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Feeling the Love
Posted July 09, 2015
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer

Owl City is back with a new full-length studio album, Mobile Orchestra, due out July 10th worldwide on Universal Republic. Owl City's Adam Young burst onto the music scene with one of the all-time best selling debut singles, the incredibly infectious "Fireflies," where Adam mused "I'd like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly... everything is never as it seems... when I fall asleep." 

Owl City's dreamy songs and hook-filled melodies have consistently been a draw for me. Unlike his previous offerings such as in "The Real World" where Young sings "reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn't want to live there," this album is filled with Young's musings about love, faith and life, and his personality can be heard in every song.

Young has a unique gift to make catchy and optimistic songs while still challenging me intellectually. My best way to summarize the theme of the album is found in the fun nod: "and I could feel the love" in referencing "The Lion King's" hit song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" in the incredibly catchy and fun reminiscing song, "Unbelievable" featuring "MMMBop" artist Hanson. Young and Hanson trade-off sharing their favorite childhood memories, including the creative rhyming of "when I was a kid I saved up all my dough so I could buy C3-PO," and "when I was a kid I lived for climbing trees, and Dr. Pepper jelly beans."

That theme of "and I could feel the love" weaves its way throughout all ten amazing songs, each hitting an aspect of Owl City's music that all of his existing fans have come to love with rave-style dance tempo song "Verge" featuring guest vocals from Aloe Blacc (who vaulted Avicii's "Wake Me Up" into a mega-hit). I expect a similar outcome for this melody which I can't get out of my head. You'll be singing along "from this day forward I will make a promise, to be true to myself and always be honest. For the rest of my life, I will do what's right when I step out on the verge of the rest of my life tonight." Those lyrics set the tone for Young's commitment to be true to himself and always be honest, which can best be found in his personal expressions of love and faith, "I Found Love," "My Everything," "Can't Live Without You," and "You're Not Alone" (which features Britt Nicole).

Like everyone else, I was hooked by "Fireflies," "Umbrella Beach" and "Vanilla Twilight" from Ocean Eyes. At the time, I didn't even know Adam was a Christian and then he recorded a brilliant cover of "In Christ Alone," and I've been a huge fan ever since. Some of the vertical Christian focused lyrics are found in my favorite song, "My Everything" where Adam expresses his faith directly to God: "Hallelujah, by the grace of God above, Hallelujah, I will shine a light 'cause I am loved, This is all I know how to say." 

"You're Not Alone" features Britt Nicole and the biblical confession: "In the face of my depravity
For God so loved the world He died for me, My fire burns 'till He returns, And takes me home beyond the galaxy, You rescued me and I believe, That God is love and He is all I need, From this day forth for all eternity

The nod to "Galaxies" where Adam credits God as "the saving grace of the Galaxies" found in the "galaxy" reference in the bridge of "You're Not Alone" is matched in the song "Back Home" featuring Jake Owen, with the musing of Young and Owen about "fireflies" also providing a throwback in the country-tinged back porch song. That is one of the many highlights of this brilliant offering by Owl City, his best album and easily one of the best alternative music albums of the decade.

Closing Thoughts: 
Something about Owl City's music that I've consistently enjoyed is the ability to escape daily stress and pressures while listening to the songs. Knowing Adam's faith as a Christian allows me as listener to share his optimism that we weren't made for this world. Mobile Orchestra is easily the best alternative music album of the year. I love that this album is chock-full of optimistic messages about love, faith and life wrapped around some incredibly hooky beats and dance floor tempos. If you liked Ocean Eyes and All Things Bright and Beautiful, you'll be thrilled by Mobile Orchestra. Do yourself a favor and get this album immediately.

Song to Download Now:
"My Everything" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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