Customer Reviews: The Midsummer Station
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on August 23, 2012
I would not call this album bad. It was a very enjoyable listen, but it lacked the things that I loved about Owl City and the things that made Owl City stand apart. There are two areas where I noticed major differences.

One, the lyrics. Previous Owl City albums had quirky poetic words that left the listener in a state of whimsy and wonder. In this album, everything is very simple and plainly stated. Adam is simply telling you things rather than painting a picture. And, the subject matter is less inspired. In previous albums, Owl City had a unique voice and had valuable ideas to contribute. In this album, almost every song is the same "believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything" that everyone in my "I'm so special" generation is singing about.

Two, the music. In "Ocean Eyes" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful", Owl City created beautiful masterpieces of synthetic symphony. He utilized several sounds and layered them in a complex and compelling way. When recording my own music, I had always held Owl City as the pinnacle of great mixing and great orchestration. With this new album, the music is very basic and repetitive. None of the songs take you on the kind of journey that "Cave In" or "Umbrella Beach" did.

I will say that I still love Owl City and I did enjoy this album, but this feels more like a step back than a step forward. I hope that in the future we hear more songs like the ones on "Ocean Eyes" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
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on August 21, 2012
Owl City's Adam Young already struck gold a few years ago with his single "Fireflies." It would be hard to predict if his 4th full-length album, THE MIDSUMMER STATION, would be as successful, but if the early success of hit single "Good Time," is any indication, it may be bigger than his breakthrough record.

THE MIDSUMMER STATION is checkered with collaborations and guest-appearances, so it feels a bit more varied than Owl City's OCEAN EYES. The album begins with one of its hardest hitters: "Dreams and Disasters." It's a song that's fully of energy, and it's given a thick layer of electronic production. The song is followed with the fantastic "Shooting Star," a pop song with a hook so catchy, you'll want to throw it on repeat. If you happen to make it to the third track, "Gold," the song is pretty standard by Owl City's standards. Marked by soft electronic music, light synthesizers, produced vocals, and happy lyrics, it's a good representation of the album as a whole. THE MIDSUMMER STATION is an album in search of a good time, and Adam Young brings it with his innocent brand of fun. The Mark Hoppus (from Blink 182) collaboration "Dementia" feels like a late-era Blink 182 song, with all of its punk-rock and poppy chorus. The other notable collaboration, "Good Time" features Carly Rae Jepsen (of "Call Me Maybe" fame), is already receiving heavy rotation on the radio for its catchy, summer-ready melody. The slower tracks on the album also work exceptionally well. Owl City strips away all of the production for the bare piano-ballad "Silhouette." Closing track "Take it all Away" is a ballad that recounts a heartbreak in pretty painstaking detail.

I would recommend THE MIDSUMMER STATION to listeners who are looking for a light, breezy pop record. Fans of the Postal Service's more poppy side will likely find some tunes here to love. It has its highs and lows -- it's not a perfect album -- but it is sure to entertain most of the runtime. Essential tracks to sample/download: "Shooting Star," "Good Time," and "Metropolis."
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VINE VOICEon August 21, 2012
The majority of us first stumbled upon Adam Young, the musician called Owl City, it was through the quadruple platinum selling single "Fireflies" which came from out of left field (Owatonna, Minnesota to be precise) to become a No. 1 smash hit in 24 countries. It was totally outside of the mainstream music establishment and presented the world a new one-man-band-singer-songwriter who was lyrical, quirky, melodic, talented, self-contained and exactly what the major record labels were not promoting. Thanks to an equally off beat, original music video "Fireflies" was everywhere a couple of years ago despite critical complaints that Owl City could be twee, cloying, unsophisticated and unoriginal. Yet somehow it rose above the cluttered marketplace, bringing Owl City's second full length CD "Ocean Eyes" to the upper reaches of the album charts.

However "Fireflies'" follow-up "Vanilla Twilight" was unable to match even a small measure of its predecessor's success (it's tough to break a single when the hit it's following won't go away). Similarly Owl City's 2011 album "All Things Bright And Beautiful" failed to make much of an impact. It looked like Owl City was a prime candidate for One Hit Wonder status. But something changed and, thanks to DJs like David Guetta and deadMaus and bands like LMFAO and Hot Chelle Rae, suddenly EDM (electronic dance music) took center chart space in the mainstream of 2012 pop music. And who better to reclaim that spotlight than our man Adam Young.

According to Amazon, "His eye-popping success has made Owl City an international phenomenon, selling nearly 12 million tracks worldwide and amassing an impressive touring record." When the moment came and Adam Young discovered his music had become mainstream he was experienced and ready and knew exactly what to do. "I grew up listening to dance music and I've always wanted to make a dance record," Young says. "European dance music has so much influence over pop right now, so it made sense to me."

And so, "The Midsummer Station" was recorded and promises to become one of the premier CDs of the season. I don't think there has been music sunnier than this since The Beach Boys surfed their way up the charts 50 years ago. This is a happy, upbeat, danceable album. To quote a lyric from its lead single (which already has the top of the Billboard 100 in its sights) "It's always a good time." And though it did not need any assistance due to its catchy melody, "Good Time" finds Owl City dueting with the reigning Queen of the Summer of 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen, fresh off 10 weeks on top of the Billboard 100 with her "Call Me Maybe".

"The Midsummer Station" opens at full throttle with "Dreams And Disasters" and rolls like a bullet train through "Shooting Star," "Gold", "Dementia" (with help from Blink 182's Mark Hoppus), "I'm Coming After," "Speed Of Love" and the aforementioned "Good Time." "Embers" and "Silhouette" slow things down long enough to catch your breath before the album finishes off with "Metropolis" and "Take It All Away."

Sure, Adam Young is not the best singer in the world, the rhythmic structure tends to not wander too far from song to song and the lyrics are certainly not poetry, but "The Midsummer Station" is an album so absolutely of its time and place in the cosmos that it is irresistible. As a Baby Boomer I still loves me some bubblegum music and I haven't had this much fun listening to an album since the days of The Archies. And though summery fun music doesn't tend to age well, Adam Young has grabbed this moment in musical time, wrapped it in an electronica ribbon and uploaded it into a world that is in great need of some joy and happiness. For that I tip my hat to him. I just hope the fact that an old dude like me likes this so much doesn't negatively affect "The Midsummer Station's" target market. I just hope they make room for me on the dance floor.
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on September 1, 2012
Ever since I heard 'Ocean Eyes' I have been hooked on Adam Young and his creative musical work. I had no idea that there was a new album coming out this year, espcially since 'All Things Bright & Beautiful' was released just a year ago.

'The Midsummer Station' is something very different from the previous Owl City albums. It seems that the soft synthesizer has given away to more up beat and sometimes harder sounds, which is not a bad thing. Teaming up with Carley Rae Jepsin and Blink 182s Mark Hoppus gives you two of the better songs on the album, but also songs like Shooting Star and Metropolis also highlight this record. The style is also very different, very much like the Europian Techno sound that is very popular in music right now. Still, there is one thing I am not so happy about and it's that the whimisical lyrics seem to have left to make room for a little more mainstreem typical lyrics. None of these songs have that same magic as Fireflies and The Yacht Club. However this album is not bad at all and I am very inrigued by this new and unexpected direction Owl City is taking. It is leaving me very interested in what lies ahead.
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on October 29, 2012
Let me start by saying I'm a relatively new Owl City fan. I casually listened a few years ago, then slowly but surely, have been purchasing almost anything Adam Young does. His music could not be any more different than what I typically listen to (Rush, Coheed & Cambria, Dream Theater [Mike Portnoy era], Transatlantic, etc.)

Albums like Of June, An Airplane Carried Me To Bed, and All Things Bright and Beautiful grabbed me during the first pass.. not so with The Midsummer Station. I had purchased the 'Shooting Star' EP a few months prior to this album arriving, so I had an idea of what to expect. My hope, though, was that there would be some stonger tracks on the full-length album, and Adam delivered.

Tracks like 'Embers' and 'Dreams and Disasters' are classic Owl City. If you like 'Hello Seattle', 'Fireflies', or 'The Airway', then those will speak to you. By this point, you probably have heard 'Good Time' on the radio -- this ultimately may be the song that moves Owl City even more mainstream.

The mix on this album is much different than, say, All Things Bright and Beautiful. On many tracks, it sounds like the instruments are further back in the mix than they should be. Honestly, I almost thought there was something wrong with my headphones until I listened to it in the car.

In closing..this is an overall winner -- there's something on here for every Owl City fan. I like this album a considerable amount more than when I first purchased it. Just don't expect something with the strength of All Things Bright and Beautiful.
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on August 24, 2012
Adam Young experimented with his style in the album before this, and it looks like the Midsummer Station album is still veering from his previous album's feelings. There are less lyrics in the content of this setlist compared to his earliest songs. The Midsummer Station comes back to the playful aspect of Owl City from All Things Bright and Beautiful's wistful and unattached-to-reality mood, though. (And there's no rap featured.)

I will say, Adam seems to be using a lot more poppy fillers in his latest album. By this, I mean there are a lot more "oh, oh, oh" parts and less verses to some of the songs. It's not quite enough to be obnoxious, but just enough to take notice of. Still, if you're okay with Owl City becoming more and more popularized and getting more radio air-time, you'll still be a fan after The Midsummer Station. I know I am!
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on March 20, 2016
IT'S CLEAR!!! I've never had a clear record before. It looks so awesome! I love Owl City and have been a fan for several years. Adam Young is so incredibly talented. I definitely recommend checking out his other musical works like Sky Sailing and Swimming With Dolphins. I have noticed there are a couple songs that have spots that skip. I'm not sure if this vinyl wasn't made properly, or if I just need to clean it more thoroughly. Regardless, it's a great album and I definitely recommend it.
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on August 26, 2012
This is a pretty good cd, the songs are all pretty catchy. I just noticed that the cd is also listed on Amazon without the "Digital Booklet" for a $1 less. So if you are not interested in having the pdf version of the cd booklet, you can get this one for a buck less (at least it was at the time of writing this post):

The Midsummer Station

Another thing that is frustrating is if you buy the album in iTunes, you get a bonus song and if you bought it with a Japanese iTunes account, you get a second bonus song. I am not a fan of all of these pricing differences and songs only being available in specific countries or music stores. Other than that, I think it is a pretty great cd.
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on August 11, 2013
I was hesitant to purchase the Acoustic EP after already owning The Midsummer Station. I wondered how much could be improved upon, but as a devoted Owl City fan I should have known better. Though only a few tracks are included in this album, Adam Young transformed Good Time, Shooting Star and Gold into softer, quieter tunes. His unique modifications to these songs (makes sense as it is supposed to be an acoustic version) still make the heart smile. It's hard to believe those 3 songs could get any better, but they are! Plus, it's nice to hear some new songs included (Hey Anna and I Hope you Think of Me). Am I biased? Yes, Adam Young's Owl City is my favorite band and believe it or not, I am a 31 year old father of 3 little girls. I have always enjoyed his work since I heard Fireflies, but dancing to his songs with my girls is icing on the cake. So, check it out for yourself and I think you will find yourself smiling and laughing a bit more.
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on August 29, 2012
Having listened through "Maybe I'm Dreaming," "Ocean Eyes," and "All Things Bright and Beautiful," I can say that this pretty much put Owl City back on course. His previous album, "All Things Bright and Beautiful," had a lot of changing melodies and off-beat quirks that makes it hard to grasp. But there is also a lack of consistent melodies or... "feel" of the tunes to really like it. It is something I also look into when I started listening to Owl City.

"The Midsummer Station" is, in my opinion, the true successor to "Ocean Eyes." That isn't to say that "All Things..." is a failure as a successor. It just feels like Midsummer is a better follow-up to the success that "Ocean Eyes" had. There are less style/rhythm changes between songs, which makes it easier to adapt to the different beats and mood.

As for the songs themselves, it is difficult to pick out a single track. I used this album as a background melody while I was playing a game. And after a few full-album loops, no particular song really stand out to detract me from my gaming session. It is very rare for me to have an album like this. The whole album has a more pop-like feel to it, despite that it still retain some of the electronica theme that defined Owl City. Every track, except one, has an upbeat melody, including the radio hit single "Good Time." And they're all composed and done well to make them easy and comfortable to listen to.

I recommend this album if you liked "Ocean Eyes." Even if you've never heard of Owl City, this is also not a bad album to start out with.

Verdict: Buy it.
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