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Review – Ocean Eyes

Pop is a genre that I’ve never really enjoyed – with the exception of Michael Jackson – especially as we’ve delved into this more modern age of the genre. Auto-tune, generic synthesizer sounds, and a mainly sex-focused lyrical style has really made this previously glorious genre fall flat on it’s face into a bed of spikes.

That is, until Adam Young had some awful insomnia.

Owl City is now another artist I can add to my very small list of exceptions that I can make for pop. It’s a rare occasion that I set aside my hatred for this genre because one particular artist struck my ears the right way. But, Adam Young and his Owl City deserves it even more than the King of Pop himself. Ocean Eyes is the second album produced by Young, and while it is not without it’s drawbacks, it is definitely one to hear.

One thing that I noticed that was completely impossible to not notice would be just how goddamn perky this music is, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. The instrumentals are very high and cheerful, dancing about your ear drums in some of the most pleasurable manners imaginable. And the lyrics can only be described as fantastical, singing on and on about a trip to the dentist, or being taught how to dance by ten-million fireflies. It is made clear very early into the album that Adam Young has one of the most active imaginations in the world. Ocean Eyes is going in my list of albums to listen to whenever I’m in a bad mood, and it should find it’s way there in your library as well.

Another thing that completely blew me away was the inclusion of auto-tune. Why did this blow me away? I just said that pop was being plagued by this tool of the devil, so why would it surprise me so that it was used? Well, it wasn’t the fact that it was used that surprised me; it was the fact that this is the only time I’ve ever heard auto-tune and enjoyed it. Adam Young’s voice is the only one I’ve ever heard that fits with the sound of auto-tuning. And, honestly, it’s kind of hard to notice at points. I often forgot that the tool was even being used in the first place. So, either Adam is already in tune most of the time, or he really didn’t use it all that much. Either way; it sounded amazing.

Unfortunately, Ocean Eyes, like any good album, must have it’s downsides. Fortunately, there’s only one. By the fifth or sixth track, you’re really going to start wondering why all of these songs sound so similar. I often lost track of which song I was listening to, simply because I couldn’t even tell that the last one had ended. One could say that this isn’t exactly a bad thing; because they’re all beautiful songs, but I was left wanting a little more variety in the sound. The lyrics definitely differ greatly though. There’s some bonus points in here simply for the song Dental Care, which is, as the title suggests, about going to the dentist.

Overall, Ocean Eyes is definitely a success. Anyone who heard and enjoyed the single Fireflies needs to give this entire album a listen, as you’ll likely enjoy it as much as the single. While the similarity of the songs is a bit discouraging, the creativity, perky-ness, and musical massage you receive from listening to this album are all worth that one minor drawback. Give Ocean Eyes a listen, whether you like pop or not.

     TL;DR Version:
The Good:

  • Perky, fun sound.
  • Only artist to ever make auto-tune sound good.
  • Very creative lyrics that keep you interested.
The Bad:
  • It doesn’t take long for the songs to start sounding the same.
Final Score: 9/10
Categories: Uncategorized
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