Owl City - Cinematic
My fingers were primed and ready to start ripping into this new Owl City record for being some kind of pop nonsense. That idea was shattered however when the first few notes of "Fiji Water" started rolling out. The song takes a look at the early career of Owl City (Adam Young) and some of the twists and turns that have brought him to where He is today. I'm sure Young could never have predicted the career path "Fireflies" set him on eight years ago but this album seeks to take a more personal look at that journey. Don't let that make you think that this is going to be a singer songwriter heavy type of record thought, Young is not ditching his whimsical pop sensibility anytime soon, and the record is better for it. Cinematic is an excellent title for this record as Young paints these vivid sepia toned pictures for you to walk around in. When He sings about his parents "The teacher and Mechanic" on "The 5th of July" the chills just crawl over your body. This album feels so real and honest, just simple statements about what it means to be alive that you can immediately relate to. This earnest sense doesn't always workout; "All My Friends" is far to much of a generic teen "let's party" anthem complete with a kidish group singing behind a crisp electric guitar lick. It sounds like kids music in a big way and sucks you right out of the goodwill that the album has garnered thus far. It's almost like Young can't get out of his won way sometimes when it comes to songs like these.
On "Not All Heroes Wear Capes" Young taps in to his country vibes while singing a song about how his Dad is his Hero including the line "Some folks don't believe in heroes/ cause they never met my dad". It's those really simply and pure sentiments that work for Owl City where with other bands it would feel so forced or put on. "Montana" is also similarly honest, but comes across more like a song written for the tourism board rather than one of real emotional feeling. Then out of no where "Lucid Dream" comes in as this massive big room EDM track, which feels slightly dated but the flowing nature of the track actually makes it work. Cinematic is at 18 tracks way too long, three of the final tracks are actually just re-works of other songs, with more than a few of the songs feeling like filler. The thing is there are real gems here, songs that stick out and shine brightly pulling this album from just another generic pop record into something more complex and diverse. There is plenty to hate, but there is also more than enough to like on this album. Maybe give Owl City a shot, you don't have to tell anyone you actually like it, your secret is safe with me.
7.5 out of 10