Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Record Review: Owen Pallett - Heartland

It's a weird place, that intersection between classical composition and pop. Here's my attempt to navigate it via someone who's well-versed at both.

For Flagpole:

Owen Pallett


Toronto omni-musician Owen Pallett is probably someone whose work you’ve heard before, though you may not know it. For years doing orchestral arrangements for other artists like Beirut, Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire, he’s helped shape fellow musicians’ catalogs, becoming an indispensable but behind-the-scenes staple. For Heartland, Pallett abandoned his solo moniker Final Fantasy (which he used for two previous full-lengths), again mixing classical beauty with electronic skill, but this time unveiled.

Pallett's buttery tenor melts over pizzicato strings, round brass and reedy woodwinds. Clarinet and baritone and cello poke through the blended textures as Heartland’s tracks slide from one to another like a stage musical’s. But beautiful and benign aren’t the same thing...[Read more]

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