’10 Reviews

I bought this album, yes album, for different reasons. First, i have seen Zooey Deschanel in a couple of movie roles and have thought she is relatively good at the whole acting thing and i heard that she was into singing so i presumed that she would be decent at the singing thing as well. Second, i am into artists who play really great music, write really good lyrics and who aren’t being plastered all over the radio airwaves. Indie – might be an okay word to describe my tastes (but that isn’t the totality of my tastes to be sure).

The songs are catchy, but not hook-laden. A throwback to the 60’s (and, according to some, 70’s beach pop) era without being over the top. It’s a fun album that doesn’t take itself too seriously and draws you in from the first track, Thieves.

The highlight of the album is not the song that has gotten the most air-time (Into the Sun) but the song Gonna Get Along Without You Now. It’s a great album to throw on at the end of a long day, sit back, relax and let her vocals and her partner’s guitar work transport you back musically to a different era and they still keep it fresh, relevant and up-to-date. Good work and great album!

 

Adam Young (aka Owl City) was probably the biggest thing to hit the music scene in 2009. His breakout song “Fireflies” was all over the airwaves and music video countdowns. Here is the secret to that album (Ocean Eyes): Fireflies isn’t even the best song. I downloaded the album a while ago after hearing Fireflies on the radio. Amazon had it for $5 so I thought what is there to lose. Even if the other songs are only half as good then it was money well spent. Crazy thing is, most all of them were just as good and some were even better! Money well spent indeed.

Out of a 12 track album (which by the way…i purchased on Amazon also in vinyl – it came in two albums, one a see through aqua, and the other one in a pure white – so incredibly cool!) I regularly skip only 2 songs.

One of the complaints against Owl City is the comparison to The Postal Service. I have not really listened to the Postal Service but what I have heard I think that the comparison is unfair. The electronic element is obviously present in each but with different results. That is like saying that Guns N Roses sounds like Jefferson Airplane because they both played rock. One played years before the other and influences can be found in any group.

All the songs on Ocean Eyes are family-friendly, bubble-gum, feel good, make you wanna turn up the car stereo as you drive songs. I was able to download, play, and even put on my kids MP3 players the whole album. My youngest is 6.

Hello Seattle is a fun pop song (though the remix is way cooler) that is so bizarre yet catchy that i found myself singing the lyrics just because they are off the wall. Meteor Shower is the closest song you will find on his album that shows his Christian faith: “I am not my own, I have been made new. Please don’t let me go. I desparately need you.”

The lead singer from the christian rock/alt. band, Relient K, not only comes and lends his voice but helps produce the album as well (maybe that is where some of the funky lyrics come from!). My personal favorite songs are: The Saltwater Room which, again, is not a deeply profound song but has layers of depth and meaning as to elicit the occasional “yeah, i can resonate with that” remark. But, probably, my favorite, and much repeated, song on this whole album is: The Tip of the Iceberg. An understated electronic/pop song that starts slow but progressively builds both in terms of beat, lyric and emotional depth.

Adam Young is proving himself to be a great writer, a gifted musician (a DJ that can actually play other instruments!), but also a master of making his songs sound alive and fresh (and doing this primarily through the vehicle of his laptop). I am not normally a fan of computer music but I think that Adam Young gets it right, does it right (by keeping it family friendly) and will have a long career in front of him.

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