Album Review: A Swedish Love Story by Owen Pallett
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
Drowned In Sound - 80 Based on rating 8/10
You’d think, having already been involved in two of the year’s best albums (Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and his own Heartland, Owen Pallett would be getting some well-earned rest. But instead of putting his feet up and watching The X-Factor, he has made A Swedish Love Story. It’s an EP that looks at a third way for Pallett’s music to work, falling somewhere in between the naked, introverted songwriting that dominates his solo albums and the pomp and grandeur of his arrangements for Arcade Fire.
Kathryn Gaitens Owen Pallett After labouring for months over orchestral arrangements for his acclaimed Heartland album from earlier this year, locally based pop violinist Owen Pallett decided to turn around this feel-good four-track EP in a stripped-down but no less lush-sounding production style more indicative of his earlier material as Final Fantasy. [rssbreak] The record's titular romance pays homage to the prolific pop stars and producers who've come out of Sweden in recent years, but Konichiwa Bitches this ain't. The lyrics are typically erudite and mysterious, and the mood is heady, with Pallett's celestial vocals floating over crisp, propulsive beats.
This has turned out to be a stellar year for Canadian violin maestro Owen Pallett, who has stepped out from underneath the moniker Final Fantasy to record music using his own name. (Well, I have a former co-worker who works with Pallett’s half-brother who reportedly claims that Owen isn’t really his first name, and a quick peek at Wikipedia proves this to be true, but you get the drift. ) Not only has Pallett arranged the strings on what might just be a candidate for this year’s Album of the Year – that would be the Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs – but he has put out an album that might be a darkhorse challenger for that very title in Heartland.
Even in the indulgent world of concept albums, Owen Pallett's Heartland was out there: On that record, Pallett created Spectrum, a fictional universe where a misanthropic, "ultra-violent farmer" named Lewis tended the land, and each of the album's songs were his monologues. Sometimes they were even addressed to Pallett himself. Despite this, Heartland managed to be Pallett's most accessible album to date.