Monday, September 17, 2012
CD Review - Owl City's The Midsummer Station
In the state of Minnesota lies a small town called Owatonna with roughly twenty-two thousand inhabitants; within that city is a quiet road with a modest house. In that house there’s an unkempt basement with no windows. Within those confines you’ll find Adam Young of Owl City hard at work, creating his electronic and melodically infectious brand of music with a simple and singular beauty. Inside this “cave,” as Adam likes to describe it, he has begun to quickly win over a large audience thirsty for something genuine, something sublime.
Being an only child in a small town, and having no musicians in his immediate family, Adam is hard pressed to say how it all started. Explaining that he always had a “push” to be creative, Adam picked up his first guitar in junior high school. Growing up in a “sheltered bubble” and being one of the more shy kids around the neighborhood, Adam seemed compelled to lend his time and creative ideas to music. “I’ve always been the shy guy, I don’t see that changing, but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable than I anticipated. I can hide behind the music.”
So one has to ask: how did this Owl City phenomenon begin? How does a young artist writing songs underneath his garage, acoustic foam and books everywhere, reach an audience of millions? “I’m still trying to figure it out,” Adam laughs. “Back in June of 2007 it kind of started on a whim. My parents were away for the weekend, and wanting to be loud and make some noise and whatever, I began writing versions of what became my first, self released cd - Of June. I put it up on MySpace the following month and didn’t tell anyone.”
Word of mouth began to spread for Adam’s music, with demands coming from various parts of the country for an album. Maybe I’m Dreaming, released in March of 2008, was Owl City’s full length debut. The album has garnered great critical praise and is a clear representation of Owl City’s progression as an artist. Adam has become a phenomenon on MySpace with over 6 million profile views and over 25 million plays, which is outstanding in such a short span of time. It’s clear that, from his basement, Owl City is making a colossal impact on the music scene.
What might be swirling through his head after such a quick and sudden start at stardom? “The biggest thing I was concerned-slash-worried about was the live performance – never having played a show as ‘Owl City.’ There was a lot of apprehension.” Adam’s concern, about being a one-man wizard on the keyboard, “hunched over a computer,” was put to the test recently with his first gig. Most, if not all, of his fears were quickly put to rest as Adam played to a sold out show in Minneapolis. “It was surreal,” Adam says, “to have people buying your t-shirts, singing the words – louder than I was; it felt so good.”
As listeners on MySpace climb into the millions, Owl City is focused on writing more songs, getting more comfortable on stage, and satisfying a fan base that is growing and eagerly anticipating new material. With a new album scheduled for a fall release, Adam’s future is as exciting, expansive and as mellifluous as his music. “I’ve loved every minute of it so far, and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next.” So are we.
My Take on the CD
This was a great, light pop album with toe tapping songs that will keep you coming back for more. As I have heard some of Owl City's music before on the radio, I was looking forward to hearing the new album. While it is different than some of the past songs I have heard, it shows versatility and has some great mixes. I also enjoyed the fact that you also get to hear some other well known artists in the songs, so you get the best of many fronts. Some would say that this is a great album for the summer, as it is light and boisterous, but I would have to say that I would listen to this no matter what time the year. A great CD!
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