Owen Pallett - Island
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2020 Ratings: #104 / 819
User Score
Based on 196 ratings
2020 Ratings: #348
Liked by 11 people
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Beats Per Minute

What really strikes you upon listening to Island is the cinematic sweep of its overall structure ... Island bears the influence of Pallett’s forays into modern classical and soundtrack composition; this doesn’t feel like a mere collection of separate songs with each containing its own crescendo.


Island represents a tender, more melancholic chapter in Pallett's repertoire, but one that offers a refined perspective.


On 'Island', Pallett has succeeded in creating what Eno called “continuous, a surrounding”. This album is an entirely immersive wall of sound that deserves to be listened to time and time again.

Damn okay this is a cool album. Very cinematic, lush, with these very meticulous orchestral arrangements and buildups. The whole sonic soundscape is really really dope and works beautifully with Owen's voice. The lyrics though, I really don't know what to make of them. They are super abstract and poetic which sounds very eloquent with the music, but I do not know what he is trying to say most of the time lol. I also think some of these songs drag on for too long and the album just feels like it ... read more
It’s been ten long years since Owen Pallett left behind the fantasy world of 14th Century Spectrum that served as the backdrop of his magnum opus, Heartland. An orchestral art-pop album built around two key Barthesian thereotical conceits - love from the perspective of the loved, and the death of the author - Heartland was the apotheosis of all that Pallett had achieved under his erstwhile Square Enix-baiting guise of Final Fantasy: ambitious enough in its concept, songwriting and ... read more
---> (i)

A hollowed, austere piano chord lingers in darkness. The dog woke me, desperate whines carry quick through an empty house. Sleep is alluring, but piss in the carpet certainly isn’t. The chord repeats as I greet her in the hallway and match her drowsy amble. Moonlight slips in through the open blinds at the end of the hall, just enough to catch in her sooty coat. This is a dreadfully early encounter, Luna.

Same chord. New releases are a pleasant surprise for a ... read more
'Fire-Mare' is stunning - it sounds like the best song Anathema never wrote for their 'Weather Systems' album.

The day Owen places ten songs of that quality in a row on an album is the day I award him 100%.
Cohesive, if over-long; cinematic, if repetitive; sweeping, gorgeous, lush, even if it sounds like a re-tread of early Sufjan Stevens. Owen Pallett has talent and portions of this album, while far from ground-breaking, would fit fantastically into a film score.
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Track List

  1. - - -> (i)
  2. Transformer
  3. Paragon of Order
  4. - - -> (ii)
  5. The Sound of The Engines
  6. Perseverance of the Saints
  7. Polar Vortex
  8. - - -> (iii)
  9. A Bloody Morning
  10. Fire - Mare
  11. Lewis Gets Fucked into Space
  12. - - -> (iv)
  13. In Darkness
  14. Paragon of Order
  15. Fire - Mare

Year End Lists

#7/Beats Per Minute
#24/No Ripcord
#76/Les Inrocks
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Added on: May 21, 2020