Owl City OCEAN EYES Album Review

If you can’t see the video, click here.

Grab your copy of Ocean Eyes here.

What? Two posts in one day?! You damn right, son!!

After being quite the lazy bastard for too long, I’ve decided to do two posts of two videos that I did recently. The first one was my entry into the Sanyo Xacti Sell-a-Bration. This one is my very first CD review, which is of Owl City’s newest album Ocean Eyes. Here is the review:

TheAndySan – Owl City OCEAN EYES Album Review

TheAndySan – Owl City OCEAN EYES Album Review

Okay guys, I just got done listening to Ocean Eyes, the newest album by Owl City (and not nifty fishing shades, contrary to what Google says). With that said, let’s begin the review:

Personal Backstory

Before I get a cavalcade of fangirls giving me guff for not giving Ocean Eyes a unanamously positive review, let me tell you that I am a huge, HUGE Owl City fan. I remember getting blown away by the first song I heard from them; it was “I’ll Meet You There” from their full-length debut album Maybe I’m Dreaming.

Ever since first discovering Owl City, I’ve been chomping at the bit in anticipation of their next album. Their first EP, Of June, laid the groundwork for what they’re about: electronic pop so sugary sweet that many listeners got The Beetus from listening to it too much.

I always thought that despite the sacchrine feel, Owl City was like the sensative techno dance freak flipside to a hard-edged punk rocker. Listen to the riffs on songs like Captains and Cruise Ships, Rainbow Veins, Super Honeymoon, and Dear Vienna. Can’t you just feel frontman/onlyman Adam Young’s inner punk trying to escape? Listen again, closely now…

The Goodies

If you’re afraid that Owl City’s gonna completely throw everybody off track with a distorted guitar, no worries. This is still the same Owl City that we’re used to: synthpop cranked to the max, with no distorted guitar in sight.

I like that Adam is changing up his sound with every track while still sticking to the straight and narrow when it comes to his core tone. Not very many musicians can pull that off successfully.

Many people cringed when they listened to the song Dental Care, which is about Adam taking a trip to the dentist. What were you expecting, oceans or something? It actually reminded me of the song My Shiny Teeth & Me from the Fairly Oddparents, which is a mixed bag of hilarity and annoyance.

The Baddies

Before the release of Ocean Eyes, three singles were released to build up Ocean Eye’s release. Of those three, only one is on the album.

So here comes Critique Number First: why on earth are Strawberry Avalanche and Hot Air Balloon missing? I’d take those over the remade version of The Saltwater Room any day.

This brings us to Critique Number Two: If you’re gonna add older songs, don’t just make slight changes to the instrumental parts and redub your vocals, complete with occasional but VERY noticable lyrical changes. Either make them bonus remixes or live versions, kinda like how the Hello Seattle remix was done.

Take note that there are TWO versions of Hello Seattle: the remade version and the properly remixed one. Granted, the remix was an iTunes bonus track, but still!! It’s bad enough that you’re putting old material on a new album, but TWO of the same track?!

The Uglies

Since Day One, there’s always been at least one nay-sayer whining about how Adam uses an auto-tuner on all of his songs. I guess he finally listened and although the auto-tuner isn’t completely gone, it has been toned down A LOT. Because of this, we can hear Adam’s natural timbre instead of the auto-tuner’s signature stacatto pitch changing. This is most evident in his recut older songs on the album.

This is like a two-sided coin. I’m glad that Adam is using his natural voice more, but in the same sense, I feel that his auto-tuned voice was a staple to the overall soundscape that is Owl City. Take that away, and people are gonna notice.

The Verdict

Despite the long wait (a year is a mighty long time in the age of the internet), rehashed tunes, and singles that are MIA (Missing In Album), Ocean Eyes is still a wonderful addition to the Owl City discography.

Tracks To Give a Clicky-Click

Cave In
Umbrella Beach
Meteor Shower
The Tip of the Iceberg
Hello Seattle (Remix)
Strawberry Avalanche (the single that’s not on Ocean Eyes, but should have been)

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