CD Heartland [Owen Pallett] (CD 6270628),
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Heartland [Owen Pallett]

  • 1. Midnight Directives
    2. Keep the Dog Quiet
    3. Mount Alpentine
    4. Red Sun No. 5
    5. Lewis Takes Action
    6. Great Elsewhere, The
    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?
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): FGJ001

  • Credits
    ProducerRusty Santos; Owen Pallett

    Personnel: The Czech Symphony Strings (strings); Leonie Wall (flute, piccolo); Micah Heilbrunn (clarinet); Sarah Jeffrey (oboe); Lisa Chisholm (bassoon); The St. Kitts' Winds (woodwinds); Mike Fedyshyn (trumpet); David Pell (trombone); Gabe Radford (horns); Jeremy Gara (drums, percussion).
    Audio Mixer: Rusty Santos.
    Recording information: The Greenhouse, Reykjavik.
    Illustrator: Colin Bergh.
    Photographer: Jimmy Limit.
    Arranger: Owen Pallett.
    Toronto-based singer/songwriter/composer/violinist Owen Pallett's Final Fantasy project officially ended its public affair with the beloved Japanese video game of the same name (he has promised to release subsequent albums under his legal name) with Heartland, a 12-song conceptual piece concerning "a young, ultra-violent farmer named Lewis set in the imaginary landscape of Spectrum." To be fair, Pallett's last release, the superb He Poos Clouds was an "an eight-song cycle about the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons" adorned with a cover that included a hand-drawn rendering of the action described in the title. As with all of his works, Heartland wears its absurd premise high and proud, allowing its creator the freedom to explore the entire spectrum of human emotion without ever succumbing to hipster irony. Pallett, the shifty, strung-out composition major in the back of the class, bored to tears and three steps ahead of the professor, chose to go the orchestral route this time around, utilizing the talented Czech Philharmonic in Prague. Fans of He Poos Clouds' long, dissonant motifs, odd, symphonic percussion, and slightly skewed, indie-prog-rock vibe will find Heartland a bigger, better, and more streamlined collection than the latter was, boasting more than its share of left-field singles ("Midnight Directives" and "Tryst with Mephistopheles" are instant keepers) -- think Grizzly Bear, Patrick Wolf, and Rufus Wainwright attempting an alternate universe mash-up of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin. It's a wide, spacious, summer storm of a record that bounces around genres like an open-world RPG game, and while there may be only 12 locations you can fast-travel to, there is enough treasure in each to keep the adventurer occupied for a month of afternoons. ~ James Christopher Monger

  • Critic Reviews
    CMJ - "[A] polyphonic concept album that embraces a classic larger-than-life orchestral build-up while playfully adding the repetitive arcs of modern electronic music."
    Paste (magazine) (p.64) - "Pallett is equal parts mathematician and sonic prankster, his compositions scaling the highs and lows of the musical staff like an ADD mountain climber."
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