REVIEW: Owen Pallett – Heartland

Ok, kicking off a new series of ridiculously late record reviews! I have to admit that I’ve been in love with Owen Pallett’s moniker-dropping debut, Heartland is sublime. I banged on about that Simon Bookish Remix before, but the album itself, is one entirely different, which is more entirely soothing and whole. It is orchestrated, which connotes Sufjan Stevens in my mind, albeit an alter ego of Stevens with a mild form of ADHD. And it is this erratic musical behaviour, spread across the whole of the album which really stands out as something more unusual and quirky. Where I find that my beloved Sufjan makes more melodic and harmonious music, Pallett seems to make songs that are incredibly jarring, more loud, angry and confrontational than much of Stevens’ back catalogue.

In my opinion, I feel that their are incredibly strong, standout tracks; “Keep the Dog Quiet”, “Oh Heartland Up, Yours!” and “Tryst with Mephistopheles” (download) for example are three of my favourites, which are loud and confront the audience, the brash lyricism of “Heartland Up, Yours!” for example, surely reflects the title of the song, sticking a two fingers up at the album’s name sake. “Tryst with Mephistopheles”, a 7 minute epic also effectively portrays some kind of devilish worship but not through scandinavian style death metal but as a teasingly beautiful orchestrated piece of music, it’s name sake, the devil Mephistopheles is for me, a direct link to Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus and it’s antagonist.

However, i feel that, some of the tracks on the album, do not garner any attention as an individual listen, and only stand strong as build up with the album as part of a whole, idealised brilliant album. In summary, Owen Pallett has constructed a rather brilliant, if flawed album, it has moments of transcendent beauty as well as songs that just don’t scream out anything at all. As a whole, definitely one of the best albums so far this year.


  1. Rose wrote:

    oh i recently got this, his voice can be slightly annoying..similar to zac condon’s, but i quite liked the album anyway

  2. yanos wrote:

    You should go see him live. He can pull almost everything all by himself with a violin, a keyboard and some sampling gears. Also, check out his earlier stuff, when he was known as Final Fantasy.