Owl City, "The Midsummer Station" (Republic Records)
Owl City's "The Midsummer Station" sounds like the soundtrack for one of those Nickelodeon or Disney TV movies you either enjoyed as a tween or endured as an adult. With generic pop-rock songs, it makes for passable entertainment, but ultimately it's formulaic and forgettable.
It's a far cry from Owl City's breakout hit, 2009's "Fireflies." As grating as that song may have been to some, its quirky charm made it stand out from the rest of the pop pack. With this new album, Adam Young, the man behind the Owl City moniker, goes for a sound that we've heard countless times on top 40 radio: Upbeat grooves that attempt to have an anthemic feel, with a little bit of dance-synth thrown in for good measure. It doesn't help matters that Young's voice is defined by its lack of soul.
Carly Rae Jepsen provides the rare spark that lifts "Good Time," while ballad "Silhouette" is one of the rare songs that makes you feel something, albeit melancholy.
But in general, "The Midsummer Station" doesn't generate much emotion, from either its main performer — or its listeners.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: You wonder what Jepsen could have made of "Good Time" had she had it all to herself.