Review Summary: Adam Young starts his career Of Swoon
Back when Adam Young wasn't lifted by massive airplay for his breakthrough single, Fireflies, he was innocently and naively twinking in the musical background with Of June. This EP was recorded digitally in his parent's basement during the month of June, and was released on his Myspace profile during the same month. While this little album managed to sign him onto Universal Records through his hit song, Hello Seattle, does it stand strong enough as a legitimate debut to the blooming career he has now?
Of June's areas of interest circulate far from a typical pop album; Designer Skyline is fairly self-explanatory, about the creative process of blueprinting city buildings. Swimming In Miami focuses a lot on water vehicles despite its name, and kicks off this album with Adam's undeniable love for oceans. Unfortunately, despite some unusual topics-at-hand, Adam spends far too much time referring to cities and places (Panda Bear, Fuzzy Blue Lights), which hinder his rhyming and word flow a bit. Also, you get tired of hearing about beaches and oceans nonstop after even the short 7 tracks. Adam's lyrics are dreamy and uplifting, no doubt, and sometimes succeed at emitting that sensation of freedom and open possibility. It's just too bad he has such a small range of song topics to further that open possibility.
On an instrumental note, Of June is all digital and electronic, with some deviation such as Fuzzy Blue Lights' pianos. The sounds he pulls off mostly aim for a soothing and easy-going approach, with plenty of whirly, bubbly and breezy synth progressions. Hello Seattle starts off with a strong swirl that carries through the rest of the track (for better and worse), while the first 2 tracks, Swimming in Miami and Captains and Cruiseships, have more percussion to their sound. Even still, Adam's range just isn't long enough. He is at his best during the bridge of Panda Bear, with has easily the catchiest part of the album strung between each verse. Of course, the lyrics keep that song from being great, much like many tracks here.
In the end, Of June is a fair debut, albeit a little boring. He can definately manage an atmospheric energy to his songs, the likes of which are dreamy and open-minded in the instrumental department. That said, his computer songs would be, in my opinion, perfect
as instrumental electronica because of the above atmospheric charm (and therefore reinforcing the aforementioned open possibility sense and "imagination factor"). That's not saying that Adam should just shut up (at least completely), because his voice, while kind of drab and windy, feels fine for this kind of music. Overall, Of June can be easily digested though for it's short length and non-abtract messages. There are catchy-enough parts every here and there, but nothing is particularly lasting or memorable. For a myspace-distributed EP, I'd give him benefit of the doubt if similar issues didn't pleague his sophomore and junior records.