Yes, the man's no longer Final Fantasy, but there's a strangely appropriate side to Owen Pallett's decision to go without pseudonym. His new album Heartland is a fuller and more complete artistic experience than ever before, hugely enriched by the presence of an orchestra under his control but with his perverse sense of humour left intact. It's a marvelous collection of songs as well as a coherent listen in its own right, and will likely leave a similar impact on the rest of 2010 as Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion did on 2009.
I reviewed the record in full for Middle Boop:
"Happily, what hasn’t been lost is the deliciously voyeuristic slant to his lyrics. A sense of detachment from the subject, which on He Poos Clouds took the form of a computer game in which he controlled his object of desire, is more alive than ever in Owen’s self-imposed status as a deity. As ever, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that hidden beneath the surreal sheen of his wordplay lurks a cheeky album length innuendo. As if track titles like ‘Lewis Takes His Shirt Off’ weren’t enough, he throws the gauntlet down pretty clearly on ‘The Great Elsewhere’ when he invites the protagonist to “Wrestle, let’s wrestle / You can pin me to anything”. This God doesn’t just love, although he clearly does – he lusts. And better, he’s in control. Hardly the purest of role models then, but one with an impressive command of implied sexuality."