The Midsummer Station

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The Midsummer Station
Owl City - The Midsummer Station cover art.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 17, 2012 (2012-08-17)
Recorded2011–2012
StudioSky Harbor Studios, Owatonna, Minnesota
GenreSynth-pop, dance-pop, pop
Length40:50[1]
LabelUniversal Republic
Producer
Owl City chronology
Shooting Star
(2012)
The Midsummer Station
(2012)
The Midsummer Station - Acoustic
(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. It was released on August 17, 2012, by Universal Republic Records.

Writing and development[edit]

After Owl City's previous album, All Things Bright and Beautiful (2011), sold 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 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 response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic52/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[13]
Alternative Press3.5/5 stars
BBC Musicfavourable[14]
NewsdayA-[15]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[16]
USA Today3/4 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 No. 7 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 No. 34, selling 3,281 copies in its first week.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Dreams and Disasters"Adam Young, Emily Wright, Nate CampanyYoung3:45
2."Shooting Star"Young, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Matthew Thiessen, Dan OmelioStargate, Young4:07
3."Gold"Josh Crosby, Campany, WrightCrosby, Young (add.)3:56
4."Dementia" (featuring Mark Hoppus)YoungYoung3:31
5."I'm Coming After You"Young, Thiessen, Brian LeeYoung, Lee (add.)3:30
6."Speed of Love"Young, Thiessen, Sam HollanderYoung3:28
7."Good Time" (with Carly Rae Jepsen)Young, Thiessen, LeeYoung3:26
8."Embers"Young, Wright, CampanyYoung3:45
9."Silhouette"YoungYoung4:12
10."Metropolis"Young, ThiessenYoung, Thiessen (add.)3:39
11."Take It All Away"Young, Allan P. Grigg, Wright, CampanyKool Kojak, Young3:31

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Midsummer Station.[21]

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 (ARIA)[25] 29
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[26] 82
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[27] 144
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[28] 1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[29] 36
French Albums (SNEP)[30] 88
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[31] 44
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[32] 19
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[33] 24
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[34] 35
Scottish Albums (OCC)[35] 44
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[36] 61
UK Albums (OCC)[37] 34
US Billboard 200[38] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ Name:. "OWL CITY Official Site - Albums - The Midsummer Station". Owlcitymusic.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. 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, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Midsummer Station Release Date Changed". Owlcitymusic.com. June 21, 2012. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Twitter - owlcity". July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on November 16, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "iTunes Music - The Midsummer Station by Owl City". iTunes Store. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  10. ^ "OWL CITY Official Site - Albums - Good Time". Owlcitymusic.com. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  11. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/owl-city/chart-history/hot-100
  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. 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. ^ "Latest Music News, Band, Artist, Musician & Music Video News". Billboard. 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 Store. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  21. ^ The Midsummer Station (liner notes). Owl City. Universal Republic Records. 2012.CS1 maint: others (link)
  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. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Owl City – The Midsummer Station". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Owl City – The Midsummer Station" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Owl City – The Midsummer Station" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  28. ^ "Owl City Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Owl City – The Midsummer Station" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  30. ^ "Lescharts.com – Owl City – The Midsummer Station". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  31. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Owl City – The Midsummer Station" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  32. ^ "ザ・ミッドサマー・ステーション | Owl City" [The Midsummer Station | Owl City] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  33. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Owl City – The Midsummer Station". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  34. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Owl City – The Midsummer Station". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  36. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Owl City – The Midsummer Station". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  37. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  38. ^ "Owl City Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2018.