6.03.2010

Oh Raquel

Not to be kind of terrible, but last weekend I somehow got it into my head that it would be a wonderful idea to switch computers. So I disconnected everything and ended up lugging three computers all over the house. And then there were the million little technical hiccups (getting the wireless set up alone was an absolute horror). I'm still getting used to this new computer, but suffice it to say I am both parts pleased and frustrated with the outcome. And, as I still have to look through 23,000+ files under the folder titled "Music" (because seriously, that folder needs a little bit of organizing), I hesitate to even think about what that means for my 365 project.


But, if I go one more day without writing anything whatsoever, I will probably go insane. So, I have gratuitously replaced a hard to find album with something that I have been listening to lately. Call it cheating if you will, I call it an attempt to get back on the horse.


Has A Good Home by Final Fantasy

This may seem like an odd choice to anyone but me. Granted, Has A Good Home is pleasant and has its "moments", but of Pallett's three albums, this is undeniably his weakest. But I can't help my choice when this is the only good thing to happen to me musically since dancing to The Contours "Do You Love Me" over a week ago. In fact, many of the albums I enjoyed just a month ago I suddenly can't stand at all, so there really was no choice whatsoever.

Frustratingly enough, this album has generally been reduced simply to its quirks. The music in most reviews has been largely ignored or brushed aside, instead replaced with details about Owen Pallett and the making of the album. Because we all know that the defining characteristics of Has a Good Home has absolutely no basis on the music itself, which we will inattentively dismiss as "good, but not groundbreaking", but in the name-dropping of past projects Pallett was involved with.

If in an interview, Pallett describes himself as a misanthrope, or pointedly states "Musicians are humans", it's absolutely no wonder. Of course, background information may give some illumination towards understanding an album, but it shouldn't overshadow or define the album itself. Getting hung up on the concept of an album rather than hearing the music itself is just plain shameful.

As for the album itself, there are sixteen tracks and lasts about 45 minutes. The album opens with "None of You Will Ever See A Penny", depicting a man on his deathbed regretting his "ill-begotten wealth", singing to his heir, "I wish, I wish for you a lifetime of labor / Hard days make peaceful nights". The most famous track on the album is, of course, "(This Is) The Dream of Win and Regine", though it is not the only highlight of the album. As a whole, the album makes genial pop songs about love, among other things. 

Personally, I can't help but enjoy Has A Good Home. It's relaxing, and there are few things more pleasant than listening to this album really loud while walking around campus. I'd much rather listen to Pallett sing "Hey yo yo yo yo yo / I need an empire to overthrow / You make me wish for a more dangerous life / So I can show you 'bout self sacrifice" than hear anything anyone else is saying around me into their iPhones.

Though to anyone else, this album is somewhat lackluster and ordinary, in the words of Owen Pallett himself: "I don’t want people listening that are going to be that unwilling to engage in the music. In the same way, I feel like listeners, because there’s so much music out there, have stopped considering that the people who make music are living, working human beings, and as a result people ascribe a hierarchy to their music collections, and if somebody makes an album that’s worse or doesn’t sound the way somebody else’s sounds, they call it a mistake. That’s wrong, you know. Every artist listens to an album hundreds of times before they release it. I hope that people start realizing that musicians are actually groups of people who are making incredibly well-thought-out decisions."

4 comments:

amda said...

This is so badly written, I realize. Despite the fake time stamp, this was actually published just shortly before I posted this comment.

All I have to say is, first, I had to write this otherwise I wouldn't have been able to fall asleep tonight (I realized this at about 1:43); second, if I made a bunch of shitty mistakes, at least I posted it at all. I've actually been sitting on this damn post for about five days.

Nathan said...

quoted Owen this appeases me.

Clemente said...

I thought it was fine.

I did like that quote as well.

amda said...

thanks everybody. It helps to get some feedback.

I am 70% sure I will write something tomorrow.