Sound — 6
Owl City is known for it's smooth synthpop sound and they stay true to this sound throughout "All Things Bright And Beautiful". There isn't a new "Fireflies" or "Vanilla Twilight" on this album, but all the tracks are solid for what they are. The album is well mixed, and permeates a feeling of optimism. There are 12 tracks on the standard edition release (which I have). There are bonus tracks if purchased via iTunes. Adam Young had 3 separate guest stars on this album. On the song "Honey And The Bee", he is assisted with vocals by Breanne Duren (who is a solo artist, and also part of Owl City's touring band). On the song "Alligator Sky", Adam Young is joined on the track by Shawn Chrystopher (a rapper best known for a mixtape release called "I.W.G."). On the track "The Yacht Club", Adam Young is joined by Lights, which is the stage name of Lights Valerie Poxleitner, who is a Juno Award winning singer-songwriter. "All Things Bright And Beautiful" sounds a lot like the pop music coming out right now, except maybe it is better than most of it. The album is VERY heavily produced, the vocals are auto-tuned, and the progressions and melodies are predictable.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics from "All Things Bright And Beautiful" at times are very powerful, but at other times seem like the poetry written in an emo high school student's notebook. Lyrics such as "It's seventh heaven because there are angels all around, Among my frivolous thoughts, I believe there are beautiful things seen by the astronauts. So wake me if you're out there!" from "Angels" come across as weak and contrived. I tried to keep an open mind when listening to this album, but the lyrics really seem like they are definitely geared towards attracting a certain type of fan young girls, and hipster young teens. The vocal delivery is so auto-tuned, I have no clue if Adam Young can actually sing. I hear he has done most of the work on the album himself, so I guess he is good at using recording equipment, etc. He is good at coming up with poppy songs with hooks. I have no clue, however, if he can sing.
Overall Impression — 6
I wasn't even remotely impressed with "All Things Bright And Beautiful". Also, this album isn't my normal style of music, though I really did try to give it a fair shake. On the other hand, if you liked the other two Owl City albums, then you will like this one as well. The songs seem really light and airy and like they would be good for background music maybe on a drive. If I had to pick favorite songs on this album, I would have to say "Kamikaze", "Honey And The Bee" and "Dreams Don't Turn To Dust". I actually would say "Honey And The Bee" is by far the best song on the album.