Sky Sailing: An Airplane Carried Me to Bed

[Republic Records]

You could take the cynical view and surmise that Adam Young’s label is trying to squeeze every last dime out of the cash-cow that's become Owl City (of which he is the sole member). Ocean Eyes was Owl City’s second album but Young’s third (you really need a scorecard). You see, Sky Sailing pre-dates Owl City, and while An Airplane Carried Me to Bed is no Ocean Eyes it’s a worthy effort and a must for those who seek to complete their Adam Young catalog.

Noticeably less electronic and much simpler sonically than Ocean Eyes, Airplane is still a fairly diverse album. “Captains of the Sky” offers a bit of electric piano, while “Take Me Some Place Nice” features a lovely faux-accordion and a nice hook. The rest of the album is strummed guitar that puts you in the mind of everyone from XTC (“A Little Bit of Opera Goes a Long Way”) to The Ocean Blue (“Tennis Elbow”), while ’70s-era Beach Boys (minus the harmonies) turn up on “Steady As She Goes.” There’s even an Audrey Hepburn reference on “Sailboats.” Was Young listening to Deep Blue Something?

Those looking for a relentless attack of catchy songs might be disappointed with Airplane, but there are enough gems here to make it worthwhile.

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