Owl City | All Things Bright and Beautiful

Universal Republic (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  May 12, 2011
0.5 0.5 Stars

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Odds are, if you're reading this review, you're not looking for an Owl City purchase recommendation. You're reading it because you want a good laugh. Just maybe, you're wondering whether Minnesota-based one-man band Adam Young has suddenly discovered a way not to release the worst album of the year. An overachieving chart smash from day one, Young has titillated the ears and hearts of pre-teen, Hello-Kitty-backpack-wearing music lovers across the country, making use of the industry's most ridiculous vocal approach (Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard as interpreted by a Mouseketeer post–laughing gas), amateurish poetry, lukewarm laptop electronica, and OD-levels of churchgoing cuteness. Recent megahit "Fireflies," his Pro-Tools carpe diem bedroom synth-ony, might have been smirkily catchy, but it was the most polished turd on a debut crammed with shit. Here's round two: All Things Bright and Beautiful, 12 sterilized laptop clunkers that are indeed bright but far from beautiful. There's no maturity in sight, as a glance at the tracklist attests: "Angels," "Dreams Don't Turn to Dust," "Honey and the Bee," "Galaxies." And the actual lyrics are on a par with the Disney Channel quality you'd expect. "I've been sleeping with the nightlight unplugged," Young reflects. No kidding? What's worse, he uses the same melodic pattern in every song, and he delivers them all in the same familiar, over-enunciated croon. When he chirps, "I rub my eyes 'cause it's hard to see/Surrounded by all this beauty," it's not just bland, it's flat-out irritating. And when he gurgles, through his trademark auto-tune sludge, "Take a taste of the melting Milky Way!", the dude's not talking about a candy bar.

OWL CITY | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | June 26 @ 6 pm | all ages | $28 | 888.693.2583

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Tweens, Pop,  More more >
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