Also known as Adam Young, Owl City may be a familiar name to music fans in the UK, likely due to the chart-topping 'Fireflies' at the beginning of 2010. Its parent album 'Ocean Eyes' went top ten as well and now comes the successor to that record, 'All Things Bright And Beautiful', which will be promoted by a UK and then European tour from September.
Even if your only knowledge of Owl City is the previously mentioned number one, this record is immediately recognisable from the opening synths of 'The Real World', particularly when Young's breathy vocals begin. It is easy to imagine the singing can polarise opinion quite drastically, but even if you discount the delivery of the lyrics some of the words as clumsy to say the least, for example 'Deer In The Headlights'. A trashy Europop anthem, it certainly won't see Young being praised anytime soon as a great story teller or emotive genius. 'Angels' and 'Dreams Don't Turn To Dust' are equally tedious, while 'Galaxies' attempts a more vibrant edge, but it wouldn't see dancefloors filling in clubs. It is only the softer 'Hospital Flowers', a flowing electro-ballad, that offers any likeable moment, but this is quickly overshadowed by the terrible collaboration with rapper Shawn Christopher on 'Alligator Sky' - the styles mix like orange juice on cornflakes and it's not surprising a rap-free version is also included. This doesn't improve the song by much though and like much of the record it is a testing listen, meaning Owl City will likely remain a one hit wonder for the time being.