In Conflict

Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2014 Ratings: #139 / 956
User Score
Based on 152 ratings
2014 Ratings: #91
Liked by 1 person
May 27, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Secret City / Label
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Time Out London

‘In Conflict’ is a beautiful and powerful album, light as a feather in its delivery of complicated musical and lyrical ideas, but packing a punch that’s sharp enough to floor most other records released this year.

Consequence of Sound

In Conflict is ominous, gloomy, and marked with some of the most playful arrangements Pallett’s laid to date. 


While it may peer into the abyss (at least thematically), it's as cathartic and engaging a collection of songs as he's committed himself to thus far.

The Line of Best Fit

On In Conflict the Canadian composer has managed to translate that energy into his recordings ,making his music as invigorating as it is soothing, as exciting as it is impressive and as complex as it is accessible

A.V. Club

Pallett has always crafted emotionally rich songs, but he seemed on previous albums to be trying to worm his way into listeners’ heads via inventive cleverness. On In Conflict, he seems much more comfortable taking aim at the gut.

Pretty Much Amazing

Throughout In Conflict, Pallett opens up his compositions even more than his lyrics, but the songwriting is no less brainy, and themes no less tangled, than on his earlier work.


The record is a captivating and challenging insight into the mindset of an intelligent artist who is pushing himself further than ever before, taking his music in new and fascinating directions.

Drowned in Sound

In Conflict is a fine composition free of the fussy baggage that often comes with grand artistic vision.


Though less immediate than previous efforts, repeat listens to the darker, subtler In Conflict reveal yet another fascinating entry in Pallett's excellent catalogue.


He's less concerned with dazzling us this time around, and as a result he moves us more.


His fourth solo album mingles gothic strings and sci-fi gloops and glitches to create a record that sounds destined to soundtrack the 2025 coronation of King James Blake I (‘Chorale’), his Silver Jubilee rave (‘Song For Five & Six’, ‘Infernal Fantasy’) and his inevitable dramatic assassination plots (‘The Passions’, ‘The Riverbed’).


Warm, often inscrutable, positing adulthood as the necessary product of a fantasy-rich childhood, In Conflict is Pallett's most realized album. There isn't anything like it at the moment.


Heartland and In Conflict share their creator’s touch, but the latter distinguishes itself by featuring more electronic instrumentation and lyrics that bear a personal relationship to Pallett, whether in literal or composite form. 


The confidently poised In Conflict exhibits both a maturation in his ever-evolving compositional style and a boldness in his now assertive vocal performances.

Under The Radar

In Conflict doesn't find Owen Pallett breaking new ground, but that might not matter. He's still bringing his exacting ear to perfect arrangement (sometimes a little overly so), along with a unique lyrical outlook—and for the most part, In Conflict balances the two.

FACT Magazine

In Conflict is an impressive record of worthy content, but the day he finds a way to reconcile his musical chops to his pop ear, then Owen Pallett will surely make his masterpiece.


'In Conflict' isn’t quite there: Pallett still sings like a choirboy, still crafts songs that nearly burst with swooping strings and balletic brass, still displays a penchant for lyrics that teeter on the edge of embarassing but remain firmly stuck in the memory banks.

One of my favorite chamber pop albums since Antony and the Johnsons' I Am A Bird Now.
This might be the most complex and unconventional have his main releases. I love it. "I Am Not Afraid" is my facvortie song of his.
Beautifully orchestrated pop music. Owen Pallett is as monotone as ever and sounds like he is from a choir and although not everyone will enjoy his delivery I find the lush violins and insturmentation more than makes up for his slightly lackluster singing. Unusual pop song structures and lyrics but overall a very strong album. No really weak tracks, although the lyrics can be slightly off on occasions.
BEST TRACKS: In Conflict, A Song For Five and Six, The Riverbed , The Secret Seven, ... read more
indie pop, west end type singing, songs with little melody and average lyrics, not my cup of tea
This album is full of musical surprises and is very well put together. Pallett makes up for his often monotone singing voice by creating this lushful, exuberant musical arrangements in his music. Lyrically this album also packs a punch. It is ultimately a sharp sounding album made by a sharp musician and songwriter.
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Track List

  1. I Am Not Afraid
  2. In Conflict
  3. On a Path
  4. Song for Five & Six
  5. The Secret Seven
  6. Chorale
  7. The Passions
  8. The Sky Behind the Flag
  9. ---> [1]
  10. The Riverbed
  11. Infernal Fantasy
  12. Soldiers Rock
  13. ---> [2]
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Added on: February 6, 2014