Adam Young – 12 Scores

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young, best known for his Owl City project, has done what I’ve wanted him to do for ages and surpassed expectations. In December 2015, he announced that he would be focusing on a new project in which he would release one album each month throughout 2016. Sourcing inspiration from famous historical events, each album is a film score for each event he chose. Rather than write a review for each album as the year went on, I decided I would wait until they were all released and then share my verdict.

Young has outdone himself with his new project. The orchestral productions he’s created are outstanding and are worthy of a feature film. Of course in some cases there have already been successful films made about the subjects – Titanic for example. This happens to be one of my favourites – the evocative imagery is marvellous from the bustling excitement of ‘Boarding’ to the looming danger of ‘Iceberg’ and the urgency of ‘Sinking’. Adam Young has gone from sugar-coated pop soppiness to fully-fledged film score composer.

This is Adam Young at his absolute finest.

Clever songwriting has always been present with Owl City – particularly with the string work employed on All Things Bright And Beautiful – so it’s no surprise he’s been able to pull this off. What’s really nice is the revival of his sound from other projects such as Port Blue and Sky Sailing. ‘1977’ and ‘Asteroid Belt’ on the album Voyager 1 are updates on ‘Base Jumping’ and ‘June Bug’ which he created under his Port Blue moniker. ‘Preparations’ on Project Excelsior displays a sound akin to early Owl City and also his Sky Sailing material.

Young is able to compose to a theme and mood perfectly and that’s what makes these albums a massive success. From the inspiring optimism of Apollo 11 to the fraught chaos of Omaha Beach Young has given a worthy soundtrack to these key moments of history. This is Adam Young at his absolute finest. His passion for film scores from a young age has translated into quite possibly the best music of his career so far.


By Will Hunt

Noteworthy Details

Evocative music, masterfully composed
Great choice of subjects
Adam Young at his best

Rating (Avg.)



Find out more about the project:

Get a taste for the scores below:

The 12 Albums – Individual Track Lists and Ratings
The Endurance – 10/10
1. Shackleton
2. Hoist Sail
3. The Weddell Sea
4. Pack Ice
5. Abandon Ship
6. Ocean Camp
7. She’s Going, Boys
8. The March
9. Elephant Island
10. 800 Miles
11. South Georgia


Mount Rushmore – 9/10
1. Gutzon Borglum
2. The Black Hills
3. Construction
4. Four Faces
5. Dynamite
6. Half a Million Tons
7. Shine of Democracy


Voyager 1 – 8/10
1. 1977
2. Earth
3. Asteroid Belt
4. Jupiter
5. Europa
6. Saturn
7. Titan
8. Neptune
9. Pale Blue Dot
10. Interstellar Space


Corduroy Road – 7/10
1. Country Hymns
2. Georgia Boys
3. Up With the Stars
4. Sherman
5. Kennesaw Mountain
6. Atlanta
7. The Deep South
8. How Sweet the Sound
9. March to the Sea
10. Fall of the Confederacy


Project Excelsior – 8/10
1. The Pilot
2. Preparations
3. Helium Balloon
4. Ground Crew
5. The Ascent
6. the Highest Step in the World
7. The Jump
8. The Descent
9. On The Ground


Miracle In The Andes – 7/10
1. The Fairchild
2. Impact
3. Making Water
4. The Dead
5. Avalanche
6. The Tail
7. Camera
8. Parrado and Canessa
9. The Rider
10. Rescue


Omaha Beach – 9/10
1. H-Hour
2. Seasick
3. On the Beach
4. Bloody Omaha
5. The Cliffs
6. Troops Advance Inland
7. Reinforcements
8. The Longest Day


The Ascent of Everest – 9/10
1. Base Camp
2. Khumbu Icefall
3. Western Cwm
4. Lhotse Face
5. South Col
6. The Hillary Step
7. The Summit


The Spirit of St. Louis – 9/10
1. Take Off
2. Nova Scotia
3. Over Water
4. Stars Appear
5. The Thunderhead
6. Ice on Wings
7. The Fog
8. Fighting to Stay Awake
9. Land Ahead
10. Wheels Down


RMS Titanic – 10/10
1. Southampton
2. Boarding
3. Captain Edward Smith
4. Maiden Voyage
5. Lookout Duty
6. The Iceberg
7. Distress Call
8. Sinking
9. Lifeboats
10. Every Man for Himself
11. Silence
12. Survivors


Apollo 11 – 10/10
1. Lauch
2. The Lonely Three
3. CSM-LM Docking
4. Trajectory Burn
5. 400 Degrees Between Sunlight
6. Lunar Landing
7. Mare Tranquillitatis
8. First Step on the Surface
9. Lunar Liftoff
10. Return to Earth
11. Re-Entry
12. Splashdown