Sunday, June 12, 2011

Owl City: All Things Bright and Beautiful Review

Following the success of his mainstream radio hit “Fireflies,” Adam Young, better known as Owl City, is back with his third studio project All Things Bright And Beautiful. Already thriving with two chart-topping radio singles (“Galaxies” and “Alligator Sky”), Owl City’s latest project All Things Bright and Beautiful is an amazing disco/pop project, perfect for fans of Relient K, or all time lovers of this group to add to their music library.

The serene disco opener, “The Real World” states that “reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t wanna live there.” After “The Real World” opens the album perfectly, “Dear In the Headlights” follows with sweet metaphorical lyrics about relationships: “Tell me again was it love at first sight?/ When I walked by and you caught my eye/ Didn’t you know love could shine this bright?/ Well, smile because you’re a dear in the headlights.”  

The full “Angels” almost sounds a bit futuristic with this repetitive rhetoric: “I guarantee there are angels around your vicinity.” “Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust” was my favorite from All Things Bright and Beautiful, with rhyming lyrics and strong orchestra additions to the spacey-feeling track.

“Honey and the Bee,” acoustic guitar-based, but not forgetting the enjoyable pop from its preceding tracks, speaks of beauty all around, but the vocals of this track were somewhat irritating. “Kamikaze,” (Divine Wind) is highlighted by echoes and electronic effects throughout. Next comes a thirty-eight second sample of a speech given by President Ronald Reagan about the space shuttle Challenger, followed aptly by the definite space anthem “Galaxies.” This is the one highlight from All Things Bright and Beautiful that you will find yourself stuck with on repeat, turning it up as loud as possible. The disco sound of this track, as well as echoes and fill-ins, make this track perfect!

“Hospital Flowers,” my favorite track on the album, slows things down a bit and speaks of a man who survived a terrible car collision. After receiving a cup of flowers, he re-observes his situation and gains hope. “Alligator Sky,” a blockbuster radio single, features mainstream hip-hop artist Shawn Christopher, and is awesome futuristic track, speaking of relationships: “Where was I when the rockets came tonight, and carried you away to the alligator sky?” Shawn Christopher’s rapping proved to be the highlight of this track, as well as when the track upped a key.

“The Yacht Club” was a rather strange love song, but the techno beat and strength was enjoyable. “Plant Life” likewise was somewhat bizarre, speaking of seeing a ghost on the stairway, and wanting daisies to break through the floor, but the jumpy, dance style was quite contagious.

One thing is for sure, All Things Bright And Beautiful by Owl City is fantastic musically! Most of the album deals with relationships and love, and just a few tracks were somewhat bizarre and hard to decipher. I definitely wish that Adam Young would take his amazing musical abilities and make his songs more Christ-centered. However, this album does take things up a step higher from his previous project featuring the mainstream hit “Fireflies.” If you’re a fan of Relient K or previous Owl City music, this project is definitely for you!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: June 14, 2011

Track listing:
1. The Real World
2. Dear In the Headlights
3. Angels
4. Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust
5. Honey and the Bee
6. Kamikaze
7. January 28, 1986
8. Galaxies
9. Hospital Flowers
10. Alligator Sky
11. The Yacht Club
12. Plant Life

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