All Things Bright and Beautiful (album)

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All Things Bright and Beautiful
Studio album by Owl City
Released June 14, 2011
Genre Synthpop, indietronica, pop rock
Length 41:22
Label Universal Republic
Producer Adam Young
Owl City chronology
Ocean Eyes
(2009)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
(2011)
Shooting Star
(2012)
Singles from All Things Bright and Beautiful
  1. "Alligator Sky"
    Released: April 12, 2011[1]
  2. "Galaxies"
    Released: April 19, 2011[2]
  3. "Deer in the Headlights"
    Released: May 23, 2011[3]
  4. "Lonely Lullaby"
    Released: July 19, 2011[4]
  5. "Angels"
    Released: September 20, 2011
  6. "Dreams Don't Turn to Dust"
    Released: October 10, 2011[5]

All Things Bright and Beautiful is the third studio album by the American electronica project Owl City, released on June 14, 2011.[6] Although receiving mixed critical reviews, it became a commercial success, reaching the #6 slot on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Writing and development[edit]

The album sees for the most part Adam Young staying true to his synthpop roots; however, he also dabbles in indie rock, folk, European trance in "Galaxies" and on "Alligator Sky", rap. Guest musicians on the album include Shawn Chrystopher, Matthew Thiessen, Lights, Breanne Düren and Adam Young's mother, Joan Young.

The album was originally planned to have a worldwide release date of May 24, 2011.[7] It was then changed to May 17.[8] On April 6, however, Young posted on his official site that the release date had been bumped to June 14, 2011.[9] He stated that the reason for this was, "In an attempt to better connect the dots and ensure that every cloud in the sky is stitched together with its own special silver lining", and "with school finally out for the summer, it'll be a perfect time to sit back and watch the fireworks." Along with this post were previews of four tracks from the new album, each being 1:30 long. The previews posted were of "Alligator Sky (ft. Shawn Chrystopher)", "Deer in the Headlights", "Galaxies" and "Dreams Don't Turn to Dust".

On the introductory track to "Galaxies", entitled "January 28, 1986" (the date of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster), Ronald Reagan's State of the Union speech is sampled.

Singles[edit]

The first official single released from the album was "Alligator Sky", which features Californian rapper Shawn Chrystopher, was released on March 22, 2011. There are currently four versions of the track. The first version features Shawn Chrystopher, the second features different lyrics and Chrystopher's vocals are omitted, a third version featuring Atlanta rapper B.o.B leaked online,[10] and finally a fourth version featuring vocals from Big Boi of Atlanta hip hop duo Outkast also leaked onto the internet.[11][dead link]

An exclusive single, "Lonely Lullaby", was released to all members of Owl City Galaxy, a club that you automatically became a part of when you pre-ordered the album. The song mentions an "Annmarie" many times, a reference to Adam Young's ex-girlfriend, Annmarie Monson. This song, however, is not actually part of the album. The app was discontinued in mid-2013.

On April 19, 2011, "Galaxies" was released as the second single from the album, and was made available for purchase and download on iTunes. It is the band's highest charting single on Billboard Christian Song Chart, peaking at number 39,[12] and surpassing Fireflies, which peaked at number 44 (2010).[13] It has since then re-entered the chart at number 48 in the week of September 24, 2011.[12]

Sample of the song "Galaxies" from Owl City's album All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The third single to be released was "Deer in the Headlights",[3] released on May 24, 2011 (but as an iTunes Exclusive, was made available for download the previous day). The single was announced in a different way than what is considered traditional. Starting May 16, 2011, every day of that week part of the song would be added to the sneak peek.[14] It was originally just called "New Song", and fans had to guess the new song. The first part of the song to be released were the drums, followed by the addition of bass, guitar, synthesizer, and vocals over the next four days. On the final day, the title for the song was announced.

"Lonely Lullaby" was released as a single on July 19, 2011, making it officially available to people outside of Owl City Galaxy. The song has been a surprising success, being one of the higher charting singles.[citation needed]

Young has confirmed in an interview with Sugarscape that on October 10 "Dreams Don't Turn to Dust" will be the next single from the album, although it is uncertain if it will be released in the UK only.[15]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[16]
Christian Music Zine 4/5 stars[17]
Consequence of Sound 2.5/5 stars[18]
Entertainment Weekly B−[19]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[20]
IGN 8/10[21]
JesusFreakHideout 5/5 stars[22]
Newsday A−[23]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[24]
Spin 5/10[25]
USA Today 3/4 stars[26]

Critical reception[edit]

All Things Bright and Beautiful has received mixed reviews, gaining a 49/100 score from Metacritic,[27] an 8/10 score from IGN[28] and a score of 5/10 from Spin.[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the US, the album debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart selling 48,000 copies.[30] In Germany, the album only reached No. 69 for one week before falling off the chart, charting lower than Ocean Eyes, which charted for 9 weeks and peaked at No. 7.[31] In the United Kingdom, the album reached No. 30 in the midweek chart on June 23, only to fall off before the official chart later in the week.[32] Ocean Eyes peaked at No. 7, and stayed in the top 75 for 14 weeks.[33] To date, the album has sold around 120,000 copies in the US.[34]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Adam Young, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Real World"     3:34
2. "Deer in the Headlights"     3:00
3. "Angels"     3:40
4. "Dreams Don't Turn to Dust"     3:44
5. "Honey and the Bee"     3:44
6. "Kamikaze"     3:27
7. "January 28, 1986" (Intro to "Galaxies")   0:37
8. "Galaxies"     4:03
9. "Hospital Flowers"     3:39
10. "Alligator Sky" (featuring Shawn Chrystopher) Adam Young, Shawn Chrystopher 3:05
11. "The Yacht Club" (featuring Lights)   4:32
12. "Plant Life"   Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen 4:10

Personnel[edit]

Owl City
  • Adam Young – vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitars, bass, drums, programming, percussion, glockenspiel, marimba, accordion, producer, engineer, art direction, audio mixer
Additional musicians and production
  • Breanne Düren – additional vocals on track 5
  • Shawn Chrystopher – additional vocals on track 10
  • Lights – additional vocals on track 11
  • Joan Young – backing vocals on track 9
  • Matthew Thiessen – backing vocals on track 12
  • Laura Musten – violin on tracks 4, 6, 10 & 13
  • Hannah Schroeder – cello on tracks 6, 7, 10 & 13
  • Daniel Jorgensen – vibraphone on tracks 4 & 7
  • Steve Bursky – producer, management & hand claps on track 5
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • StudioAKT – art direction
  • Jack Joseph Puig – audio mixer
  • Joe Corey – audio mixer assistant

Charts[edit]

Music videos[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alligator Sky – Single by Owl City – Download Alligator Sky – Single on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Galaxies – Single by Owl City – Download Galaxies – Single on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Deer In The Headlights: Owl City: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "iTunes – Music – Lonely Lullaby – Single by Owl City". Itunes.apple.com. July 19, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ "We talk to Owl City's Adam Young about dreams, crabs and Taylor Swift". Sugarscape. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ "iTunes – Music – All Things Bright and Beautiful (Bonus Track Version) by Owl City". Itunes.apple.com. June 10, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Indie Vision Music". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ "AltPress". AltPress. February 28, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ "OWL CITY Official Site". Owlcitymusic.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ MzHipHop3 (April 29, 2011). "Owl City Feat. B.o.B. – Alligator Sky (New 2011)!!". YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Exclusive: Big Boi enhances Owl City's new single 'Alligator Sky' | MediaFandom.com[dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Owl City Music News & Info". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Owl City Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. February 27, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  14. ^ "New song revealed". Owlcitymusic.com. May 16, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ "We talk to Owl City's Adam Young about dreams, crabs and Taylor Swift". Sugarscape. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  16. ^ Leahey, Andrew. "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  17. ^ Hess, Tyler. "Owl City – All Things Bright And Beautiful (Review)". Christianmusiczine.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  18. ^ Ritt, Megan (May 31, 2011). "Album Review: Owl City – All Things Bright and Beautiful". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  19. ^ Wood, Mikael (June 8, 2011). "All Things Bright and Beautiful review – Owl City review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  20. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (June 16, 2011). "Owl City: All Things Bright and Beautiful". The Guardian. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  21. ^ Grischow, Chad (June 14, 2011). "Owl City: All Things Bright And Beautiful – Music Review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  22. ^ Fryberger, Scott; (June 13, 2011). "Owl City, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" Review". JesusFreakHideout . Retrieved July 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (June 10, 2011). "Drops: 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'". Newsday. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  24. ^ Dolan, John (June 14, 2011). "All Things Bright and Beautiful by Owl City". The Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  25. ^ Walters, Brian (May 27, 2011). "Owl City, 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' (Universal Republic)". Spin. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  26. ^ Gunderson, Edna; Mansfield, Brian; Gardner, Elysa; Shriver, Jerry (June 13, 2011). "Listen Up: Battles, Owl City, Jackie Evancho, more". USA Today. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ "All Things Bright and Beautiful Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  28. ^ Chad Grischow. "Owl City: All Things Bright And Beautiful – Music Review at IGN". Music.ign.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  29. ^ Walters, Barry (June 14, 2011). "Owl City, 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' (Universal Republic)". SPIN.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  30. ^ Kaufman, Gil (June 22, 2011). "Eminem, Royce Da 5'9" Debut Tops Billboard Chart – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  31. ^ Chartsurfer.de. "Album Ocean Eyes von Owl City". Chartsurfer.de. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Owl City". BBC. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ocean Eyes Chart History". αCharts.us. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  34. ^ http://newyork.metromix.com/music/standard_photo_gallery/the-20-biggest-flops/2965674/content
  35. ^ "iTunes Japan (All Things Bright and Beautiful®)". 
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  39. ^ "Owl City Album & Song Chart History – Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
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  43. ^ "ブライト&ビューティフル/アウル・シティー" [Bright & Beautiful / Owl City] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
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  47. ^ "Chart Stats – Owl City – All Things Bright And Beautiful". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Owl City Album & Song Chart History – Billboad 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Owl City Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  50. ^ "2011 Year End Charts – Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 9, 2011.