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Heartland [CD]

Owen Pallett Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 8.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Jan 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B002V96GDS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Midnight Directives 3:350.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Keep The Dog Quiet 3:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mount Alpentine0:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Red Sun No. 5 3:400.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Lewis Takes Action 2:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Great Elsewhere 5:490.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Oh Heartland, Up Yours! 4:070.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt 5:080.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Flare Gun 2:200.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. E Is For Estranged 5:250.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Tryst With Mephistopheles 6:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. What Do You Think Will Happen Now? 2:370.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Canadian Owen Pallett has been a busy beaver. As a violinist for hire he’s been string arranger of choice for Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Beirut and Arctic Monkey Alex Turner’s side project The Last Shadow Puppets, while also releasing low-key, whimsical solo albums as Final Fantasy.

However, nearly four years after his second solo effort, the almost entirely childish He Poos Clouds, he seems to have got serious about his solo career. Those first two albums, released on a small Canadian label, would have passed by all but unnoticed if not for a 2006 Orange phone ad in the UK that used Adventure.exe from his Has a Good Home debut, and you weren’t missing so much unless a string quartet playing songs based on magic levels in Dungeons & Dragons gets your motor running.

Heartland is different in almost every way, however, but getting ambitious has its drawbacks. Signing to Arctic Monkeys’ label Domino means he has access to the hugely successful independent label’s worldwide distribution, but it’s also brought the attention of Square/Enix, creators of the Final Fantasy computer game who have, unsurprisingly, been in touch through their copyright lawyers. So Final Fantasy is dead, long live Owen Pallett.

Not everyone is going to want a 12-song cycle about the relationship of an extremely violent fictional farmer (no – come back!), of course, but within Heartland’s grand sweep are some riveting and quite glorious ideas, from the skittering beats and galloping strings of opener Midnight Directives, the 50-second operatic interlude Mount Alpertine, Lewis Takes Action’s ultra-violence disguised under a cutesy pop melody, and the soaring musical stairway of Tryst With Mephistopheles, MGMT without the disco ball on each shoulder.

The whole album is like Peter and the Wolf re-imagined by an electronic-leaning Neil Hannon or Andrew Bird: lyrical, classical and edgy, although it’s hard to imagine even Hannon having the chutzpah to compose music that envisages an orchestra as an old-school analogue synth. Not for everyone, then, but anyone with an ear for musical fantasy may wish to stop and daydream about a bad-tempered farmer for a while. --Andy Fyfe

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars His best work to date. 23 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
Owen Pallett first came to my attention when he was part of The Hidden Cameras 'Smell Of Our Own' LP in 2003. Since then he's gone on to produce 2 solo albums in the guise of Final Fantasy, supplied the string arrangements to The Last Shadow Puppets first album, guested on many great releases by (among others) Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Beirut and The Rumble Strips. But it is with this release that his particular brand of chamber pop has really begun to flourish & expand.

Opener 'Midnight Directives' really sets the tone with Pallett singing of loss and sadness, all-the-while strings and percussion seem to envelope his voice. It's a beautiful piece of work which is both evocative & stirring. It is by no means a lone high point though. Other highlights include the (linked ?) 'Lewis Takes Action' and 'Lewis Takes Off His Shirt', the latter is a personal favourite with Pallett repeatedly stating 'I'm never gonna give it to you' while the song rapidly builds around him with various drum machines, strings and synths, its an early contender for the enevitable songs-of-the-year polls come December.

Owen Pallett decided with this release to drop the moniker 'Final Fantasy' as he felt he was starting to become associated with the video game of the same name, and I don't know if it's just me but the record feels a lot more personal as a result. The album is peppered with mentions of loneliness & longing. With one track 'Oh Heartland, Up Yours!' seemingly describing Palletts disdain for his place of birth with the final statement being: 'My homeland I will not sing your praises here'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Recently I heard a haunting cover of "This Modern Love" by Bloc Party and adored it but could not find out for ages who had performed this alchemy. It turned out to be Owen Pallett under the moniker of his band name "Final Fantasy". The next port of call was to hot foot it to Amazon to read Mr Chinaski's excellent review and to download this shockingly original piece of music. Not since Sufjan Stevens "Come on feel the Illnoise" has a composer tried anything this audacious in the broad field of rock music and more importantly succeeded. Not all of it comes off but Pallett's sheer verve is breathtaking and admirable and any slight missteps are easily forgiven.

NERD ALERT - Heartland is, at least in description, a theme album about an ultra-violent farmer named Lewis in the fictional world of Spectrum. Shall we move on quickly? The music is complex outing of instrumentation, lyrics and arrangements and yet in this mix are glorious melodies and songs. Arcade Fire have been the main beneficiaries of these arrangements thus far but Heartland allows Pallett an orchestra of his own and with it he stakes a claim to be the numero uno when it comes to lush chamber pop.

The highlights -

"Keep the dog quiet" starts off sounding like the soundtrack for a corny detective film until Pallett's quiet and beautiful vocal breaks in. Its like Jeff Buckley meets Mission Impossible as Palletts repeats "consequential, sequential, sequential"

"Lewis takes action" has a playful orchestra accompaniment but its Pallets voice that steals it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & Beautiful 25 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD
Owen Pallett drops his Final Fantasy moniker, probably in part to distance from the game but also, one suspects, to give those who've noticed him on sleevenotes the chance to investigate this new work. The eagle eyed will have noticed that since the release of his last album his profile has risen thanks to string arrangements for the likes of Arcade Fire, Beruit, and The Last Shadow Puppets. So perhaps it's only right that he steps more clearly into the limelight for his solo work.

Augmemented by the St Kitts Winds and the Czech Sympony Stings this is a bold and interesting work. It has a distinclty classical feel to it sometimes resembling more of a song cycle than a conventional pop record. It feels grandiouse but not pretentious. There is a kind of concept to it but it doesn't seem like a concept album as the theme itself doesn't seem to drive home too obviously. It sounds rather beautiful and should please anyone familiar with Pallett's work as Final Fantasy and anyone else who is curious and wants something a little different may also find this worthwhile.

It doesn't always work. Pallett's voice seems consciously to be mixed down on a number of the tracks, which leaves you somewhat straining to hear the lyrics clearly on tracks such as opener "Midnight Directives" and "Mount Alpentine". If it is about the concept then this is something of hinderance.

That said the overall effect of these songs is rather beautiful so the irritation is minor. "The Great Elsewhere" reminds of something that could have appeared on one of Scott Walker's more recent albums but the album takes off in the final half of the album where the songwriting seems both stronger and more memorable.
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