All Things Bright And Beautiful
Label: Universal Records
With his symphonic, whimsical synthscape and earnestly enunciated vocals, Owl City earned quite a few comparisons to The Postal Service on Ocean Eyes. But forget Ben Gibbard: This time around, Adam Young appears to fancy himself a kind of emo Walt Whitman. Taking "Fireflies" as a touchstone, he immerses himself in nature -- as inspiration, as setting and especially as metaphor. Some of the imagery is painted with a pretty thick brush (see: the whole opening track) and Young's word-chewing can be grating. But if nature-lovers with penchants for sonic drama are your bag, Young's your human(ist).