I should loathe Owl City’s Ocean Eyes. The songs are fully of corny lines like “I’d rather pick flowers than fight”, reminiscent of the juvenile doodling of some emo kid. The beats are simplistic and Adam Young sounds like he’s trying really hard to impersonate the Pet Shop Boys’s Neil Tennant by singing with his mouth submerged in a goldfish tank.
But alas, I’m only human. The moment I hear the unapologetic ode to carefree 10,000 lightning bugs, counting sheep, insomnia, and… er, something… at any rate, I’m hooked. That song is so ridiculously happy that I feel a smile coming onto my face just listening to it. The other songs in this album have the same effect. The Saltwater Room starts out with a gentle guitar strumming away, as if the song is a refugee from an album by The Beautiful South, that I’m soon feeling rather sheepish for allowing myself to like that song so much. Dental Care is that song I’d be playing as loud as possible when I’m driving on a hot summer day to the beach. Songs like Tidal Wave and Hello Seattle are so catchy that they practically burrow themselves into my brain the first time I hear them.
The words to the songs in Ocean Eyes is ridiculously asexual, childish, and even insipid. The songs have such disgustingly upbeat and repetitious beats. Liking an album like this is quite embarrassing, really, because it’s so banal.
But you know what? When such songs make me smile and feel so happy, I’d like to make myself believe. Like Roxette would say, I love it when Owl City do that hocus-pocus on me.