Music Review: Mobile Orchestra

It is no secret that I am a huge Owl City fan.

It was for this reason that Friday morning – despite having the day off – as soon as I woke up I stumbled for my phone and climbed back into bed with my headphones to have an initial listen.

I fell in love with Owl City in 2008. By chance hearing the song ‘Hot Air Balloon’ on some random radio station, loving it, going home and googling the band. The first of my long list of favorite songs were Salt Water Room and Panda Bear.

What I adored about Owl City was the way that the music painted you a multi coloured picture, how it had this ability to really stir your imagination.

Personally, I will always believe that All Things Bright and Beautiful was truly Adam Young’s best album but right now I want to talk about Mobile Orchestra.

It has been ages and ages since Adam Young released a full album, in saying that, he hasn’t exactly been silent either. Super awesome singles, such as Tokyo and an EP called Ultra Violet with awesome jams such as Up All Night and Wolf Bite.

Mobile Orchestra (Adam Young’s 5th Album) is a mixed bag. By this I mean like most albums, there are some songs I am like, ‘Oh my gosh, I am going to listen to this on repeat for the rest of my life’ and then others where I shrug and go ‘yeah that was alright.’

There are songs I absolutely adore, such as Bird with A Broken Wing, Can’t Live Without You, Thunderstruck, and of course Unbelievable.

There are other songs which I am not the biggest fan of such as, This Isn’t the End, and Verge, all that aside to say I’d still listen to them if they randomly came on when my iPhone was on shuffle.

Later on Sunday night (after listening to the album perhaps sixty or so times because that’s how I roll) I was talking with my brother, his wife and my fiancé about the Album.

‘I don’t think it’s that good… I want the old stuff… stuff like Fireflies… not as catchy… no stand out songs…’ blah blah blah were the comments.

As a matter of fact I heard this when Ultra Violet came out too…

and Midsummer Station…

Here’s the thing though… I don’t think people actually know what they’re listening for when it comes to Owl City.

Mobile Orchestra is more mature than anything else Adam Young has done, I will give you that, and it is less obscure than the Ocean Eyes album but actually… the configuration of the track listings aren’t all that different.

Owl City is famous for that sparkly, detailed lyric sound set to some trademark pulse or lead synths.

Here is a fact that if you plan on listening to Owl City you need to keep firmly in mind: Owl City is not every song sounding like Fireflies.

There are other songs, such as Dental Care that are just crazy, or Galaxies which is just a total rave, or Hello Seattle which is a somewhat repetitive jam, or even How I Became the Sea, a mellow reflective collection of awesomeness.

Mobile Orchestra has some genuinely beautiful songs on it, with Adam Young’s famous embellishments to what could otherwise be ordinary statements – eg: instead of ‘Carry me away’ in Thunderstruck we have ‘Carry me carefully away.’

I love it, I hope you love it, and can see from the perspective that I do.

That Owl City’s music is especially brilliant for creative who like to have a space to go and think and imagine and that Adam Young’s music is the best soundtrack in order to do that.


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