Website: Final Fantasy
The Inside Pulse:
Final Fantasy is a solo project of one Owen Pallett, the violinist of the Hidden Cameras, The Arcade Fire, and a bunch of other amazing indie artists. As you can imagine, the album is weird. It’s mostly violin loops played overtop one another, but on this sophomore release Owen has clearly stepped up his game in the composition department, utilizing more than twice as many other instruments as his last album. As well, the songs are grander, to the point that you might think they were leading to some sort of battle. It’s at the very least a great soundtrack for a fight scene. At most, it’s a startling release of talent and amazing prowess.
Pop songs don’t come this complex outside of the Fiery Furnaces. Good luck deciphering the meanings of the lyrics, but that’s a good thing here because the melody of the whole thing is really awesome. It’s the kind of album that completely rewards you for going to local shows and hearing about things from other people who love music. Don’t expect Owen to ever eclipse into the mainstream. I don’t think he wants to. He’s doing beautiful niche work and really should just keep going. At this rate, who knows how good he’ll be by the next one.
Owen, for being a great violinist and composer, can’t really sing. Sometimes he’s too loud, sometimes too quiet, often out of key and sounding like he’d rather just do his thing with instruments. It’s never painful and you never wish that he’d hire Win or any of his other buddies, but it’s definitely not the highlight of the album. When the chorus is released on “This Lamb Sells Condos”, the whole vocal thing picks up considerably.
Yeah, this is one of those times where there is really no comparison to what anyone else is doing in pop music. Hell, this is barely pop music. It’s something else that’s tough to explain, something I don’t even think Owen can enunciate clearly – “There is a new album, it’s called ‘He Poos Clouds’. It’s contents: an athiest explanation of magical phenomena, Yukio Mishima, Julia Kristeva, Galina Ustvolskaya and ragtime, love of video game characters, the dying, Pern and modern dating, the link between condominium retail and impotence, Bartok’s 2nd string quartet, Irish metafictional characters and baking.”
Reason To Buy:
You are the type to appreciate bravery in music, to not criticize when there’s a slighting vocal-wise, the type to plunge into the study of a record more than simply throwing it on during cooking. The type to enjoy darkness and, possibly, even more darkness. And the type who really, really likes the violin.