Owl City – Shooting Star EP
Reviewed by Mark Plummer
From an artist who has spawned one of the most downloaded songs in late 2009-early 2010 worldwide (Fireflies – certified triple-platinum and shifting over 4,257,000 downloads in the US alone) comes a four track EP showcasing what we might think to expect from the upcoming full length release.
First impressions will definitely see a different musical direction taken compared to the style that started Adam Young’s career. Whilst there’s still plenty of familiarity, there is also an abundance of progress. Most impressive is the style that has moved onto a more stripped down feel, adding a lot more rawness and feeling that Young’s songs could be played by a full live band. This is most notable through the drums on Dementia which shine away from Owl City’s more electronic feel, however the addition of those familiar synths and keyboards still keeps Dementia an easy to listen to song that shouldn’t spark too much protest. The addition of Mark Hoppus on vocal duties is a great touch as his soft and mellow vocal style compliments Young’s songwriting. Shooting Star benefits from an intro riff played on the piano that makes more appearances throughout the opener in the verses and bridge. With the keyboards held off and more focus on the vocals and the piano, there’s a great deal of difference from previous material, without changing too much. Even tracks like Gold, that still carry the heavy influence of past works feel both fresh and new.
All-in-all this a quality little release that deserves a chance to shine. From the new-found rawness to the catchy keyboard riffs that are still there, but sometimes require a bit more of a sharp ear to find. In essence then, there might not be too much that is different. However the seemingly simple task of taking what’s familiar and removing it from the forefront of Young’s music seems to have done the trick in bringing something different and re-worked to the table whilst not alienating Owl City.
4 out of 5