Quick Review (LP): Heartland by Owen Pallett

HeartlandOwen Pallett
Domino; 2010

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”

I’m completely unfamiliar with Pallett’s work as Final Fantasy, but there’s no denying he’s some kind of prodigy. This is his solo debut, and I was turned on to it by the excellent single “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” one of the best tracks of 2010. I’ve given this LP a few listens, but it has failed to grab me in the same way. Where that track was an intense and symphonic rush, Heartland overall is unfortunately soft in the gut and encumbered by complication. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Pallett has more musical talent in his pinky than some of my other favorites could ever approach, but it seems as though that wizardry is exactly the thing that prevents him from casting the right spell here. While he creates a magnficent melodic sound, those same sounds effectively obscure the wit and vigor of the emotion he’s trying to convey. That’s a shame, because considering the extreme merit of “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” this album could have been a lot better.

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