matt Thiessen from Relient K), concentrating on the tidal wave of depression that life can bring.  Other album stand outs include the songs “On the Wing”, “Hello Seattle”, and “Fireflies” (his first big hit on the charts).  A remix of “Hello Seattle” is available on iTunes and is also a great version of the song.

Overall: The only thing keeping Ocean Eyes from receiving a perfect score is a lack of more serious songs/topics. The music is original and considering the fact that most music in this genre can be truly terrible; Ocean Eyes is an excellent addition to the genre and faith-based music scene as a whole.

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