The Midsummer Station

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The Midsummer Station
Owl City - The Midsummer Station cover art.jpg
Studio album by Owl City
Released August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17)
Recorded 2011–2012
Studio Sky Harbor Studios, Owatonna, Minnesota
Genre Synth-pop, dance-pop, pop
Length 40:50[1]
Label Universal Republic
Producer Steve Bursky (exec.), Josh Crosby, KoOoL Kojak, Brian Lee, Matthew Thiessen, Stargate, Adam Young
Owl City chronology
Shooting Star
(2012)
The Midsummer Station
(2012)
The Midsummer Station - Acoustic EP
(2013)
Singles from The Midsummer Station
  1. "Shooting Star"
    Released: May 15, 2012
  2. "Good Time"
    Released: June 26, 2012

The Midsummer Station is the fourth studio album by American electronica project Owl City, released on August 17, 2012.

Writing and development[edit]

After Owl City's previous album, All Things Bright and Beautiful (2011) sold only 143,000 copies in the United States, Adam Young began working on demo tracks for The Midsummer Station in January 2012.[2] Unlike his previous albums, Young worked with different songwriters and producers for the first time, including Stargate and Emily Wright.[2] However, Young again collaborated with Matthew Thiessen for his third album in a row along with Ocean Eyes and All Things Bright and Beautiful. Young was initially scared of the thought of collaborating with others, "I've never worked with anybody before. I've done everything myself except for mastering. It's a big job for one guy, especially a perfectionist, so I knew I wanted to try to experiment with other people."[2] The song "Dementia", which features Blink-182 singer Mark Hoppus, was mixed by Chris Lord-Alge.[3]

On May 15, 2012, Young released the Shooting Star extended play, which consisted of four songs that would be featured on The Midsummer Station. Many criticized Shooting Star, saying it was very different from Young's previous works. On his blog, Young defended his choice for the new sound of the extended play and the album, stating that he believes "it's a bummer for an artist of any kind to hear, 'Yeah it's great but it's a lot like your previous work.' (...) Creativity is all about pushing boundaries and pressing onward".[4] In an interview with PureVolume, Young stated that the tracks on this record are much darker, with more influence of his own dreams, nightmares and self-reflection.[5]

The album was originally planned to have a release date of August 14, 2012 worldwide, apart from the United Kingdom where it would be released on September 17, 2012.[6] On June 21, 2012, it was announced that the worldwide release date would be pushed back to August 21, 2012.[7] On July 12, 2012, Young announced via Twitter that the UK release date would be brought forward to August 20, 2012.[8] The album was released on August 17 in other countries including Australia.[9]

Artwork[edit]

Pranckevicius' artwork often explores the struggle between man and nature by combining man-made structures with flora and fauna, all coexisting in a forced, urban manner. In Time, there are multiple juxtapositions at work. Beneath the surface is the vertical, wooden shantytown, neatly residing next to a vertical lake in which a very large fish swims. The shanty is illuminated, detailed and clear. By contrast, the waters are dark and murky. Above the busy shanty town is a solitary tree on a serene grassland and a solitary man in a boat on the lake. Everything surrounding the shanty is simple and peaceful. The shanty, though great to look at, is chaotic and saturated. It is only a matter of time before the human settlement expands above the surface or invades the water.

Singles[edit]

The EP's title track, "Shooting Star", was intended to be the lead single from The Midsummer Station, but the Carly Rae Jepsen-collaboration "Good Time" was chosen instead, due to the success of Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe".[2]

"Good Time" was released on June 26, 2012,[10] and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 52/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[13]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars
BBC Music favourable[14]
Newsday A-[15]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[16]
USA Today 3/4 stars[17]

The album received mixed reviews from music critics upon its release. As of December 9, 2013 the album received an average score of 52 based on 11 reviews at Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Midsummer Station debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 in the United States, with first-week sales of 30,000 copies. Digital downloads accounted for 72 percent of the album's first-week total.[18] In the United Kingdom the album debuted at number 34, selling 3,281 copies in its first week.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Dreams and Disasters" Adam Young, Emily Wright, Nate Campany Adam Young 3:45
2. "Shooting Star" Young, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Matthew Thiessen, Dan Omelio Stargate, Adam Young 4:07
3. "Gold" Josh Crosby, Campany, Wright Josh Crosby, Adam Young (add.) 3:56
4. "Dementia" (featuring Mark Hoppus) Young Adam Young 3:31
5. "I'm Coming After You" Young, Thiessen, Brian Lee Adam Young, Brian Lee (add.) 3:30
6. "Speed of Love" Young, Thiessen, Sam Hollander Adam Young 3:28
7. "Good Time" (with Carly Rae Jepsen) Young, Thiessen, Lee Adam Young 3:26
8. "Embers" Young, Wright, Campany Adam Young 3:45
9. "Silhouette" Young Adam Young 4:12
10. "Metropolis" Young, Thiessen Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen (add.) 3:39
11. "Take It All Away" Young, Allan P. Grigg, Wright, Campany Kool Kojak, Adam Young 3:31
  • Credits adapted from album liner notes.[21]

Personnel[edit]

Owl City
  • Adam Young - vocals, drum programming, keyboards, piano, celeste, synthesizers, guitar, bass, lap steel, sampler, drums, percussion, glockenspiel, bells, accordion, loops
Additional musicians[22][23]
  • Mark Hoppus - additional vocals on track 4
  • Carly Rae Jepsen - additional vocals on track 7
  • The Minneapolis Youth Chorus - additional vocals on track 7
  • Keith Kenniff - bowed double bass, synthesizer, drums on track 9
  • Dustin Sauder - electric and acoustic guitars on track 3
  • Chris Carmichael - violin, viola, cello on tracks 8 & 10
  • Matthew Thiessen - background vocals on tracks 5 & 7
  • Josh Crosby - additional drums, keyboards, programming, background vocals on track 3
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen - guitar, bass, keyboards on track 2
  • Tor Erik Hermansen - additional keyboards, programming on track 2
  • Kool Kojak - additional keyboards, programming on track 11
Additional personnel
  • Gediminas Pranckevicius - cover artwork[24]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[25] 29
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[26] 82
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[27] 144
Canadian Albums Chart[28] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[29] 36
French Albums Chart[30] 88
German Albums Chart[31] 44
New Zealand Albums Chart[32] 24
Norway Albums Chart[33] 35
Swiss Albums Chart[34] 61
UK Albums Chart[35] 34
US Billboard 200[18] 7

Music videos[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Name:. "OWL CITY Official Site - Albums - The Midsummer Station". Owlcitymusic.com. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Zemler, Emily (August 17, 2012). "Owl City Embraces Collaborations for 'Midsummer Station' Album". Billboard. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Twitter / owlcity: So blessed to work with Chris". Twitter.com. August 11, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Brighter « Owl City Blog". owlcityblog.com. May 14, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Owl City Talks Nightmares and Dreams in our PV Q&A". Pure Volume. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Owl City's 'The Midsummer Station' Mystery Album Unlocked by Fans". The Christian Post. May 31, 12. Retrieved June 2, 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "The Midsummer Station Release Date Changed". Owlcitymusic.com. June 21, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Twitter - owlcity". July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Midsummer Station by Owl City". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ "OWL CITY Official Site - Albums - Good Time". Owlcitymusic.com. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/322788/owl+city/chart?f=379
  12. ^ a b "The Midsummer Station Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ Thomas, Fred. "The Midsummer Station - Owl City : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Music - Review of Owl City - The Midsummer Station". BBC. January 1, 1970. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Owl City' 'The Midsummer Station' review". Newsday.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ Rosen, Jody. "The Midsummer Station". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ Mansfield, Brian (August 21, 2012). "'Midsummer Station' brings Owl City out of the dark". USA Today. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Latest Music News, Band, Artist, Musician & Music Video News". Billboard.com. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ Jones, Alan. "Official Charts Analysis: Sam & The Womp top 100k sales to hit No.1". Music Week. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Midsummer Station by Owl City - iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  21. ^ The Midsummer Station (liner notes). Owl City. Universal Republic Records. 2012. 
  22. ^ "Owl City - The Midsummer Station (File, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. 
  23. ^ "The Midsummer Station - Owl City | Credits". AllMusic. August 21, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ ""Time" by Gediminas Pranckevicius at the gallery of Gedomenas.com". Gediminas Pranckevicius. 
  25. ^ "australian-charts.com - Owl City - The Midsummer Station". ARIA Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  26. ^ "ultratop.be - Owl City - The Midsummer Station" (in Dutch). Ultratop. ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  27. ^ "ultratop.be - Owl City - The Midsummer Station" (in Dutch). Ultratop. ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Canadian Albums - Week of September 08, 2012". billboard.com. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Owl City, The Midsummer Station" (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Charts.de. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Owl City, The Midsummer Station" (in French). Media Control Charts. Charts.de. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Owl City, The Midsummer Station" (in German). Media Control Charts. Charts.de. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  32. ^ "charts.org.nz - Owl City - The Midsummer Station". RIANZ. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  33. ^ "norweigencharts.com - Owl City - The Midsummer Station". Norweigencharts.com. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Owl City - The Midsummer Station - hitparade.ch" (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100 - 1st September 2012 | Official UK Top 40 | music charts | Official Albums Chart". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved August 26, 2012.