I’ve listened to the Owl City song “Hello Seattle” 125 times. So let me preface this by saying that I’m a huge fan.
Owl City, the synthpop soloist, dropped a deluxe edition of his “Ocean Eyes” summer album this week. The album included three new songs: “Rugs from Me to You,” “Butterfly Wings,” and “Fireflies (Adam Young Remix).”
Rereading the notes that I took while listening to the new tracks led me to this conclusion. What I find with Owl City music is that you never really love it on the first go around. At the root of it, all of the music sounds the same. The melodies and the instruments are all very repetitive. But listen to it a few times and hopefully you’ll forge a connection with the lyrics and find a few seconds that you particularly enjoy. Unfortunately, none of this happened for me with “Rugs from Me to You.” I’m usually completely in favor of Owl City’s silly puns, but I feel like this track took it too far. The 1:27 track is just one large pun on hair pieces. I didn’t laugh the first time I listened to it. I didn’t laugh the second time I listened to it. There will be no third time.
Thankfully, “Butterfly Wings” made up for the mediocrity of “Rugs.” Owl City is great when he sings about the ocean, particularly the ocean in Miami Beach (my hometown)! Most of the beats in this song were pulled from tracks off his previous album, but the lyrics were fun and quintessential Owl City, by which I mean about the ocean. It was refreshing and fun. Definitely something I’d listen to at the beach. Miami Beach.
The last track, the remix of his mega-hit “Fireflies,” was basically, at least for the first 50 seconds, a recorded version of how I sing the song to myself in the car (which I can do now because he finally made it onto the radio). I always thought that the song could be improved with some more echoing effects and guess what? So does Adam Young aka Owl City. But then, Adam makes an almost unforgivable mistakes by taking away the sweet, light rhythm of the original track and replacing it with a mash of beats that never comes together in this remix, so that is actually somewhat laborious to listen to. I don’t know that a song has ever left me in physical pain — until right now.
I was not impressed with the new tracks in the slightest. In fact, I was a little disappointed that he didn’t include a single released in December that I actually quite like (“Sunburn”). He’s gone to the well a few too many times with “Fireflies” and the three other tracks he’s now released on three separate occasions. I still love you though, Owl City.