Last year, the smash hit "Fireflies" took over radio and music television outlets, making Owl City one of the standout artists of the year, not to mention the breakout artist of the year. Ocean Eyes was certified gold near the end of the year, but little did we know that it wasn't complete. So in January, Adam Young put out the deluxe edition of his album, which featured the entire twelve-song tracklist and a second disc containing seven more tremendous songs. This review will cover that second disc. For a review of the first disc, click here to visit the Ocean Eyes review page.
The first song is one of the songs that made Owl City popular before his Universal Records deal brought him into the mainstream spotlight. "Hot Air Balloon" is an upbeat, poppy song with Adam's signature dreamy and peppy lyrics. It's impossible not to smile when you listen to this song. "Butterfly Wings" follows, with equally happy music, and Adam's lyrics creating a beautiful image of two people in love. The love shifts into humor as "Rugs From Me To You" resembles "Dental Care," both in sound and message (somewhat). As "Dental Care" was a song about what the name implies, "Rugs From Me To You" is about toupes. It also contains quirky lines, as well, like "Toupe or not to pay, that is the question" and "My curls and I are just like heaven, 'cause rest assured there'll be no parting there." It's silly, and short, but a fun song to listen to. "Sunburn" is another one of those songs that would make for a great summer soundtrack. It continues the upbeat, happy sounds (and makes beautiful use of an acoustic guitar), and Adam sings of an adorable love for a girl.
One of the most popular songs from the original version of Ocean Eyes was "Hello Seattle," which is featured on the deluxe edition's second disc in remix form. It's a longer version of the song, and is much more dance friendly. The finished product turns out to be an instrumental based on the original song, with the words "Hello Seattle" coming in every once in a while. The piano at the beginning is a nice touch to get the jam started, and when it picks up to finish its six-minute length, it never gets boring as some dance floor hits tend to. The next song, "If My Heart Was A House," was featured on the original Ocean Eyes as an iTunes exclusive that came along with the purchase of the full album. So if you bought the physical copy and missed out, you can get it with this release. And it's worth it, as the song is beautiful (I love the imagery in the chorus when Adam says "Circle me and the needle moves gracefully back and forth, if my heart was a compass you'd be north"). It's soft and somber and has a perfect place after the "Hello Seattle" remix. The last song is his other internet sensation song, "Strawberry Avalanche." After listening to this song, it's so easy to see why this young man's music is immensely popular. The video game-styled synth and the beat together are just irresistable, and his voice in on point.
2009 was good to Adam Young. Not only did he launch to superstardom that year, but Ocean Eyes was also one of the top albums of the year in Christian AND mainstream pop. Though it's pretty much useless to re-release albums in this digital music era, it ends up being a nice treat for Owl City fans to have some new songs so quickly after the initial release of the album. But as I listened through all the songs, I started to get a little disappointed. Now, all the songs are pure gold. There's no doubting that. But after a while, it becomes quite easy to hear the songs almost sounding a little too similar. While none of them really ever feel like a copy-and-paste sort of deal, it almost seems like Young has trouble with keeping the rhythms or vocal patterns original. It's not blatantly obvious, but it's noticeable enough to take this release down a couple of points. That aside, this is another fabulous treat from Owl City.- Review date: 3/3/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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