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Any release by Laurie Anderson gives us cause for celebration.
It doesn't happen very often so it's time to put on our party hats!
Her last studio outing 'Life On A String' (2001) was a box brimming
over with wonders. 'Homeland' is no less so. It is a visionary work.

Her preoccupation with documenting her own complex emotional
reflections and responses to her country's heart and history is
born out of deep love and an indestructible sense of hopefulness.
(Her 1984 masterpiece 'United States Live' is another vivid
and stirring testimony of profound dedication to her muse).

Ms Anderson, despite her marriage to Lou Reed, doesn't make
rock and roll. (She does, however, have a creditable dalliance
with things-disco on 'Only an Expert'!)

These twelve compositions, together, create an extraordinary
sonic tapestry. The gentle, haunting, inimitable voice, sometimes
bleakly alone, sometimes gloriously multi-tracked; the plaintive
power of her electric violin, both a sword and a shield with the
power to sooth and heal or blister and burn are both present and
correct and uniquely affecting.

From the sublime opening track 'Transitory Life', with its
heart-rending ululating vocal by Aidysmaa Koshkendey slicing
the ether like a knife ; through the wry, pithy and hillarious
observations about contemporary American culture (the sub-prime
mortgage debacle comes in for a particularly potent bashing!)
of the aforementioned, dance-oriented, spectacle of 'Only An Expert'
(Mr Reed's rip-roaring guitar contribution makes the ground tremble
beneath our feet!); to the gentle string threnody of the luminous
and utterly beautiful final track 'Flow', 'Homeland' is probably
the most important musical event to have burst into the listening
world so-far this year (at least to these hairy ears!)

Other treasures would have to include the dreamily exotic
'Strange Perfumes' and the monolithic 'Another Day In America',
both blessed with the near-spectral presence of Antony Hegarty's
otherworldly voice woven almost imperceptibly into the mix.

Ms Anderson has never been afraid to stare the devil down.
'Homeland' is an exorcism, an exegesis and a transcendent
vehicle for renewed optimism.

(The accompanying DVD sheds light on the creative process via
facinating interviews with many of the key figures involved
in bringing this richly rewarding musical meal to the table.
Lou Reed is an absolute sweetie!!
The packaging for both discs is of the finest quality and
further illuminates our enjoyment and understanding of the
project through additional textual and phographic material).

11 comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 July 2010
I saw Homeland performed at the Barbican in April 2008, I took some friends who had never heard of her and they blown away. The CD is not as good as live as when performed, you have the multi media aspects, it's live and also she put's in highly topical lines that fit with the time of the performance - about now I guess it would oil leaks.

The lyrics are like razors attached to mirrors for American culture and modern society in general. While it's been said this is an album about the credit crunch, yes It must have been a strong influence but there comments about a lot more flaws in our society than money. At time the Homeland can be hypnotic, disturbing, fearful but at the same time combined with humour and irony that keeps it enjoyable.

Not a party album but from experience people listening to "Only an Expert" enjoy the song and everyone grins or laughs at times.

This was the best concert I saw in 2008 and 2009 and despite a line in the performance "And CD's are available in the lobby at a very reasonable price" they weren't, and it originally intended for release in early 2009. Had to resort to some very dodgy things to get parts of this album from you tube but now it's here and have bought a couple of copies, one for me the other for my best m8 who still raves about it.

For me this is Laurie Anderson's best piece of work so far, and I've rated all her albums also I've seen a performance of Delusion on April 2010 but thought this was a progression of Homeland but did not reach it heights, but still go and see it if you have the chance.
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on 13 July 2010
This has to be one of the best albums of 2010 so far for me. ( Up to now it has been Howe Gelb and A Band of Gypsies- Alegrias and Timber Timbre - Timber Timbre).
Homeland is so moving and creative. Some of it does take a few listens to become a favorite track
such as 'Another day in America' while other tracks such as 'Transitory Life' and 'My right eye' are immediately great.
This for me is an album that gives me the 'tingles' down the spine. It wakes up my brain.
I'm so glad folks such as Laurie are still making such intelligent, moving and creative work.
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on 3 February 2013
Is Laurie Anderson capable of releasing a bad record?

This record is the latest installment of the answer to that question, which is a resounding "No".


Quite simply, if you don't like this, you deserve to go deaf.


P.S. Amazon's bloody awful downloader persistently refuses to download the accompanying digital booklet. So buy this album for the audio only.
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on 26 August 2010
Laurie Anderson's earlier works 'Mister Heartbreak' and 'Strange Angels' would easily make it to my top 30 favourite albums and I loved many of the tracks from 'Big Science' (O, Superman is there) and Home of the Brave. There was irony, humour, an ideosyncratic and varied sound palate like nothing else I can think of and always the urgent sense of the vulnerable individual somehow struggling to hold on in a fast, electronic, corporate and impersonal world. I would count myself as a huge fan of that work (while recognising that it would by no means be everybody's cup of tea).
Homeland did not immediately appeal to me at all, but has grown on me a fair amount after persevering. Although she is as intelligent and quirkily perceptive here as ever, the overall mood is a little too sombre for my taste (though not so much as in Life On A String or Bright Red perhaps). The darker thoughts and feelings were always there, woven into the fabric of her songs, but it was the light and warmth of the earlier work that allowed easier access to it.
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on 27 February 2012
I haven't actually bought this yet, and clicked in here in preparation, but the recording I've been listening to at Anderson's website bears little relation to the music described by the "BBC" review appended to this Amazon item. Frankly, I'm startled, dismayed but far from surprised by the alien syntax of this "review", however amusingly it might prove the catchphrase that Anderson borrowed from William Burroughs. If this text was handed in at any English school classroom, it would be sent for remedial English classes.

A proper review might have recognised 'Only an Expert' as possibly the most explicit philosophical comment Anderson has made in her career, and one that she gives a fully-realised musical setting, unlike the sketchy ideas that supported some of the pieces on 'Big Science', an album that celebrates its thirtieth birthday this year. The rest of 'Homeland' is also the most mature, fully-developed work she has ever produced, perhaps because it was written in the face of the cultural moment it describes. A review might also have felt a duty to put 'Homeland' into a historical context alongside 'Mr Heartbreak', the 'United States' stageshow boxset, and later releases. It might have further thought that thirty years rendered faintly desperate comparisons to 'O Superman' ever so slightly out of date.

Perhaps worst of all, even this Irish Anglophone feels confident enough to suspect that there is an 'R' missing in the reviewer's forename...

Some editorial oversight needed here somewhere, perhaps?
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on 28 July 2014
Thoroughly enjoyable. All you would expect from Laurie Anderson. Thoughtful, engaging, poetic, musical. Follows some of the themes and presentation methods seen in earlier work.
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on 31 August 2010
As usual, it's an excelent album from Laurie Anderson.
Always the same style, but always a very good work.
To listen, and listen again.
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on 25 May 2016
Some good tracks , but haven't realy got into this album , if you like Laurie you will probably like this one
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on 8 January 2011
Well worth the long wait since her previous album. As original as always, musically itriqueing and good value. If you know and like her work, this will not disappoint.
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