Owl City – Fireflies

First Hit #1: November 7, 2009

Is Fireflies a kid’s song? No song for grownup could get away with singing a line about lightning bugs giving people hugs and teaching them how to dance, that’s the kind of painfully earnest and fanciful lyric that only works before the age of 10. Yet, Owl City does have some grown-up accouterments, whether it’s some light darkness in the repeated line “please take me away from here” or the fact that he’s kind of obviously influenced by the Postal Service. It just doesn’t feel like it’s written for adults, it’s just so fanciful and silly, and even if it’s trying to appeal to all ages I can’t see taking it seriously as an adult. But there are a lot of people out there who aren’t adults, and they listen to music too, so Owl City does represent a sound that is fairly rare – kids music that it’s possible for parents to listen to. Maybe not enjoy, per se, I found my eyes rolling quite aggressively at some of the sillier lines, but it’s certainly better than some of the music marketed to the preschool set.

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One Response to Owl City – Fireflies

  1. musicosity1 says:

    The lyrics err on the side of precious whimsy, which is not something we see in non-rap #1 songs much. After a song about ménage a trois, a song about being hugged by cute insects is going to sound as hippy-dippy as The Rainbow Connection. I like it in melody and production, no mean feat for something he put together in his bedroom. He uses the “switch up an octave for emphasis” trick on the second and chorus before dialing it back down for the finale. 2009 is showing a nice bit of variety at #1. Hip hop hasn’t been lost, but it’s not having the total domination it was a few years before.

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