Review Summary: Dazzling highlights, but very and I mean VERY low lights.
I recall when I became an Owl City fan, after the mega success of "Fireflies" and 2009 release "Ocean Eyes". There was something that drew me to this Adam Young project, that was different from all other music I've listened to. When I listen to an Owl City album, I get whisked off to a magical, whimsical world of sheer happiness and joy. His synth - pop is very soothing and bright, putting me in a good mood. Does his 2012 record "The Midsummer Station" take me to that imaginary world? Nowhere close.
After hearing "Shooting Star", his teaser EP of this record, I knew it wasn't going to be nearly as good as "Ocean Eyes" or "All Things Bright And Beautiful", but I expected it to have the Owl City touch for sure. The first track of the album, EDK inspired "Dreams and Disasters" was a decent track and was enjoyable, the same cannot be said for the next two though: "Shooting Star" and "Gold". Now "Shooting Star" starts off with a sound that may remind Owl City lovers of "I'll Meet You There" and I expected a great track, oh how I was wrong. After that brief instance, the song morphs into a predictable, poppy dance tune that sounds almost identical the god awful Katy Perry song "Firework". In my disgust, I began the next track, "Gold". That was perhaps even worse. The generic lyrics were clearly written by the writers that were taken into studio, and shows no sign of the Adam Young I love, it just sounds so cheesy. Expecting another disappointing track, I listened to "Dementia", which turned out to be one of the top tracks of the album, and had the Owl City touch despite adding blink - 182 vocalist, Mark Hoppus into the mix. And by far the worst song off the entire album is next, I'd just skip over this one if I were you. "I'm Coming After You" is the worst Owl City song ever made with Young making a police siren noise in the chorus(?), about love being a police chase (too cheesy). Now after "Speed Of Love", there is the summer anthem "Good Time" featuring the "Call Me Maybe" chick Carly Rae Jepsen. It is insanely catchy and fulfills its purpose as a careless pop anthem. "Embers" comes after and sounds alot like "Dementia", and was very enjoyable. The two best tracks of the album come next: "Silhouette" and "Metropolis". They both are shining examples of true Owl City songs and will please long time fans.
I'll close by saying this album as a whole, was terribly disappointing. It has its moments with songs like "Dementia" and "Metropolis", but very low lights like "Gold" and "I'm Coming After You". If you want some real Owl City, pick up "Ocean Eyes" or "Maybe I'm Dreaming".
I think it's pretty mean to write Adam off as not putting his heart into his tracks and surmising that they must be junk made from producers. Adam Young shares in his interviews how he wanted to try something different by experimenting with the pop-song genre and collaborating with other artists. He enjoyed the creative process and is very happy with how it worked out. His instagram and blog also attest to this. Adam Young understands the true spirit of "poiein". In greek, that means "to create", a term synonymous with the true spirit of art, of creative freedom. It didn't used to be that way. "poiein" started out as a sort of creativeness but governed by rules and regulations. Over time, artists and people began to rethink what it really meant to be an artist, and now anyone (including Adam Young) can freely create, express, design, and inspire!
@mmmmusic: For evidence that Adam Young isn't putting his heart into tracks anymore, look at Maybe I'm Dreaming (and to a lesser extent Ocean Eyes). Those songs were daydreamy bedroom-pop (god I hate that term) excellence, and they showed some serious creativity on his part. TMS is just faceless, generic radio-pop that isn't really all that interesting. There's no "experimenting" whatsoever - on the contrary, he stays incredibly safe through the whole thing. The "creative freedom" he reveled in on earlier work is just totally gone here, with no apparent hope for redemption.
There is a difference from Adam's "Maybe I'm Dreaming" and "Ocean Eyes" albums to the "Midsummer Station" album: that is genre. Adam Young enjoys dabbling in lots of various styles of music, why not pop as well?
However, I can understand your point of view...pop is a very different genre than what's described as "daydreamy bedroom-pop", "synth-pop" etc., or, to those unfamiliar with this type of genre outside of Owl City, simply "Owl City". In my opinion, Adam Young definitely makes the best music in that genre! He is totally a creative genius. And he will continue to create all kinds of music, including the "daydreamy". Recently Young made two songs of that genre, so I think you'd like them. One is "Paper Tigers" and the other "Beautiful Mystery”.
Also, there’s another one of that genre that you might like by Young, it’s called “Garden Party”… http://www.ayoungblog.com/post/28347176373/garden-party http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/interview_owl_city_on_collaborations_edm_and_his_new_record/P1 http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/979855/exclusive-owl-citys-adam-young-interview
“There is no old Adam Young, there is no new Adam Young, merely different colors and different brushstrokes over the same canvas.”― Adam Young
Damn straight about Metropolis being good, I just gave it a shot. I never gave anything on this album a chance really, other than Dementia. I might like Good Time too if I didn't hate Carly Rae Jepsen so much.