ALBUM REVIEW – Owen Pallet – “Heartland” (Domino – 2010)

January 26, 2010

Rating: 4/5

Heartland is the first album that Owen Pallet has made under his own name, rather than the Final Fantasy alias he released his previous two records under.  The dropping of this alias has nothing to do with his music, as Pallet had to do it due to copyright issues related to the long-running video game series.  However, it does seem to coincide with a growth in Pallet’s music, and for that reason a change of name does seem rather fitting.  Heartland is a very rich and full record, especially when compared with his first two releases, which although do contain many very intricate arrangements, seem rather stripped down when placed next to the huge sounds of Heartland.  Front to back, the music on this album jumps right out at you.  It’s not a surprise Heartland is such a step forward, as it comes fours years after his last release, He Poos Clouds.  Within this time, Owen Pallet has developed strongly as both a songwriter and an arranger.  Considering how young he is, I think it’s safe to say that with a record like Heartland, his presence will be strongly felt in the years to come.

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