Owl City "All Things Bright And Beautiful"
by Grace Thorson (cmaddict.com) on 2011-05-14 15:20:58

From the creative mind of Adam Young comes "All Things Bright and Beautiful" – a full-length album packed with his usual techno beats and imaginative lyrics. As with Ocean Eyes, this will be released through the record label Universal Republic. Within the Sky Harbor Studios in Owatonna, MN, Adam produced and recorded this album himself along with Jack Joseph Puig, a Grammy Award producer, (who’s worked with Mary J. Blige, Beck, John Mayer, and Green Day).

The first notable song off the album is “Deer In the Headlights” - a humorous and cheerful little ditty with lyrics like “Didn’t you know that love could shine this bright? Well, smile because you’re the deer in the headlights.” It actually reminded me of Hawk Nelson or Relient K.

Think of something heavenly and you get “Angels.” It’s beautiful and conjures up a dreamy feeling – sounds cheesy, I know, but it really is a wonderful track, and I’m sure it will get played frequently on my music player.

Sure to be a new favorite is “Kamikaze” – which means “divine-wind.” The song starts off with an echo that bounces back and forth throughout the rest of the melody. “January 28, 1986” is not a song; but a 37-second audio clip of Ronald Reagan speaking. He mentions the spaceship Challenger that exploded within seconds of takeoff - “They had a hunger to explore the universe, and discover its truths. And they had that special grace, a special spirit that says give me a challenge and I will meet it with joy”

“Galaxies” is without a doubt my new favorite song by Adam. The lyrics have a spiritual touch with “Dear God, I was terribly lost…” I know that Adam Young is a Christian, but I wasn’t expecting to hear this in his music. It’s a nice change, and I wish he would do more like these.

It might seem unusual but the song “Hospital Flowers” tells the story of a man being in a car crash. In the hospital, the injured man receives some flowers. These flowers show him how to bloom and he gains new insight through his accident. It’s an interesting angle that shows melancholy growing into optimism.

If you haven’t seen the music video for “Alligator Sky” with rapper Shawn Crystopher, then you should. Both the video and song is… well, cool! The very last track you’ll find on the album is “Plant Life.” Get this! Adam Young teamed up with Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen to co-write it. I wasn’t really able to decipher the meaning behind the lyrics, but I do know one thing, though; it will make you look at greenery in a whole new way.

In my opinion, All Things Bright and Beautiful is some of Adam Young’s best work. It’s so incredibly different from his other albums. In Sky Sailing, (Adam Young’s 2010 release) it didn’t hit me as anything spectacularly awesome, but this year, All Things Bright and Beautiful should bring a lot of attention. I would classify myself as a fan-atic of Owl City, and I was not left disappointed with his latest work of art. In fact, all of Owl City’s fans are sure to fall-in-love, like I have, with All Things Bright and Beautiful. It really should leave you wide-eyed and hooting for more!

I recommend this amazing bundle of music to all the devoted fans of Owl City, and to listeners who have a preference for genres of techno, dance, and pop. Pick this up! You won’t want to miss it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Genre: Dance/DJ
Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Buy it: Amazon

1. The Real World
2. Deer In the Headlights
3. Angels
4. Dreams Don't Turn To Dust
5. Honey and the Bee
6. Kamikaze
7. January 28, 1986
8. Galaxies
9. Hospital Flowers
10. Alligator Sky (feat. Shawn Chrystopher)
11. The Yacht Club
12. Plant Life

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