Label: Island Release date: 15/02/10 Website: Official Site Another bedroom-based, multi-instrumental, Jesus-inspired troglodyte, Adam Young/Owl City seems set to break the UK with Ocean Eyes, ensnaring hearts with his fresh-faced, awkward, I-just-love-music routine. A mixture of some re-worked tracks from the 2009 album, and of course some punchier new stuff, you can guess the main themes: sleeplessness, loneliness, love, shiny life moments. And what with his UK tour already being largely sold out, he'll definitely feature heavily in the mainstream soundtrack of this summer, saturating the wavelengths with syrupy pleased-with-the-little-things-ness. I know it's lazy journalism to compare bands to other bands, but the ethereal vocals and twinkly tunes are inescapably Death Cab (in eight-bit perhaps), or Daft Punk, with less bite. Owl City have cornered the market in overwhelming loveliness and evoke lonely Southern American life with undulating melodies and saccharine lyrics. Each track is a gentle foray into Young's own imagination: textured and lovingly crafted, but with a strong feel of repetition and over-familiarity, emphasised by the fact that, well, this is his third album and with him working all on his lonesome, it all remains quite samey. There's a huge great helping of various emotional states, and to his credit it's not all boy-meets-or-misses-girl: there is also a song about being afraid of going to the dentist. Use of various synth and string effects sweeping under and above fluttering melodies does create a continually shifting sky of sound around you, from glorious summer to glowing dusk, deep night and snowy grey. And all that light and colour is lovely, but in the end is generally just a lot of empty space. Sadly if you're not the type who occasionally enjoys brainless, sunny and faintly simpering alt-pop-vibes then this will not be for you. Young's music is, ironically, immature, at once inspired by child-like joy, and hampered by a lack of progress that an editor or producer might provide. 'Saltwater Room' is truly touching, soppy love ballad 'Meteor Shower' contains some Kanye West styled nasal whinging but is mercifully short, and the overarching sweetness of his sound just about keeps it interesting and balanced. It's all very, very pretty, but don't listen too hard. Photobucket