Owen Pallett, or the man behind Final Fantasy is whetting fans appetites with two EPs before his third album is released in the spring. The first of these EPs, Spectrum, 14th Century is a departure from Pallett’s usual violin-rich, looped tunes as he travels deep into his dark musings accompanied by Beirut‘s horns.
The violin isn’t as prevalent on this album as his previous efforts, but it is still apparent on songs like “The Ballad of No-Face.” Instead, this album uses horns, piano and timpani. But these heavier sounds are more fitting for the heavy lyrics. However, with his Sufjan-like voice. Pallett does tread a fine line for balancing the heavy instruments with his airy voice.
Pallett lyrics deal with the struggles that arise from his fears and temptations. While these are common themes for most album lyrics, the view Pallett takes is unique. While most would write of a desire for more success and the worry of picking up a pretty girl, Pallett finds a beauty in faults and failures.
In “Blue Imelda” he asks, “Woman, can I take you as a friend?” as he ponders if it is really possible for a man and woman to just be friends when hormones rage about as loud as the timpani in the song. “Oh, Spectrum” asks, “Is anything more beautiful than failure?” Although “The Butcher” instrumentally is a little over the top in its oompah pah sound, lyrically it is the strongest on the album as Pallett fills it with apocalyptic religious allusions. The loops at the end and the touch of violin also brings this song back to the Final Fantasy familiar to fans.
Final Fantasy’s Spectrum, 14th Century is released by Blocks Recording Club on Sept. 30.
01. Oh, Spectrum
02. Blue Imelda
03. The Butcher
05. The Ballad of No-Face
written by: Bethany