Owl City’s third album, The Midsummer Station, was released last week by Universal Republic Records. A new record label is not the only change Owl City artist Adam Young’s music has made. There is definitely a different feel to this album overall.
The radio release of “Good Time” featuring Carly Rae Jepson writer of “Call Me Maybe” fame was the first song released from the album. The upbeat but rather shallow lyrics fit right into the pop scene and encapsulate the feel of the rest of The Midsummer Station.
Young has been performing in many bigger venues to promote The Midsummer Station and his single “Good Time.” He’s sang it everywhere from VH1 Buzz to the Today Show and even America’s Got Talent.
Young seems to have veered away from his original electronic sounds and prolific lyrics. A lot of the poetry found in his past two cds seems to be missing. It’s been replaced with peppy dance beats and positive, almost clichéd, lyrics.
Songs like “Dreams and Disasters,” “Shooting Star,” “Gold” and “Embers” all seem to have similar themes. They definitely serve as moral boosters, encouraging listeners to be unique and survive any situation. These sunny songs, however, focus around overused phrases like “shine like the sun” and “shine brighter than a shooting star.”
Aside from the shiny focus of the music, there’s another major change in Young’s lyrics. In past albums he’s described his almost fear of women, focusing on his awkward interactions and nervousness. The new album is fused with more confidence.
“I’m Coming After You” and “Speed of Love” seem to say that Young is ready to mix and mingle with other singles rather than hide from girls with clever puns. Young even throws out the word “foxy” in the James Bond themed “Bombshell Blonde.”
This confidence is a new vibe from Young, and while it’s good that he’s branching out, it’s just not as adorable as songs like “Deer in the Headlights” from his last album. Young even has a sort of break up song in “Take It All Away.” “Metropolis,” however, has vibes of Owl City favorites like “Vanilla Twilight” focusing on missing someone you love.
The single ballad of The Midsummer Station is a welcomed change from the rest of the upbeat album. “Silhouette” features acoustic piano and paints a beautifully haunting melody about moments of hopelessness. While still hopeful, “Silhouette” offers listeners something for when they aren’t feeling so bright.
In All Things Bright and Beautiful, Young’s last album, he explores themes of spirituality. Young has always been open about his faith on his blog, but he explicitly explored Christian themes in past projects. The Midsummer Station seems to ignore those themes for an unknown reason.
All in all, The Midsummer Station would make a good road trip CD. The vibe seems appropriate for mid summer for sure. However, Young definitely seems to be veering towards a pop following and away from the cute traits that made his music unique.
It’s hard to even be frustrated with such a sincere guy, even when it feels like he’s pandering. He actively responds to fans via Twitter and frequently blogs like he’s just a normal guy.
“The knowledge that there are people out there who appreciate what I do is of immeasurable worth and it’s near-impossible for me to put into words how thankful I am for your willingness to listen and support my art,” said Young, on his blog on Aug. 17.