Owen Pallett - Heartland
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2010 Ratings: #44 / 867
User Score
Based on 88 ratings
2010 Ratings: #52
January 12, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Chamber Pop / Genres
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If you're lucky, you might already know this guy as Final Fantasy. His reasons for dropping that name are probably boring and copyright-related, but still: The name change seems healthy on whole other extra-legal levels. I've never known anyone not to be wowed by Final Fantasy's live show, and Final Fantasy's live show is just Owen Pallett: the guy himself, a violin, and a loop pedal. It's about as solo as anything gets-- a performance, not a project. Stepping out under his own name feels like an acknowledgement of this, as if Pallett's ready to cast aside the modesty of having a "project"-- it's just this thing I've been working on-- and present himself, fully upright, as an artist.

Drowned in Sound

With hindsight, the demise of Final Fantasy was entirely predictable. Sure, the official cause of death was some mumbled notice about wanting to avoid confusion when Heartland became the first FF release to hit Japan, lest the locals start using copies as chocobo lures. But really, in recent years the name of the string arranger Owen Pallett has become vastly more recognisable than his recording artist alias. Extraordinarily graceful and full bodied the looped solo string arrangements on He Poos Clouds may have been, but Final Fantasy’s second album was still an intimate, oddball work, with everything besides the strings muffled, distant and shrill, strange, dissonant tales of childhood crushes on the dude out of Zelda punctuated by bangs and silence.

Very flowery and grand - threatens to become overly rich to an off-putting level but Pallett’s instincts reign things back just enough.

He unquestionably has many talents...it’s just that I’m not always 100% behind how he’s deploying them.
Genius Songwriting on This Album:

-The atonal mania at the end of "Midnight Directives"
-Seems like there's two plausible ways to count "Keep the Dog Quiet," one where the first chord is on the offbeat and one where it's on the downbeat (making the primary action of the phrase syncopated). They are equally enjoyable.
-Intro of "Lewis Takes Action" tricks you into thinking the key of the song is a whole tone higher than what it actually is
-Pacing of the ... read more
a whimsical record, splattered with Owen Pallett's personality smiling from ear to ear. As such the landscape of sound found here skirts and pulls at every convention you'd expect. Its utterly unique and that stands as its greatest strength and strangest weakness.

If you manage to listen through the tug of war of mood that eats up large chunks of the first half of this record, you're in for masterclass of classical experimentation (his string-work in particular is amazing, him or whomever he ... read more
No entiendo muy bien este disco, me parece un poco nefasto y ruidoso.
well I can confidently say I haven't quite heard anything like this before
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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 Is for Estranged
  11. Tryst With Mephistopheles
  12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now?


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