Owl City
Mobile Orchestra


0.5

Review

by wtferrothorn CONTRIBUTOR (36 Reviews)
July 10th, 2015 | 76 replies


Release Date: 07/10/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Riding on thrift store coattails

“Cat, Pogs, and floam and Home Alone, Berenstein Bears and bean bag chairs
My L.A. Looks and Goosebumps books, oh Etch-A-Sketch
What happens next"
Grape juicy juice and Dr. Seuss, piggy-back rides and
Slip-n-slides, McDonalds Fries, those were the best
What happens next"”

These lyrics from “Unbelievable” show the major problem with Owl City’s Mobile Orchestra. Songs about nostalgia can work when handled with care. Childhood stories can make for great, introspective lyrics, giving the song a personal feel. However, instead of that, Adam Young decides the best way to tackle this subject is to fill the song with more 90’s references than a terrible Buzzfeed article. The fact that 90’s artifact Hanson features make the intentions behind this track even more apparent: pandering towards the masses is the main goal with this project. This kind of songwriting happens to be a theme on here. “My Everything” and “You’re Not Alone” fail terribly as religious tracks and come across sounding like those songs you sing at your church youth group, the lyrics on “Back Home” are as sickeningly obsessed with the countryside as a modern country song, and “Verge” takes the emotions of graduating, the fact that you are stepping into a new, confusing step of your life, and boils it down to “Graduation day is fun!” If the lyrics aren’t terrible in a specific kind of way, their most likely too forgettable and generic to stay in your head at all, such almost every other song on here.

The advantage of electro-pop is that as long as you produce some catchy, enjoyable music, sub-par lyrics could be excused. Sadly, Young even fails at that here. If you’ve listened to any electronic track on the radio in the past 2-3 years, you’ve heard every single song on Mobile Orchestra. Opener “Verge” features Aloe Blacc of “Wake Me Up!” fame and is obviously riding on the coattails of the 2014 worldwide hit. In fact, almost every song is doing its best to replicate the successes of big-time EDM producers, and failing miserably. We have even the honor of having “Back Home” awkwardly shoved into this album, sounding like every modern country song ever; generic electric guitar riffs, thumping yet flat drums, and the run-of-the-mill country singer feature. To wrap it all in a tight little bow, Adam Young’s vocals are as nasal as ever. This is especially highlighted due to the squeaky clean production, so you have no choice but to focus on his voice.

The closer of this album, “This Isn’t The End” is the only track that doesn’t follow the trend of god-awful songwriting. The track tells the story of a father being forced to leave his young daughter, and the daughter being forced to cope with his departure and eventually understand why he had to leave. While the wordplay is far from complex, it’s a touching little tale that easily surpasses the rest of the tracks. If this song was anywhere else on the tracklisting, I’d have no problem with it and Owl City could mark their tally with one quality track. However, the fact that this is the one that closes the album leaves a terrible pit in your stomach. After 9 straight tracks of boring, generic, pandering soullessness, there was a shred of personality that squeezed in at the end. You’re left thinking that this had potential to be good. Adam Young could’ve made a quality album.



Recent reviews by this author
Vagabon Infinite WorldsBruno Mars 24K Magic
NxWorries Yes Lawd!Bon Iver 22, A Million
Kishi Bashi SonderlustGlass Animals How To Be A Human Being
user ratings (63)
Chart.
2.1
poor
other reviews of this album
SPRFanOf5H (3.5)
Owl City is back, and it isn't just some one time deal either....

PowerBlitz (3)
Hopefully, this isn't the end....


Comments:Add a Comment 
wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Worst pop album of the year.

LepreCon
July 10th 2015


5434 Comments


Was banging a chick a few years back who loved Owl City. It's not the reason I stopped banging her but it is one of the reasons I'm glad I did stop. Exactly what I'd expect.

Tunaboy45
July 10th 2015


15699 Comments


So it's not always a good time?

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Nope. It's a bad time. A very bad time.

Tunaboy45
July 10th 2015


15699 Comments


Hey, at least the review is good!

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Thanks! If Adam Knott isn't here to rip Owl City to shreds, then somebody has to do it.

Tunaboy45
July 10th 2015


15699 Comments


Don't forget Rudy's review too, no one straddles the line of Poe's Law quite like him

William21
July 10th 2015


170 Comments


Wow this was a terrible album. Owl City was never the greatest, but he was better than this BS.

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Honestly, "Unbelievable" is the worst song of the year. Nothing will beat it's pure shittiness

SnakeDelilah
July 10th 2015


20007 Comments


When I was a kid I saved up all my dough so I could buy C-3PO
Put Mentos in my Diet Coke in the backseat of the bus
When I was a kid I ate "Spaghetti Os", played laser tag and GI Joe's
And if you vowed no girls allowed then you could join the club
When I was I was a kid I spent my Saturday's
Blowin' on Nintendo games
The newest thing was Lion King and I could feel the love

When I was a kid I dreamed of Power Wheels
Stayed up late watching action films
And I won't lie, my friends and I, were too legit to quit
When I was a kid I lived for climbing trees and Dr Pepper jellybeans
My favorite part of "Jurassic Park" was how real the Raptors looked
When I was a kid I still had VHS, watched Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff, Zack Morris owned the first cell phone, it was off the hook!

Cat, pogs, and floam and home alone, Berenstein bears and bean bag chairs
My L.A. Looks and Goosebumps books, oh Etch-a-sketch
What happens next?
Grape juicy juice and Dr. Seuss, piggy-back rides and
Slip-n-slides, McDonalds Fries, those were the best
What happens next?



wow

Digging: Glassjaw - Material Control

SomeSayShesNaive
July 10th 2015


535 Comments


Fuck Owl City.

Asdfp277
July 10th 2015


16141 Comments


like if ur a 2000s kid

Green Baron
July 10th 2015


24134 Comments


oh god those lyrics

Asdfp277
July 10th 2015


16141 Comments


i bet this is decent at best

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

"I bet this rocks"



Nope



"i bet this is decent at best"



Nah

Ryus
July 11th 2015


15727 Comments


definitely better than new btbam
worse than new abr though
they all suck though so whatever

Digging: DJ Richard - Path of Ruin

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

All of them worse than the new Carly Rae Jepsen

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2015


8501 Comments


This > new btbam, abr, refused, the armed, senses fail, tame impala, counterparts, Steven Wilson, death grips, native construct, leprous, periphery, veil of maya, make them suffer and faith no more.

i can get on board with it being better than ABR, Veil of Maya, and Make Them Suffer

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2015


8501 Comments


people who hated "Fireflies" are just overall bad people imo.

can't wait to read a bunch of reviews for this that bang on extensively about The Postal Service

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2015


5783 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

This doesn't even remotely sound like the Postal Service. He's moved on to cheap imitations of EDM and bland electro-pop



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy