Friday, August 11, 2006

Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds

Final Fantasy
He Poos Clouds
Tomlab

Go ahead. I'll give you a minute. Let's get the snickering out of the way. Yes, the title of this album really is He Poos Clouds. All joking aside though, this isn't a silly album by any means.

Owen Pallett is associated with The Arcade Fire. On their impossibly good 2004 album Funeral, Pallet is credited with playing violin and string arrangements. But you'll find no semblance of Arcade Fire here. Instead, you'll get one the more odd releases of the year, full of strings, piano and pieces that sound like they'd accompany a play. That's no strike. I actually rather enjoy the album–I just can't think of anything I've put on in recent days that sounds quite as weird. Well, maybe Liars comes close, but in a very different way.

Every time I listen to this album, I think of those Choose Your Own Adventure books or The Neverending Story. There's something haunting and even mystical about the music, but Pallett's singing always grounds it in a delicate, vulnerable way. In my mind, I can just see Atreyu approaching G'mork with "If I Were A Carp" gently playing. It'd be a perfect fit.

A standout track for me is "This Lamb Sells Condos." With it's cabaret-like piano and Pallett's voice rising and falling with the notes, the song moves along at a pace that's a bit quicker than the rest of the album. It may also be the only track that could theoretically be released as a single and get some level of play.

Putting aside his truly bizarre choice of album title, Pallett has crafted an album that's interesting and challenging, while still being very listenable. It's also a stake in the ground that he won't be doing Arcade Fire ver. 2 with this project. This is truly his own creation, and a pretty neat one at that.

Check it out if you like: Liars, The Fiery Furnaces, Grizzly Bear
Listen to a sample here: Go to Tomlab, select He Poos Clouds–you can listen to samples of the whole album.

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