|(Craig Lassig/Associated Press/File 2009)|
Life is sweet in Owl City
Remember “Fireflies,’’ Owl City’s cheerful, 2009 synth-pop ode to lightning bugs and insomnia? Well, Adam Young, the perky Midwesterner who records as Owl City, is back, and he remains relentlessly enchanted by the magical beauty of life in all its joys and pains.
On “All Things Bright’’ he treads ingratiatingly melodic, lyrically twee, electro-pop territory that will be familiar to fans.
Young’s observational style veers from pastoral poetics to strung-together slogans — he sings about making like a tree and leaving at one point — but you never doubt his sincerity.
Whether he’s observing that reality is a dandy place (but not one where he’d want to live) on the burbling “The Real World,’’ or owning up to his hopeless dreamer status on “Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust,’’ Young comes off like a 21st-century Matthew Wilder and ain’t nothing gonna break-a his stride — not even the hit of pepper spray that the protagonist of the zippy “Deer in the Headlights’’ takes to the face on the way to true love. Or the third-degree burns suffered by the narrator of the beatific piano ballad “Hospital Flowers,’’ as a devastating car crash bestows an epiphany of grace.
Young brings a slightly rockier edge to welcome effect on tracks like “Angels’’ and “Kamikaze’’ and dips a toe in the hip-hop pool with “Alligator Sky,’’ but the overarching mood of gauzy wonderment that is his niche remains ever-present.
ESSENTIAL “Deer in the Headlights’’
Owl City plays the House of Blues with Mat Kearney on June 26.