Review Summary: Owen Pallett’s “He Poos Clouds” provides an album that is sophisticated in sound with lyrics that are charmingly immature and intellectual.
They say that when you lose a sense, your other senses become stronger. When I first heard that the band Beirut
were playing with a band named Final Fantasy,
I was intrigued. I decided to embark on what I called a ‘blind’ purchase. I did not want to read a review, nor did I want to hear any songs that may have been looming on the internet. My initial reaction when I put Final Fantasy’s latest release in was, “did I buy the right artist?” I heard violins and harpsichords and fell back into the classical period or something of that sort. Could this possibly be the artist playing with Beirut? I was ultimately confused, but the sound that I heard was so graceful and new in comparison to any recent purchase. It appeared that my sense of hearing increased with a flutter of enjoyment. The mastermind behind Final Fantasy goes by the name of Owen Pallett who may or may not be familiar. He has co-written string arrangements with the Arcade Fire
but not until his own releases has Owen showed what he is capable of performing. Beware, Pallett has made his string arrangements grand at times and more than the background sound of other bands. The layers of violins and pianos create an intricately laced sound in a beautiful sophomore full length known as He Poos Clouds.
There is a fluctuation of different styles of song. They are ultimately divided into songs of epic proportions and songs of intimacy. The album begins with “The Arctic Circle” and “He Poos Clouds” which both include a full-fledged orchestra of sound. The timpani rumbles, the harpsichord dazzles, and the violins wisp and swirl the sound into a cohesive breeze with a wall of horns in the background. The score written for both songs are simply brilliant. The two songs contain thunderous crescendos with instruments chiming in at appropriate times that do not water-down the musical content. The piano-driven “This Lamb Sells Condos” contains clever and humorous lyrics. It speaks on behalf of a real estate agent who used a slogan that considered him a lamb. Lyrics include the following, “ Oh seduction, his seduction to the world of construction. Now his mind will start to wander when he is not at a computer. Now his massive genitals refuse to co-operate and no amount of therapy can hope to save his marriage.
” Such lyrics show that Pallett does not beat around the bush with his lyrical content. This makes his lyrics more appealing in the end. The more intimate and eerie songs include “I’m Afraid of Japan” and “If I were a Carp” which are not on a huge scale instrumentally and leaves it up to the violin to take charge. Each song are depressing and quite emotional in their own regards.
Pallett is no stranger with his violin. During “Song Song Song” and “Many Lives for 49 MP,” his work is mind blowing. The violin riffs are catchy and never hit the wrong chord. His plucking is equally impressive with a graceful soft-toned voice backing the presence. Owen transitions and builds up appropriately like a true composer. While he may not have the most powerful voice or perfect voice, his tone is perfect for each situation within the music. Overall Owen Pallett’s Final Fantasy made me believe composers are truly not gone forever. Of course, there are composers who create music that attempts to stack up to music centuries ago, but few make it so contemporary and accessible. Pallett provides a nice change of pace in a sophisticatedly advanced music industry.