His hit single “Fireflies” copied the electro playfulness and falsetto vocals of The Postal Service — pretty successfully I will admit. But his new album takes all the awfulness of Top 40 music and adds real “emotions” and synths because those, of course, make some guy jotting shitty lyrics in his notebook an artist.
The problem with Owl City isn’t that he aspires to write pure, sugar-filled pop, but he takes pop as a serious endeavor to send a message. Instead of reaching for the unconventional, he settles for banality.
Essentially, All Things Bright and Beautiful repeats the message of Katy Perry’s “Firework” 12 times, except without that hilarious reference to feeling like a plastic bag. Don’t forget to breathe! Don’t let go! Remember to dream! Those are just glimpses of his advice in “Alligator Sky.” Musically, the album is inert. He even snatches a melody from Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” on “Deer in the Headlights.”
If Owl City’s album is a reflection of all things bright and beautiful, please, for the love of Gaga, give me all things dark and ugly.