‘Cinematic’ by Owl City


Courtesy OwlCityMusic.com

‘Cinematic’ by Owl City

By Lauren Carlton

After a three-year break, Owl City— which consists solely of musician Adam Young— is back with its newest album Cinematic, released June 1. 

The band is known for its two hit songs “Fireflies” and “Good Time,” fans have been waiting for Owl City’s return. Although Cinematic is best classified as pop, it can also resonate with electronic or techno. This 18-track album includes 15 new tracks and three alternate versions of previous songs.

Young uses the first eight tracks to tell personal, family-oriented stories. Cinematic’s first two tracks detail Young’s life, including his parents falling in love. Track three, “All My Friends,” is a feel-good anthem with a guitar and simple drum beat. The song “Not All Heroes Wear Capes,” originally released in 2017 as a single, is a tribute to Young’s father.

“Cloud Nine,” the album’s ninth track, is a nice change of pace with its up-tempo pop beat and motivational lyrics, such as “Look up when the world gets you down, And you’re gonna get by, Hang in when the world counts you out, And you’re gonna be fine.” In an April 4 video on Owl City’s YouTube channel, Young said the song is about “learning to keep your head up even when you feel like the entire world is doing everything it can to bring you down.” With a similar theme, the next track, “Winners Never Quit,” includes ambitious instrumentals and lyrics.

Track 11, “Madeline Island,” brings the audience back to themes of the album’s first half by describing a beautiful vacation with a lover. In the following song, “Be Brave,” Young performs a ballad that recounts the night he met his girlfriend.

The song “New York City” sounds similar to Owl City’s 2009 hit “Fireflies” and the next track, “Firebird,” follows suit with cliché pop beats and repetition.

Listening to this album was like watching a film and Track 15, the last new song on the album, is the perfect song to play as credits roll across the screen.

Young’s songwriting has shifted since his catchy “Fireflies” days to focus more on storytelling. Cinematic may be seen as an autobiography of Young’s life. The songs may seem redundant due to repetitive instrumentals, but listening to the album from start to finish is the best way to capture Young’s life.