Ocean Eyes

Common Sense Media says

Super-sweet, original electro-pop is OK for tweens.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Songs about relationships are super-respectful and take other people's feelings into account. There's also a light sense of humor that keeps even heavy subjects from becoming overwhelming. "The silence isn't so bad 'til I look at my hands and feel sad, 'cause the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly...when I think of you I don't feel so alone."

Positive role models

Romantic scenarios are sweet and innocent: "we tend to make each other blush."

Not applicable

Although a lot of the songs are about love, there are very few references to physical contact. "Then we'll take a long walk through the corn field and I'll kiss you between the ears."

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Just one minor mention of drinking: "golf and alcohol don't mix and that's why I don't drink and drive."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the one-man band behind Owl City plays the perfect gentleman on this LP. Not only is there no violence or sex to speak of, but the romantic imagery is also innocent and free of any bad behavior or heaviness. The album's light-hearted, self-effacing approach to life should sit well with tweens and teens and offer them a unique insight into life's big dramas and little hassles.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

OCEAN EYES is the second full-length album from Owl City, a group which is far from a city; it's actually only one guy, Adam Young. This twentysomething started making his synth-pop music from his parents' basement with the help of electronic beats and digital music samples, and has become somewhat of an electronic Cinderella story. Owl City could in fact be the poster child for modern music success, owing not only its origins to computer-generated sounds, but also its success thanks to a loyal MySpace following. iTunes chose "Fireflies" as a "Song of the Week," and the album eventually rose to top the digital store's charts.

Is it any good?


Owl City's sound is definitely not something you hear everyday. The melodies are light, almost effervescent, and the lyrics are at times irresistibly charming ("Please take a long look through your textbook 'cause I'm history"). The man behind the music, Adam Young, takes on everyday minutia, like a trip to the dentist: "I've been to the dentist a thousand times so I know the drill." There's no denying this nice guy knows how to turn a phrase. But Young sometimes falls too far in love with his own cleverness, with some cringe-worthy lines like "with friends like these who needs anemones," and repetitive hooks that fall more in the realm of TV jingles than pop songs. But Young's sincere originality can't be denied, and for those that don't mind a little extra-sweetness on their playlist, the album is definitely worth a listen.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about independent artists. How has the Internet helped new artists to gain exposure? What do you think of technology being used to create music? Are there more options available now for people to express themselves and share their creations with millions of others, thanks to the Internet?

  • These songs have a very respectful, tender approach to romantic relationships. Do you think guys are generally encouraged to show their softer, sensitive side? Can you think of some male artists who offer up caring, responsible role models? What about others that have made a name for themselves by objectifying women? What do these role models say to boys about their self image?

  • Talk about young love and how to handle relationships that move too quickly. Does a crush have to turn into a serious relationship? What social pressures are out there to make you feel like a relationship is necessary to be happy? Does the music you listen to affect how you feel about love?

Music details

Artist:Owl City
Release date:July 28, 2009
Label:Universal Republic
Genre:Indie Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Ocean Eyes was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old June 6, 2010

just stupid...

Owl City is just weird...don't waste your time listening.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old June 23, 2010

great for everyone

I love owl city i don't find anything wrong with it the songs make me feel good
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old May 17, 2010

Owl City is marvelous, but at moments, mushy

Wow... this is definately the most unique music of the 21st century. It's soooo irresistable and charming! I first heard the song "Fireflies" while stretching in gym... and for some reason, I didn't like it at first!!! Then, I heard it again on the radio and liked it. What it basically is is this wonderfully written song that is filled with electro beats and dreamy lyrics- this is what a lot of the album is like. Vanilla Twilight was the second song I heard from Owl City, which is a song about a boy whose girlfriend moved (true, by the way). It's beautiful, sad, but also uplifting in ways, so it doesn't sound that depressing). But, missing a girl so much that he "hasn't slept in 2 days" may not be so good. One of the reasons why the lips are listed by the concerns. Cave In (the first song) is one of my favorites... it has a catchy hook and a catchy first line (please take a good look through your textbook cause I'm history)... and the rest of the song pleases, having it talk about (my interpretation) a guy who just wants to break free and is ready to break from his barriers before he "Caves In". The Bird and the Worm (song 2)- Even though his singing isn't his best, he brings this absolutely sweet love song that I just ADORE. I just die at that song... it's very sweet and cute. PROBABLY my favorite next to Fireflies. Hello Seattle (3) is... I don't exactly know what it's about, but it's kind of annoying and molasses slow... but, it's a nice song to just chill down and relax to. Umbrella Beach (4) GOSH!!!! You have to love this song!!!! Adam Young's vocals are REALLY irresistable, and the completely electronic bridge is just... AGH! I like it A LOT. The Saltwater Room (5) The first slow song on the album. It's very pretty, and I like it a lot, but not everybody would like it... the verse before the chorus is kind of long, draggy, and IN the chorus, Breanne Duren (the girl he sings with) voice is kind of annyoing, but after a couple listens of the song it's pretty. This song, however, can be romantically "mushy". Dental Care (6) A catchy, fun song about the song's name. It's a little pointless... but it's irresistable and fun to listen to. Meteor Shower (7) This song is the only one I dislike. I gave this album 4/5 because of this song. It is mushy, slow, and VERY SHORT (2 min 14 sec) On the Wing (8) Catchy, fun, and beautiful. Though it has some mush moments, it's overall a beautiful song. Tip of the Iceberg (10) I skipped over 9 because that is Fireflies, and I already talked about it. Tip of the Iceberg has the most dreamy feel to it, and is catchy and a SUPER fun to listen to!!!! One of my favorites!!!! Tidal Wave (12) I skipped 11 because that is Vanilla Twilight, what I just talked about. Tidal Wave is a fun song to listen to... that's all I can say about this album!!! LISTEN TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models


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