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There’s a reason Owl City has sold more albums than the Postal Service, the short-lived band that more or less wrote the template for Owl City’s bubbly electro-pop. Give Up, the Postal Service’s 2003 debut, sounded like the soundtrack to an indie film, with subtle samples and knotty, literate lyrics to match. Owl City’s music is a big-budget reboot of that record -- the indie flick remade into a summer blockbuster -- and it caters to a far more marketable audience, bypassing the college kids who purchased Give Up and focusing on teenagers whose imaginations have yet to be sullied by adulthood. The 12 songs on All Things Bright and Beautiful, Owl City’s third album, certainly demand the audience’s imagination -- or at least their willingness to go along with the world Adam Young dreams up, an otherwordly place where the skies look like alligators, the rivers taste like fruit, and emeralds poke their heads out of every rock. The music pops and fizzes with glitchy electronics, which Young splashes throughout the track list like effervescent paint, and the songs all have an otherworldly sound about them, as though they were born in space and sent back to Earth in futuristic clothing. For those who enjoyed 2009's Ocean Eyes, this follow-up is just as sugar-sweet.
Review by Andrew Leahey
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