There’s this damp sigh, that only Matos likes…
Michaela Drapes: The faux Postal Service does a track with some faux Kanye clone. Horrifically awful.
Michaelangelo Matos: I can’t believe I’m going to give this Nerf ball anything over a , but this is pretty irresistible, with Chrystopher’s advanced Sesame Street flow making the sharpest (and most ’86-like) synths he’s programmed seem trickier than they actually are. And do my ears deceive me or did Adam Young’s balls finally drop?
Dan Weiss: I had a lot of fun watching Death Cab snobs–god–get really, REALLY angry at “Fireflies”. But I can’t believe this is a song. It sounds like the “y” in Shawn Chrystopher’s name.
Zach Lyon: Oh, wow, did you know that taking Mr. City’s voice out of his songs actually makes them sound alright? Mr. Chrystyphyr’s verses sound like they’re in a completely different song, so that when he starts echoing the chorus like a hype man it sounds both disorienting and hilarious. I’m no fighter, but if the word combination of “alligator” and “sky” were a human being in my general vicinity, I would become a murderer.
Jonathan Bradley: By the sound of it, an alligator sky is the kind you soar through when something really amazing has just happened, like solving a moderately difficult problem on your math homework. Reward yourself with this song if you think a celery stick and a glass of two percent milk would be too exciting.
Chuck Eddy: As songs about alligator lizards in the air go, nowhere near as good as “Ventura Highway.” And I never understood that one, either — haven’t flying reptiles been extinct since the Cretaceous ended? “Owl Sky” would make a lot more sense. That said, this is pleasanter than I would’ve predicted.
Alfred Soto: Have Owl City made it their cause to appropriate every member of the animal kingdom? A project no less ambitious than the wanton slaughter of metaphors.
Pete Baran: A lyric from this stupendously ill-conceived single suggests that Owl City’s “imagination is taking them away”. It is not a lot of imagination, but I do like both their and Shawn’s suggestion that one can get a rocket to the sun. That’s the kind of fireflying I want to see Owl City do. In the meantime, Shawn Chrystopher appears to want to be the featured rapper on a 1989 indie dance single, with his awesome ad libs featuring my favourite: “like a rocket from the ground”. It ends like the producer lost all the will to live.
Hazel Robinson: Shit, I’m so old people are sampling bands I liked when I was a teenager and rapping over them. Who knew Death Cab were so– oh, never mind, it’s just this prick again. This is less offensive than “Fireflies” until there’s a pause just before the chorus and he attempts an attitudinal ‘uh’ shortly before Shawn Chrystopher helpfully explains physics: “like a rocket from the ground up“. For fuck’s sake.
Katherine St Asaph: The charm of “Fireflies,” if you were at all charmed, was how different it sounded from anything on the radio—if not from the Postal Service—and how its ideal listener would hear Adam Young’s interrogative sigh and doodle him with ladybugs into her daydreams. “Alligator Sky” inches this toward a bland “Airplanes” round of wistfulness. Somehow, that’s an improvement.
Jer Fairall: The least painful Owl City single to date, though only by virtue of the prominent guest rap requiring less time spent listening to Adam Young’s infuriatingly over-earnest, over-enunciating, dweeby Big Bird vocals. All of which means that this comes off sounding more like a particularly shitty B.o.B track rather than someone’s embarrassing attempt to replicate The Postal Service from their own bedroom in spite of their clear ineptitude at differentiating synth pop from soft rock.
Ian Mathers: Thanks for making me lament the demise of Space Shuttle again, you Gibbard-sounding motherfucker. My next Owl City blurb is probably just going to be all-caps profanity, especially if he keeps basing the titles for his disgustingly sugary, meaningless, weightless, gutless musical-equivalents-of-airbrushed-van-paintings around nonsensical animal-themed phrases (or gives any more work to the idiot cousin of Del’s verses from “Clint Eastwood”).
Alex Ostroff: It’s a bad sign when your single sounds like a Weird Al parody of yourself, right?