Owl City - All Things Bright and Beautiful

2011-09-21 12:48
I was tricked into liking Owl City for about five minutes when I first heard those sentimental synth-drenched sounds of "Fireflies" back in 2009 – mainly because I was under the impression that by some miracle I was listening to the intro of the new Postal Service single.

I was not.

I was listening to Owl City’s frontman Adam Young doing his most impeccable Ben Gibbard (Of Death Cab for Cutie) impression over something that resembled the electro-pop sound made famous by Gibbard’s once-off side project The Postal Service. But – and there is a huge but – the lack of sincerity and originality in Young’s version was unfortunately apparent from the outset.

And now Owl City returns – once again aiming to cash in on the massive gap left for them by the permanent absence of The Postal Service.

Even considering these two groups in the same category is a big mistake. Unlike the beautiful Give Up by the Postal Service, All Things Bright and Beautiful is a hot, sticky set of saccharine lyrics and poppy beats that truly push the border in terms of cheesiness.

Songs like "The Real World", "Galaxies" and "Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust" evoke romantic, dreamy moments as well as Young’s fascination with space travel ("Galaxies" was inspired by the Challenger disaster).

In "Deer in the Headlines", Young bemoans his lack of luck with the ladies: "Her pepper spray made it rather hard for me to walk her home/ But I guess that’s the way it goes"... Seriously!?

It gets worse. On "The Yacht Club" we hear: "My rock-candy passion is bittersweet and armed to the teeth/'Cause she would rather fall in chocolate than fall in love with me".

What’s especially sad about All Things Bright and Beautiful is its shocking lack of originality. Not only does it sound like a Postal Service rip-off, but many of the tracks sound like re-hashings of the tunes that made Owl City famous in the first place.

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Justin Vickers 2011/09/22 1:09 PM
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Thank you Inge! I couldn't have said it any better myself. Owl City make me nauseous! Justin
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