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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Owl City offer sugary, derivative pop”

    Adam Young is Owl City — a one-man band whose sound is fantastically catchy but nothing original. With his major label debut Ocean Eyes, Young has won over crowds via myspace and being picked up on alternative rock stations across the country. Young has found himself a viral single by the name of Fireflies that’s flown away with its success. Even with the single’s sudden popularity, however, it is hard to look at Owl City’s sound or lyrics as a novel sound to invest in.

    Owl City is playing off the success of the Postal Service by essentially mimicking their sound, which upon the release of Give Up finally found a popular audience and appreciated by wider masses. That’s not to say that the style of music is bad by any means, but Owl City isn’t new or fresh or even really unique at all. Its sound and lyrics are trite but catchy and a bit too sugary sweet.

    Purely pop, Young’s lyrics are about love for the most part, a bit about sweet things like watching the stars or chasing fireflies, and even venture into the realm of Young’s nerves at the dentist. Nothing could be more G-rated. While Firefly, the breakout hit, is lyrically pleasing, the poppy, computer-generated beats they are layered over don’t do much but play off of successes of other bands.

    Were Ben Gibbard (The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie) and Andrew McMahon (Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin) to merge their voices into one, Adam Young would be the result. While it is not Adam Young’s fault his voice harkens back to that of other artists, the blatant copycat style of pop he’s branded is unimpressing.

    If you’ve got yourself a real sweet tooth, the lighthearted, low-key, electronic music of Owl City may be right up your alley. However, with each song sounding a bit too much like the others and a general lack of originality, many music fans will find that Owl City gets old fast.

    That said, Owl City offers some true pop music and has made a real connection with the popular and alternative music crowd, so he must be doing something right. Owl City’s Ocean Eyes is worth giving a listen to via MySpace or iTunes before making an investment.


    2.5 out of 4 stars

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