Created by the mastermind behind Owl City, Sky Sailing is the delayed release of Adam Young’s musings from his humble beginnings in small-town Minnesota. The album contains the same carefree and naïve essence of Owl City’s Ocean Eyes, but with a little less electronic and much more acoustic.
Opening track “Captains Of The Sky” is an acoustic pop track that sets stage for the continuous narrative of adventure, escape and love. A then-19-year-old Young created the album in his parent’s basement after long workdays at a warehouse with a Dell computer, condenser, analog mixer and an Alvarez guitar, but the final product is a lot more touched up and finished. The story behind the side project is touching and inspiring, but the album’s cutesy lyrics, simple arrangements and Young’s breathy voice create an overall dull and monotonous listening experience.
“A Little Opera Goes A Long Way,” “Tennis Elbow” and “I Live Alone” have a more poppy, with catchy beats and a touch of synth work. The rest of the album consists of comforting tracks fit to cure a restless night of sleep.
“Explorers” has the most infatuating lyrics of the album with its distinct and complex descriptions of nature. The guitar work meshes well with the narrative but the track truly shines when a string melody and drums are worked in. “Take Me Somewhere Nice” is the top track for instrumentation, with Young using more complex layers of guitars, tambourine, accordion and drums, which were clearly added by a sampler during the finishing process.
An Airplane Carried Me To Bed confirms Young’s soothing musical formula with lovesick, wide-eyed lyrics that have captivated fans since the release of “Fireflies.” Although this formula is simple and Young doesn’t make a firm vocal presence, his success proves that this hopeless romantic doesn’t want to be saved.
In A Word: Meek