Owen Pallett – Heartland Owen Pallett – Heartland

Owen Pallet - Heartland

Owen Pallet - Heartland

Eventide pizzicato, harmonium, nord, Wurlitzer, violin, mellotron, timpani, piano, flute, piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, and trumpet. Let me make this clear. This is just a sample of all the ingredients used. What for? No, not for a philharmonic orchestra, just for Owen Pallett’s album titled Heartland. How is this for a yarn spinner of a tale: Owen Pallett, creates a character for his album, and calls him Lewis. Lewis is a farmer, yet dealing with such things as a deity, who he distinctly identifies as Owen. Falling in love with Owen, eventually to bring him to his death. Sounds grandiose, and that is because it is.

Owen Pallett has dropped his guise, but not his sound. The artist formerly known as Final Fantasy is now simply Owen Pallett. This might be because of some legal issues with a very huge role-playing game, obviously, Final Fantasy and all of its chapters. Stepping out from a pseudonym Owen Pallett delivers a jaunty, or self confident, Heartland. It is certainly a more refined effort from his Final Fantasy past.

Imagine getting a glimpse at a Broadway play that Pallett created himself. On a stage with his equipment, alone. In a spotlight, he plays solo until you hear the sounds of the stings and horns behind him, coming from the dark. Sitting in the seats are his friends, his family, his paying customers. It is a daunting and grand task to undertake, and it is obvious a great amount of production went into this project. A mix of cold machine created sounds with a clean voice splitting all of it, telling a tale wonderfully.

“Midnight Directives” the album’s opener, comes at you with a hazy Pallett howling, almost as if he is miles away, the sound floating through the fog. Screaming such things as, “I’ve got a thirst for liquid gold, I’ll bludgeon ‘til the body’s cold” never felt so graceful. Most of these tracks are whimsical; with a layered violin plucking over an amalgamation of previously alluded to instruments.

The downfall is the amount of heavy-handed production. Pallett’s story telling and lyricism is still very much intact, as is his affinity for string arrangements. Yet at the heart of it all, it is a very weighty album, and will have problems grabbing most listeners on their first few drive byes. Certainly holding a feel of a project that grows on you more and more, this is no disappointment, but Pallett certainly could use a tweak here and there.

Track List:
1. Midnight Directives
2. Keep the Dog Quiet
3. Mount Alpentine
4. Red Sun No. 5
5. Lewis Takes Action
6. The Great Elsewhere
7. Oh Heartland, Up Yours!
8. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
9. Flare Gun
10. E for Estranged
11. Tryst with Mephistopheles
12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now?

Owen Pallett - Heartland, reviewed by Baer on 2010-02-15T14:09:46-08:00 rating 3.4 out of 5

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