Review: Owl City’s All Things Bright and Beautiful

In April, when the original launch of Owl City’s album got pushed into June, I was more upset than I wanted to be. Why? Because I really love Owl City. I think the music is fun, the lyrics are witty, and Adam Young’s a wonderful guy. (Have you read his blog? Gosh, he’s amazing.) Perhaps to placate angry fans, Young gave his fans a little preview of the said album and I knew, even then, that I had to get my hands on it.

Well, I did. And here’s what I think…

All Things Bright and Beautiful album cover

The bottom line: Totally worth the wait and the cash. Grab a copy as soon as you can.

If you’re looking for something like Ocean Eyes, you’re in for a surprise. If you’re looking for something unlike Ocean Eyes, you’ll still be in for a surprise. The songs “Deer in the Headlights,” “Honey and the Bee,” (in my opinion, a little reminiscent of “The Bird and the Worm”), “Alligator Sky” (both the clean and collaborated versions) are classic Owl City – bop-you-head-to rhythms with layered tunes coupled with lyrics that make your heart melt.  But Young brings more to the table when he salutes to other genres like hip-hop (with”The Yacht Club”), R&B (according to iTunes, anyway, with “Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust”), and Christian rock (with “Galaxies”).

I’ve read a few reviews on iTunes while downloading ATBAB, and I saw someone said that there are no “throw-away” tracks on this album. Whether I would agree, I can’t really say. What I will say is that when I gave this album a listen, I knew from one listen which tracks were going to be my new faves. Unlike Ocean Eyes, some tracks seemed hit-or-miss to me, and as of today, some have been played more often than others.

I guess I am not being fair to ATBAB, asking it to be Ocean Eyes part II. ATBAB is a great album, because it has some songs definitive of Owl City sound and because it pushes that definition and succeeds. Whether you are an old Owl City fan or new to Young’s imaginative electro-pop, you are bound to fall in love with a few songs in ATBAB.


  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
  13. How I Became the Sea
  14. Alligator Sky

sm1tt3nk1tt3n recommends:

  • “Deer in the Headlights” – a playful love song. Melody and rhythm similar to “Dental Care” from Ocean Eyes.
  • “Honey and the Bee” – stripped of the hi-hats and synth, this song would still amazing. It’s charm is indescribable, just give the song a listen.
  • “Galaxies” – currently the most played song on the album on my iPod. Easily the most awesome Christian song I’ve ever heard. Awesome dance-in-your-car tune.
  • “The Yacht Club” – another awesome dance tune. Reminds me of “Hello Seattle (remix)”

Final thoughts:

iTunes initially had the album for sale at $11.99, but (at Young’s behest) is now sold at $9.99. It’s a steal, guys.

The album is also available in CD and vinyl formats (of course!), if either is your preference.


P.S. Doctor Flash and I are going to see Owl City on Thursday at the Roseland BR. :) Suuuper excited.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Owl City: All Things Bright and Beautiful Concert « Background Noise

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