Thursday, 27 November 2014

#8: Owen Pallett - In Conflict

In album opener 'I Am Not Afraid', Owen Pallett deliberately uses the pronoun 'ze' to avoid gendering the protagonist. While his last album, 2010's sumptuous Heartland, had dealt mainly with 'author/subject binary', Pallett stated that he 'wanted to immediately establish that these definitions within In Conflict are more fluid.' The idea prevails throughout the record, and while it is lyrically less attached to the idea of authorship, In Conflict simultaneously strikes a more personal tone than the previous record, or any of his work under the Final Fantasy moniker. The stunning 'Infernal Fantasy', a Brian Eno collaboration based on a young LSD trip that ended in near-anarchy, talks about 'hallucinating as we try to make each other come', while 'Soldiers Rock' attempts to marry the personal to the political. While there are a few more duds here than Heartland carried, Pallett remains one of the few musicians working today to whom the word 'genius' could reasonably be attributed.

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