279. Ocean Eyes – Owl City

OCEAN EYES (2009)

Owl City

One of the few very recent releases to make the list, Ocean Eyes is wonderful sonic experience and lesson in quality melodies, hooks and songwriting acumen. Owl City is Adam Young and may be the most unique and creative songwriter to emerge in the last several years. He is known for quirky melodies and equally quirky lyrics. His ability to turn a common phrase into a lyric leaves the listner with some very ambiguous interpretive difficulties. I’m firmly convinced that’s the way he likes it.

Musically it is pure techno with the primary instruments are a combination of computer generated sounds, synthesizers and occasionally tasteful acoustic and electric guitars. The sounds are layered on top of one another and create a rather dreamy soundscape, even on the more direct pop songs like Cave In and The Bird & the Worm.

Hello Seattle is a personal favorite as the song both lyrically and musically really describe life in and around the Emerald City. Dental Care sounds like it’s just about a trip to the dentist on the surface. When one looks deeper it appears to be about going to the dentist. Maybe not.

The song “Fireflies” ended up becoming a monster hit, topping the charts and staying on VH1’s video countdown for months peaking at number one. The beautiful musical soundscape and techno melody is infectious. Several more songs on the album should have been hits as well, though college and alternative radio formats have been very receptive.

The most obviously “Christian” song lyrically is “Meteor Shower” that proclaims “I am not my own/For I have been made new/Please don’t let me go/I desperately need you.”

I will not venture to try and guess the meaning of too many songs on this album as quite often the meaning is left to the listener. There is the ever present danger of reading too much into Young’s songs while at the same time not reading enough into them.

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  1. BrettC
    April 3, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I had been avoiding this one, but my daughter had it so I gave it a spin a couple of months back. It’s pretty good, I quite enjoyed it.

  2. shawnuel
    May 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I agree it’s pretty good. Not one of the best 500 Christian albums of all time by any stretch, IMO.

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