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Owl City

Ocean Eyes

(Universal Republic; US: 28 Jul 2009; UK: 28 Jul 2009)

Even if his major-label debut, Ocean Eyes, is a bit simplistic and sentimental with lines like, “If the bombs go off, the sun will still be shining”, Minnesota native Adam Young, the one-man band behind Owl City, has crafted an incredibly upbeat album filled with starry-eyed lyrics and electro-pop fluff. Young’s soughing delivery seems to borrow from Ben Gibbard of airy electro-pop stalwarts the Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie, while his nasal enunciation sounds strikingly similar to that of Blink-182/Angels & Airwaves frontman Tom DeLonge. Ocean Eyes is wrought with adolescent-safe references of romantic beachside excursions, aquatic friendships, and nature walks with that special someone. Although its first single “Fireflies” is a deeply textured, atmospheric, and wanderlust anthem, the album is not without its missteps, as “Dental Care” feels quite ham-fisted in its attempt to integrate dreamy soundscapes with an altogether mundane topic of oral hygiene. Musically speaking, such stargazing naïveté seems a welcome change given the times we live in—but very rarely does it ever have a long shelf life.

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