2009 sophomore release from the Minnesota-based Electro-Rock outfit AKA singer/songwriter Adam Young. While his music continues to win followers all over the world, Adam does indeed hide behind his music, not going by his... more » real name (See: Badly Drawn Boy and Dashboard Confessional); but going by the moniker Owl City. Loaded with amazing loops, catchy pickups, and lyrics that soothe the mind and touch the heart, Adam Young has once again created a lush listening experience. Owl City's trademark desire to escape in dreams, oceans and sky abound on songs such as 'Cave In' and 'Umbrella Beach.' With glorious vocal harmonies and touching odes to love lost, Adam has dug more deeply on Ocean Eyes, lyrically and musically, than ever.« less
2009 sophomore release from the Minnesota-based Electro-Rock outfit AKA singer/songwriter Adam Young. While his music continues to win followers all over the world, Adam does indeed hide behind his music, not going by his real name (See: Badly Drawn Boy and Dashboard Confessional); but going by the moniker Owl City. Loaded with amazing loops, catchy pickups, and lyrics that soothe the mind and touch the heart, Adam Young has once again created a lush listening experience. Owl City's trademark desire to escape in dreams, oceans and sky abound on songs such as 'Cave In' and 'Umbrella Beach.' With glorious vocal harmonies and touching odes to love lost, Adam has dug more deeply on Ocean Eyes, lyrically and musically, than ever.
"You'll see a lot of media claptrap about Owl City being a Postal Service knockoff. This is mostly because people in general are sheep who can't look beyond the only similarities (the voices, electronic music, general tone) to look more critically at two albums (Give Up vs Ocean Eyes) and see they don't have that much in common. For anyone who follows their music it becomes apparent that Jimmy Tamborello and Adam Young get to some of the same places in very different ways and both can be very entertaining.
What you will notice about Ocean Eyes is that even when the tone and lyrics go a little overboard in the sap department you can be absolutely dazzled by the mindbogglingly intricate production, and the fervent attention to detail that has been put into this album. Literally every moment of this CD has been filled with some kind of hook. Often the foreground and background mixes are fading in and out from each other with a keen understanding of how long to linger on any individual beat, when to separate, and then when to join them back together. For anyone who has actually sat down a tried to do this you know how hard it is to make it right. Owl City gets it right on almost every track. The result is a house feel that never overstays its welcome a always feels fresh. The deep, layered instrumentation is almost the polar opposite of Jimmy Tamborello's much more minimalist approach, and it works just as well from the opposite direction. The depth of the album is only added to by the tight adherence to its concept. All the tracks work together to make a real album in its entirety. A welcome change. Technically, this is the event horizon of Pro Tools recording.
Ignore the haters. This is one of the best mainstream electronic music releases this year, and for those who enjoy hearing a master DJ who can (gasp!) actually play a few instruments... well you'll love this album."
A Gum Drop River Stream to Pleasure Palace
Sea Pony | Seattle, WA | 07/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Owl City, led by musical prodigy and twilight vampire Adam, has released his 2nd album titled Ocean Eyes. Ocean Eyes continues where 'Maybe I'm Dreaming' left off, causing 13-year old girls everywhere to scratch their collective heads and wonder how Owl City can continue his streak of unprecedented hit-making. Like prior accomplishments by Owl City, Ocean Eyes is a collection of synth pop gems that will delight the most hardened and discerning of musical fanatics. Part synthesizer, part katana to the gonads, Owl City mellifluously blends rainbows, purple love berries, sea ponies, stickers, and MySpace into the most breathtaking aural waterfall.
Listening to Ocean Eyes makes you feel like being an overweight kid in 4th grade, and then one day receiving a passed note that reads, "I think your [sic] cute. Will you go out with me?" Yes Adam. Hugs. We'll go out with you.
Walk, nay -- soar on an eagle -- to your nearest record store and pick up a copy of Adam's opus. In the case of Amazon, add this to your cart now! "
Five-star music here
Kathy Gall | 07/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've quickly become a fan of Owl City in the past three or four months, and I do not in the least bit regret the time I've spent being awed by the musical greatness of Adam Young's music, or the money I've used to buy so many of his songs. They are beautiful, creative, inspiring, and amazing. Adam's music is so beautiful, because 1) it's different than what you hear on the radio, but still something that deserves a spot on the charts and 2) the lyrics are bursting with feeling, and it's so hard to stop yourself from being pulled into the songs. So you'll just have to believe me when I say that this is the band you have been waiting for. I've found that it's nearly impossible to feel sad when listening to Owl City, and the music somehow seems to hide away my tears for a later date. I've been influenced so much by this one man. He is amazing. The music just gets better and better, and even the songs that aren't singles--those ones are just as perfect. This music is flawless, and it seems to come so naturally from Mr. Young. He's got talent, and I mean it when I say that. If you don't care about buying a stupid album from a band that someone might call "weird", then at least listen to some of the samples. Or check out the free song, "Fireflies". It's a musical masterpiece. You'll be so glad you did. With that said, let me leave it at this--Owl City is what smiles sound like."
Simple, Happy, Diary Scribbling
Hayden R. Deck | Virginia, USA | 11/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Overall Grade: B Hilights: Hello Seattle, Dental Care, Fireflies
The suspicion here is that Ben Gibbard of The Postal Service changed names, switched bands, and gave in to the increasingly popular auto-tune. "Ocean Eyes" is fresh and corny, delivering the kind of tunes that you can't really tell apart on your first listen or two. Combining witty lyrics like "I'd rather pick flowers than fights" with club beats and melodic warbles makes this record a sort of hipster dance party, ensuring that the emo movement isn't dying, it's just adapting to the pop culture. Expect something simple and ordinary, wonderful if you're into diary scribbling, and so happy that it's almost awkward."
Contrary to popular opinion, Owl City is an original
Leif Sheppard | United States | 01/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Owl City is the musical project of one Adam Young, who achieved mainstream success with the release of his 2009 effort "Ocean Eyes". Lead single "Fireflies" became one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes last year and the album itself was certified Gold, yet the one tired criticism that remains is that Young's work is somehow mimicking the sound of the 2003 album "Give Up" by The Postal Service. I suppose the same people who confuse Young's voice with that of Ben Gibbard's also confuse Stephin Merritt and Jens Lekman, or Paul Banks and Ian Curtis, etc.
The twisted logic these critics cling to apparently dictates that because these people are incapable of differentiating between the tonal variations, this is somehow the fault of the artist. So, yeah, both "Ocean Eyes" and "Give Up" are electro-pop records, but that's where the similarities end. You won't find Owl City singing about the romantic finesse of Clark Gable or the Kennedy assassination, instead the whole of the album is composed of childlike lyrics that evoke images of contemporary nursery rhymes.
Young prefers to muse over hot air balloon rides, a visit to the dentist's office, or receiving "a thousand hugs from ten thousand fireflies". One critic amusingly suggested, perhaps intending this disparagingly, that if Dr. Seuss were handed a keyboard the result would've been Owl City. Many more take a "too cool for school" attitude and turn their noses up at the blithely youthful content of the lyrics. Yet this, in every sense, is the strong suit of "Ocean Eyes". After shuffling through countless pretentious art rock acts shamelessly promoting their political candidates while alternately layering their lyrics with subversive overtones, it's a refreshing turn to find blissful pop music with not a single underhanded agenda at play. Those who wish to can go on and errantly label Owl City an act for pre-teens or relegate it to the rubbish bin. That's fine, it takes all kinds, but here's one cynical heart won over by the exuberant guilelessness of "Ocean Eyes"."