Owl City’s latest album “The Midsummer Station” is modern but utterly uninteresting.
It’s the electronica band’s first album featuring collaborations with other artists, such as Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 and Carly Rae Jepsen, widely known for her song “Call Me Maybe.” The featured artists add some needed variety to frontman Adam Young’s vocals, but they can’t save the series of songs with metronome-like beats and muted tunes.
The album starts with “Dreams and Disasters,” full of pounding percussion and declarations of the singer’s ardent passion for his beloved. It’s quickly followed by “Shooting Star,” “Gold,” and “Dementia” from the 2012 EP “Shooting Star.”
“Dementia” is one of the more complex songs on the album, incorporating vocals from Hoppus. Layered lyrics in the track add musical interest, which is not found in the following track, “I’m Coming After You,” which pounds along at a beat designed solely for bouncing.
The beat in many of the songs in this album is quite loud and deep, meant to be blasted at a party that’s gotten too loud for complex melodies. The lyrics of most tracks are simple and repetitive, easy to shout out tunelessly while jumping up and down. There’s really no musical depth.
The album tells a depressing story of someone who falls in love and has plans for the relationship. Unfortunately, they’re separated, and by the time the second-to-last song “Metropolis” rolls around, it’s clear that she’s not interested in him. “Take It All Away,” also from the EP “Shooting Star,” wraps up the album, describing how totally dependent the lover is on his beloved.
If purchased from iTunes, the album comes with a bonus track “Bombshell,” which is merely another loud, noisy dance track. Its lyrics don’t attach the song to the rest of the album, instead telling the story of a girl who’s sexy but unnoticed.
As a whole, “The Midsummer Station” is unoriginal, uninspiring and a sad departure from Owl City’s earlier work.