Owl City – Adam, Check Please (Single)

Sky Harbor Entertainment

Release Date: February 3rd 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Owl City– Adam, Check Please (Single) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Adam, Check Please

Does Adam Young, songwriter, and entertainer extraordinaire, need any introduction? Nope, I don’t think so- his song “Fireflies” under the popular moniker Owl City, has garnered him fans aplenty, as he rose up to fame and stardom very quickly since 2009. But just in case you are unsure of who he is (although he’s been around for 13 years or so as an artist…), let me give you a quick rundown. The shy, introverted, young, multi-instrumentalist and insomniac, who was playing with electronic sounds in his parent’s basement in his teens and early twenties, has now become a musical mainstream phenomenon, because of the aforementioned track. “Fireflies” is the song that skyrocketed to No. 1 on many charts worldwide in 2009, and the music video features Adam experimenting with instruments and sounds in his bedroom- with strange objects flying around. Though many have differing viewpoints on the song and the video, let’s move on, shall we?

After an immensely popular sophomore album Ocean Eyes (in 2010) that had the world talking (his debut album unfortunately flies by under the radar, who can remember it?), Adam released two more equally memorable and much-loved albums (All Things Bright And Beautiful and The Midsummer Station). And after dropping a mini album, the Ultraviolet EP in 2014, as well as a quasi-worship project Mobile Orchestra in 2015, and an autobiographical orchestral album Cinematic in 2018; we are now presented with something new from Adam. Adam loves to ‘go dark’ in between releases- maybe to reignite the creativity and maybe it’s part of his process. Whatever the reason, from 2018 til now, Adam has been sporadic on social media at best- but he resurfaced late last year to unveil his collaboration with Neural Cloud for his pop single “Up To The Cloud”; reminding us that Adam Young isn’t slowing down any time soon. This song, though perhaps not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, is still vintage Owl City, and this melody had (and still has) me anticipating whatever comes next from Adam. Known for combining fun, breezy, quirky and nonsensical electropop as well his deep and meaningful ballads and spiritual themed tracks filled with imagery and double or triple layered material; “Up To The Cloud” is no different- you can read our review of the single here.

This past month though, Adam is back, again under his moniker Owl City. He released his single “Kelly Time” this past January, and now we are treated to another new song from the yet-to-be-released and yet-to-be-titled new album- called “Adam, Check Please”. With “Kelly Time” sung from the perspective of Wilson the volleyball in Cast Away, and sung to Tom Hanks’ character about their friendship while being stuck for 4 years on a deserted island; the melancholy 5-minute ballad speaks about feelings of isolation, contemplation, reflection, heartache and hope, as Adam also delves deep into the concepts of forgiveness and sticking by someone through thick and thin. Structurally, this is an incredibly weird Owl City song, but it’s still incredibly poignant, heartfelt, and catchy. It takes a while to appreciate this song, but one it gets you, there’s nothing better than to press repeat and listen to this epic artistic masterpiece. And so, I thought that Adam had reached the pinnacle with this track. Not so… because “Adam, Check Please” is another brilliant masterpiece from one of today’s most gifted songwriters. With the song being about Adam’s first job, the song lyrically goes deeper than that, as Adam speaks about doing whatever it is that you do to your very best- with passion, with intention and with a zeal for life. As Adam recounts that he loved his job despite the mundaneness of it all because it was where God had placed him in that moment in time, so too should we be grateful and thankful for the little moments in our lives, even when they are menial jobs, and especially so- because more often than not, we will learn something about others and about ourselves through the things we think are insignificant.

It’s about the first job that I’ve ever had, I was 16 years old and a friend of mine, worked at a local grocery store in my hometown and he was kind of my ‘in’ for me for working there. I remember I put in my application, I did the interview, and I was hired part time after school, five days a week, working in soon be my department in the store, frozen food.

Whenever there was a wave of customer that came through the store and things got kind of backed up, a shift manager would call me over the intercom and that was my cue to drop whatever it was I was doing, run up to the front, [the] cash registers and open a new checkout lane to keep the crowd moving through. When they would call me over the intercom, somebody would always say, ‘Adam, check please’.

My first day on the job, they gave me the name tag, a little clip-on name tag that said my name at the top Adam Y., under that it said the department I belonged to, ‘Frozen.’ And under that it said ‘Years of Service’ with a space. There was a little space in front of it where removeable number would go. The idea was to change the number as the years went up. But somehow my name tag never got the update, so I was there for two years and the two years I worked at this grocery store it said, ‘Adam, Frozen, one year(s) of service.’ And I still have the name tag.

And that’s the song. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to get my first job at the grocery store that I worked at. I’m really grateful for the money that I earned and values that I learned along the way, particularly how to work hard and how to take pride in doing a good job, didn’t matter what I was doing, I learned to take pride in what I was doing and that chapter of my life was really important to me, it was a really important part of my story and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What does the future hold for Owl City next? After the epic 18 track album in 2018 (that plays out like a soundtrack for a movie), and after the two lead singles from this new album, what direction will Adam head into next? Is Adam Young still going to be singing about movies and key moments in his life, or more explicitly about his faith in Jesus Christ? Whatever the case, I’m still going to listen to his music, and I will encourage all of you to as well. Cinematic is a very unique album, and these new singles (5 years in the making?), are special tracks as well. Is Owl City releasing a new album in 2023? Yes, I’m sure he is, and yes I’m sure it will be awesome. But until that time, let’s bask in the knowledge that Adam is an incredibly talented singer and songwriter. Let’s be amazed that we all have gotten to experience the past few Owl City albums in real time. Isn’t that wonderful?

Score: 5/5

RIYL:  Relient K, Switchfoot, Needtobreathe, Brooke Fraser, Cimorelli, Avril Lavigne, Lifehouse

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