Owl City: Ocean Eyes | CD review

(Island/Universal Republic)

Adam Young, the Minnesotan who records as Owl City, certainly has no fear of the wretched lyric. "I've heard it said that every mushroom cloud has a silver lining," he sings on Ocean Eyes' opener, Cave In. It's one of a succession of ­horrific puns that litter his second album, grains of grit that strike a ­jarring note among the smooth synthpop. Much ire has been directed at Young for his stylistic debt to the Postal ­Service, one of the more beloved American alternative groups of recent years, but his modus operandi suits his ­apparent worldview. The yearning chord ­progressions, the Auto-Tuned voice, the lyrics that combine the ­everyday and the fantastic all ­contribute to Young's wide-eyed ingenue persona (and his ­occasional excursions into Euro ­stadium dance on the likes of Umbrella Beach further it). But what sounds charming on the first few listens loses its ­attraction, and soon one feels one is drinking Um Bongo instead of fruit juice: the sugar rush turns sickly and it becomes a little hard to stomach.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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