November 06, 2009

Déjà Entendu

Owl City

No, this is not about Brand New or their 2003 album that shares this post’s name. It is about Owl City (aka Adam Young) and the awful feeling of déjà entendu (French for already heard) felt while listening to his surprise No.1 hit, ‘Fireflies’. I came across this guy a wee while ago, but the negative press revolving around him and his second album Ocean Eyes quickly repelled me. However, recently I have overheard people talking about how good Owl City is at school, (although someone was referring to it as “Owl Town”) so I thought I may as well check out his song ‘Fireflies’, which was the crux of all the conversations being held, and, I presume, is the catalyst for this sudden explosion in his popularity.

So, curious, I Googled my way to his MySpace page and played the top song - ‘Fireflies’. I instantly received the same I feeling I still get whenever I hear Ke$ha’s awful new song ‘Tik Tok’ (whose opening 30-something seconds sound almost exactly the same as Uffie’s contribution to my least favourite Justice song ever - ‘Ttthhheee Pppaaarrrtttyy’), the feeling of déjà entendu.

The Postal Service’s Give Up, which to this date remains the only album from Ben Gibbard’s highly successful team-up with Jimmy Tamborello. It is a perfect piece of synthpop, and is a testament to both Gibbard’s wispy vocals and Tamborello’s musical production skills. But of course, you already knew that. Hell, anyone with even the slightest inclination towards music knew that. So why does Mr. Young think that it is acceptable to plagiarise their sound so blatantly it puts Hone Harawira to shame. This isn’t influenced by The Postal Service. This is Postal Service on a really bad day. Yet, sadly, this song is Number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, which can probably be attributed to ignorance or apathy, or both.

So you can hear for yourself that I am not kidding when this song completely steals the Postal Service’s style, below it is featured next to Postal Service’s most famous song, ‘Such Great Heights’. Enjoy:

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