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Owl City – The Midsummer Station (Acoustic EP) Album Review

midsummer-station-owl-city

Less than a week ago, Owl City released a new extended play (EP) entitled The Midsummer Station Acoustic. By now, you must’ve known that I’m a fan of Adam, so when the EP came out, I just had to have it, and I did.

As you can see, the cover of the EP looks “dark”, but the EP itself is actually a mini version of The Midsummer Station (TMS) (which I’ve already reviewed here). However, because this is just an EP, Adam only made three acoustic versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold from TMS album. That, and two additional songs entitled Hey Anna and I Hope You Think of Me.

Acoustic Versions of Good Time, Shooting Star, and Gold
Although Adam called this an acoustic EP, it doesn’t literally means “acoustic” as in only vocal and acoustic guitar, but “acoustic”, Adam Young style: with chamber strings, upright piano, mellotron, organic loops, and laid-back synth pads. The results? Well for me the acoustics versions are the lullaby version of the three upbeat songs from TMS. The acoustic version is a good reimagination of the three predecessor songs. Quite interesting, really. I might even say that the “acoustic” versions are better.

Hey Anna
Definitely my favorite song from the EP. I can’t just listen to this song once. I have to repeat it at least three times in one listening before I feel I have enough. The lyrics might be boring over time because it’s a repetition, but the melody covers it all up and make this a very addictive song to listen to. This song really remind of what Adam is capable of.

I Hope You Think of Me
I first listen to this song via YouTube when Owl City performed in Oklahoma City, not long after All Things Bright and Beautiful album came out (click here to see my review). At that time, I didn’t really pay attention to the song because I thought Adam will include the song in the TMS album, which he didn’t. When I REALLY listen to the track, I just thought, “Meh.” Personally I blame Hey Anna for raising the bar too high, making this track sounded dull then. But over time, I’m starting to like this track. Yet another example of a reminder of what Adam is capable of.

All in all, I love this EP. I love the fact that it’s very easy-listening. However, for some Owl City fans, this EP might be too boring and “soft”. To that, I say, “Move on from Ocean Eyes, dudes, it’s been four years since then.” If there’s anything I hate from the EP, is that there are only five tracks in it. I want more!

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Owl City – The Midsummer Station Album Review

Now this is a hot stuff. This album’s been buzzing for a while now, even before it was released. If you haven’t got the chance to listen to this album, you can download it here. I myself have listened to it for about five times, and I’m gonna give my track-by-track review. But before that, you should know that my opinion for this album might not sound very objective, since I’m a fan of Owl City 😀

And now, on to the tracks!

Dreams and Disasters
I always thought that the first track of an album serves like a warm-up before a workout, and this track did its job well. It’s a great album-opener! This is my second-favourite track of the album for its cool beats, lyrics, and catchy hooks!

Shooting Star
I heard this song before in the Shooting Star EP (Extended Play), and my first reaction was, “This is Adam’s version of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”!” The tracks are not similar, but the feeling you get when you listen to this track are the same with Fireworks.

Gold
I have a mixed feeling about this track. The intro was just “okay”, but the “I don’t need the stars in the night” part was pretty cool. I have to admit that this might be the “weakest” track of the album, though.

Dementia
Another song from the Shooting Star EP. I like the Adam-Mark Hoppus’ combo in this track, but the song was just okay for me.

I’m Coming after You
Now this is a fun song, especially if you’re a cop. Cops, if you want to flirt with your crush, sing this song to her! “You got the right to remain right here with me” is the funniest part 😀

Speed of Love
Somehow, this track feels like a mash-up for “falling in love” and “racing in a track”. This track is fine, nice beats to listen to.

Good Time
I gotta tell ya, I don’t like Carly Rae Jepsen. Her voice is just…! Never mind. I’m pretty sure Breanne’s gonna sing her part throughout #OCTMS world tour, so it’s all good. This is a GREAT summer song though!

Embers
When you’re feeling down and need a motivational song, then this is it. It lifts up your spirit!

Silhouette
This track is the opposite of Embers. It’s one of two mellow songs in this album. The lyrics are really “deep”, so to say. When you feel like you need a soundtrack while you’re crying, this is it. Definitely a song worth listening to.

Metropolis
My favourite track of the album! Cool beat, catchy hooks, and, as ever, quirky lyrics. I’m imagining myself in a car speeding up in a highway with this song in the background. Yeah, it’s THAT cool!

Take It All Away
My favourite track on the Shooting Star EP, but not in this album. After hearing the other tracks, this just sounded okay.

Bombshell Blonde
A bonus track for pre-ordering the album on iTunes. Most people like this track, but not me. The dubstep part on the bridge are a bit annoying to me.

Top of the World
This is a bonus track for Japanese HootOwls. A good track to lift up your spirit, and better one to dance to!

Overall, The Midsummer Station is a great summer album. If you like dancing and summer beats like I do (not the dancing part), this is the album for you. Of course, this album’s very different from the previous two. A lot of people said this is not Owl City, but I feel like it’s the new him. He’s growing, and not the same person he was when he made Ocean Eyes. This is an Electronica Pop (or Electropop) album, unlike the first album, which sounded more as a Pop album.

Lastly, I can’t wait to jump around in Adam’s beats when he’s performing in Jakarta this November!

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Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust – The Owl City Jakarta Concert! (Part 2)

It was dark, but there were still some lights to see that Hannah, Laura, Breanne, Daniel, and Casey are entering the stage. Not long after that, Adam enters and the crowd goes wild! He wore a white shirt, a black vest, and his jeans. He looks nice 😀 He walks to the drums and started playing the intro to The Real World along with the OC Band. It was no shock to me that he can play the drums. What shocked me was that I didn’t know he can play it that good! I love you more, Adam!!

Here’s the songlist from last night’s concert:

  • The Real World
  • Cave In
  • Hello Seattle
  • Angels
  • Swimming in Miami
  • Umbrella Beach
  • I’ll Meet You There
  • Hospital Flowers
  • The Bird and The Worm
  • Lonely Lullaby
  • Fireflies
  • Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust
  • Kamikaze
  • Meteor Shower
  • January 28, 1986
  • Galaxies
  • Alligator Sky
  • Deer in the Headlights
  • The Yacht Club
  • Encore: How I Became The Sea & If My Heart was a House

As expected, Indonesia had the set B song-list. For some people, it’s kinda disappointing, since Adam didn’t sing some of their favorite track, such as Honey and The Bee or Vanilla Twilight. But I just don’t care. I think it’s still an amazing concert, whatever the set list are. I can’t even describe how awesome or amazing and beautiful the concert was! For those who reaaaaally wish to watch the concert, some of the videos from the concert are already posted in YouTube and they are available in HD 🙂 Of course, the experience are different than when you watch it live, but still, it’s still fun to watch 🙂

The experience from the concert itself was amazing. After the concert, I feel like I’m going to faint from dehydration and fatigue from standing too long, but I still feel like I can keep singing my heart out as long as the band’s still there. Nevertheless, everything have to come to an end. I walked outside, bought some water to fix my dehydration, then stood in line to get my backpack. When I walked outside to wait for my brother, the feeling I felt when I sang with the other 4999 people in the concert is still there. I feel it in my chest, and my brain keeps repeating the experience. Once again, I feel so blessed 🙂

So, I thank Adrie Subono from JAVA Musikindo for bringing Owl City to Jakarta; Axis and BCA for sponsoring the event; all the band members: Adam, Breanne, Laura, Hannah, Daniel, and Casey; the OC Crew who made all the magic possible; and other crews from JAVA Musikindo for keeping us, the spectators, in line. Without you, I wouldn’t have this experience, ever. My dreams came true, and it’s all thanks to you guys. Thank you!!

Also, Adam tweeted something interesting. My dreams may came true again next year 😉 See you again on the next Owl City concert in Jakarta!

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Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust – The Owl City Jakarta Concert! (Part 1)

When diamonds boast that they can’t be crushed, let ’em go cause dreams don’t turn to dust!

Owl City – Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust

Yes, it doesn’t! At least in my case, where several of my dreams came true 😀 I’ve watched the Owl City Jakarta Concert, I bought the original tee, bought Breanne Duren’s EP, and also her original tee! Who knew, that through the pains and journey to Tennis Indoor Senayan, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to watch the show live!

The journey began when I ride the Transjakarta from Bermis to Dukuh Atas, then I rode the next one to Gelora Bung Karno. I rode a bike to Tennis Indoor, and I was there. It was drizzling, but there’s already a line to enter the Tennis Indoor. I can tell that they are hardcore fans (like me :)) who wants to make sure that they have the best seat/view to the stage 😀

They opened the venue into the Tennis Indoor after about an hour or so, after checking the bags for drinks and foods. They sold some drinks and food at the venue, so we can’t bring some from outside the venue 😦 And here’s where the dreams starting to be true.

I left my bag at JAVA Musikindo, bringing only my concert ticket, the ticket to pick up my bag, and IDR 200.000 to buy an original merchandise, which was a tee. When I was walking towards the line to enter the stage, I walk past the merchandise counter to see that they sold the original tees that Breanne posted at her blog! I immediately asked for my size, and at that exact time, I saw the EP too!

Oh. My. God! I thought the EP have been sold out since the OC Tour in Australia, so I was shocked that they sold the EP on the venue! Breanne must’ve bring some more before the Asia tour began 😀 After that, I saw some Owl City’s original tees, and I thought that I should buy one as an authenticity that I WAS on the concert! The tees cost me IDR 200.000 each, and the EP was IDR 50.000. Seriously, it was my allowance for almost a month, but I know it worth every penny of it! Hello, it’s Owl City and Breanne’s original merchandise! I wouldn’t miss it for the world 😀

The tees and the EP 🙂

They also sold some wristbands and Stuffed Owls, but I’m more interested with the tees and EP 😉 After buying the merchandise, I put them inside of my bagpack (meaning, I went back to JAVA Musikindo’s place, then stood in line to enter the venue, feeling so pleased that I finally bought the tees and EP.

It was still about 5 PM or so when they let us stood in line, and they opened the gate at about 6.30 or so (I didn’t bring my phone or watch with me, so feel free to correct me if i’m wrong :)) When I enter the stage, I immediately saw Breanne’s red Nord keyboard, the one and only keyboard that I saw on her video and on Owl City’s concerts. I stood on the fifth row, still can’t believe that I’m going to see the concert! I immediately regret my decision to left my Galaxy at Java Musikindo’s, but there’s no turning back now. If I run back to get it, I’ll miss the fifth row forever 😦

So there I was, standing at the fifth row, still wishing I brought my Galaxy with me. It was still 06.30, and I wish they start the show immediately, since my feet are hurting from standing. Few people in front of me have been sitting since they “reserved” their place in front, and I did so too at about 7.20 or so because I feel like I will faint when I saw Breanne opening the show since my feet hurts so bad. I sat for about 20 minutes or so, in the midst of the other standing spectators, but I just don’t care. I’d rather be ashamed than fainting on the first song 😐

On 8.15, the stage went dark, and I saw Breanne in her glittering dress, the one that she wore on No One Else video and several other shows. She started walking towards the stage, and I just stood there in awe. She was so beautiful! People say that she’s a lot more beautiful in person, and they are so right! She greets the crowd with her graceful charm, then sang Catapult. Oh my God. Her voice was so dreamy! It was so unreal! I’ve been watching her shows around the world via YouTube, and it’s still waaaaay better when I saw and heard her singing her song in person 😀

After singing Catapult, she sang Daydreams, Summer Days, Gold Mine, then No One Else. She communicate with the crowd every time she finish the song, and I thought it was the sweetest thing to do. I almost broke out in tears when she sang Summer Days, my favorite track on Sparks. I knew that I might be one of the few who know all her songs, but in Summer Days I just stood there and watch Breanne sang it. It was perfection. I feel so blessed :’)

During her performance, she looked like she’s having a great time, and I was right. After the show, she tweeted about how much she loved the crowd. Well, we love YOU, Breanne! After her performance, she recorded the crowd from her red camera that she brought with her when she enter the stage. I hope you make a great Vlog from it Bre 🙂

After Breanne’s performance, the OC crew prepped the stage for the Owl City performance, setting up the mic for Adam, taking all the black sheets covering the instruments, putting up Breanne’s Gaia, and so on. Then, after about 30 minutes, the real magic happens.

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Swimming with Dolphins – Silhouettes

I know you won’t admit this, I am just a silhouette to you
you found comfort with my distance,
but you never let me stray out of your view
who really needs the past, with the allure of something new
so we split apart at last, went back to places that I knew, before you

and you never have to see, the light that wraps itself around me
and I’ll never have to know the faces and, the places you go
that you go, that you go
that you go, that you go

when I count by the resistance, I bend in shapes in ways that I never knew
so I’ll try to post from my existence
yeah I’ll stop or start my heart if you ask me to
I’ll stop my heart and then I’ll wait for you

I was sure I never would be sure we were in love
(although it’s dark and black)
I am sure I never will be sure of love to come
(there is one thing left to hold on to)
after you

and you never have to see, the light that wraps itself around me
and I never have to know the faces there, the places you go
that you go, that you go
that you go, that you go

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Owl City – All Things Bright and Beautiful Album Review

In celebrating Owl City’s upcoming sold-out concert in Jakarta, I will also review his All Things Bright and Beautiful album, which got out in June 14th, 2011. If you haven’t got the chance to buy the album on iTunes, do so right here.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

As a fan of Owl City since his Ocean Eyes album, i’m surprised as to how this new album sounds. In Ocean Eyes, Adam wowed me with his catchy tunes and soft voice. I fell in love in his music since I heard Fireflies for the first time, so I’m grateful that a friend of mine recommended this track to me in 2009. The love grows as I heard Vanilla Twilight, The Saltwater Room, Umbrella Beach, On The Wing, etc etc etc. In conclusion, I love Ocean Eyes. I still love it until now, I didn’t get enough of it 🙂

Back to All Things Bright and Beautiful, there’s a bit of improvement in the way that Adam sings. In my opinion, his voice grew more powerful than ever. By the time I reached track three, Angels, I concluded that this album should be called All Things Bright and Powerful 😛 But then I got into the fifth track, Honey and The Bee, and I can feel the same vibe as I did when I heard The Saltwater Room for the first time. Yeah, I think the duet with Breanne in this 2011 album is much better than it was in 2008. The first time I listened to all the tracks, I’m in awe as I heard Lonely Lullaby. It was nothing like what Adam used to made. It’s very…sad and honest.

If you really listened to the song lyrics in any Owl City album (or just searched it on the net), you can see that the lyrics sometimes didn’t make sense. For example, the lyrics in The Yacht Club, which goes something like:

I stood under the waterfall with a kiwi pineapple parasol
As Cinderella dropped the crystal ball
And made a concrete cavern of caterpillar concert hall

I don’t get the metaphor at all.. But, Adam did it again. As I grew fond of the album, I started to sing along, and sometimes find myself chuckling because the lyrics are so weird 🙂

So far, I love this album. Some of the tracks that listened to a lot are Honey and The Bee (duh!), Kamikaze, Galaxies, and The Yacht Club. But still, there’s not a track here that I don’t like. Every track just screams perfection to my ear. Now I can’t wait to see the concert!

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Breanne Düren’s 2008 Self-Titled Album Review

As I did on the Sparks EP, I will review Breanne’s self-titled album. If you compare the lyrics, the lyrics in Sparks have improved quite significantly. The lyrics in the 2008 album almost feels like Breanne’s telling us about her life, how she feels about something in her own words, while in Sparks you can see that she’s using more meaningful and common words in her lyrics. You can actually sing along with Sparks, while with her 2008 album you kind of just listened to her music.

But still, compared to Sparks, I like the music in the 2008 album better. I can relate to it more than Sparks, and in some way, I feel that this is the real voice of Breanne, this is her real music. I’m not saying that Sparks is something that she made up intentionally, I just somehow feel that in some point, I feel that she’s trying a little bit too hard. For example, I like her voice in the 2008 album compared to Sparks. You may call it a common pop voice, but with her music in the self-titled album, it’s just perfect.

For some people, the 2008 album consists of mood music, or in other words, the music that you’ll heard in a bar or a jazz cafe, where you’re occupied with your book or your conversations and not really listened to the music playing in the background. I won’t deny it, since some songs like Warm Water, They Call Me October, After You, Who’s to Blame, and Steady have that jazzy and easy-listening feel into it. But, some songs like Lenses, Black Coffee, Doctor, No Magic Show, Speak, and Untitled are not that simple at all, right? Every song in this album has its own personality, and, this is my own opinion, very original. This is Breanne Duren.

At this point on, I think it’s very clear which Breanne’s album I like better, right? In the end, I hope that in the future she combined her originality in the 2008 album with the fun and fresh Breanne from Sparks 🙂

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Breanne Düren’s Sparks EP Review

I posted the lyrics to Breanne’s Sparks EP, so now I’ll give my review of the EP. First of all, I’ll explain a bit about an EP. EP is an abbreviation of Extended Play, which consist of less than 8 tracks per “album”. It can’t be necessarily called an album or a Single because of the number of tracks in it. Artists usually use an EP to promote themselves (and their music), and sometimes their upcoming album. But of course, it depends on the artist 🙂

Sparks

Since Breanne’s EP only consists of five tracks, I’ll review each of them. First, the most well-known track after Daydreams, Gold Mine. Gold Mine probably the track that has the most retro feel out of all the tracks in the EP, with all the claps and retro bass feel in the beginning. Still, the drums and the vocal in my opinion still feels very sophisticated, with an ‘echo’ feel in it. You can also feel the retro touch from Breanne’s wardrobe and hairdo in her music video.

The second track, No One Else, in my opinion is the most ordinary track in this EP. Other tracks have their own “spark” in it, but this track is like your average pop music. I hate to say this, but I don’t really like her singing in this track either 😦 I always feel like she’s singing this in a half-beat delay from the music’s, until I realize maybe it’s her own style of singing. Her effort to try to make the vocal “shine” is not very succesful, and it tends to be very excessive. I say that she’s trying too hard on this track…

The opening of the third track, Catapult, reminded me of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, even the drum-playing in it are somehow similar to Viva La Vida, only it has Katy Perry’s Firework feel in it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, since the music diversity on this time and age made it difficult for songwriters to write an original music. I have to admit that this track has the most flare and beat in it. Also, I bet if there’s going to be an Angry Birds movie, this track will be the first candidate to be the soundtrack :p

As I mentioned in the Daydreams Lyrics post, the fourth track have three versions. The demo version was still very basic, so I’m glad that Breanne upgraded the track a lot in her EP. Maybe she finally use her Gaia to a good use and make a killer tune from it :p So far, this track is the most well-known track, and you can find many cover versions on YouTube. It’s no shocker, since the lyrics to this track are very common to teenagers, especially those in love 🙂

The last track, Summer Days, is my favourite track, since I’m a sucker for orchestral background. Even if the song tends to have this sad feeling in it, the music itself is very grand. I also like Breanne’s vocal in this track. In some lines I can still feel that she’s trying a little bit too hard to make her vocal shines, but overall, it’s just great.

In conclusion, do I think she’s ready for a full-album? Yes, that’s for sure. She’s got the talent for song-writing. Her music is unique, in a way that people can still relate to it. She only needs some honing in her vocal, which I think is very common for any vocalist, right? I’m looking forward for her next album or EPs 🙂

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Breanne Düren!

So I have a new idol that I just discovered a few days ago. Her name is Breanne Düren, and she’s one of Owl City’s additional player.

Yes, she's an angel.

I’ve recognized her since… i don’t know when -,-a But I just listened to her EP and I loved it! Check her out on iTunes!

Sparks EP

I’ve started to search for more infos on her music, and it turns out that in 2008 she already released a self-titled album. I gave it a listen, and i’m speechless… The first track, Lenses, reminded me of Lenka, but her dreamy voice is just… darn, I just can’t find the right words! Then I listened the second, third, until the twelfth track, and I concluded that I. Love. Her Music! Her self-titled album is very calming, just my kind of music! Gave it a listen here, since it’s not available on iTunes.

Did it hurt, when you fall from Heaven?

If you’re into easy-listening tracks, I highly recommended her. But if you’re not into soft and (some people call this) whiny, then this album was not for you. Do check her out, people! 🙂

I’ll post her lyrics from Sparks and her 2008 self-titled album. Meanwhile, you can check her Gold Mine and No One Else official music video on YouTube. Enjoy!

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Owl City – I’ll Meet You There

If we could sit together a moment, and talk forever just to pass the time
I would smile as the shivers and chills run down my spine
With your eyes are locked on mine
Oh we’ll fill the metro skies with country air
And when you close your tired eyes I’ll meet you there
I’ll meet you there

Deep inside of you there’s a ruby glow
And it gets brighter than you and I will ever know
There’s a rushing sound that surrounds us when we walk alone
And it’s everything we’ve never known
Wander down the street, and I would be the pavement beneath your feet
If we could just be immobile for some time
And finally figure out the way we feel
About the missing puzzle pieces and cloudy question marks
It still look a bit surreal

Oh I tend to disappear here and there
So concentrate and you’ll feel me everywhere
And we’ll fill the metro skies with country air
If you’re lost when you close your eyes I’ll meet you there

You could be anywhere, I’ll meet you there
You could be anywhere, open your eyes and see everything you can be
I’ll meet you there

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