by carl wilson

Be Realistic: Demand Fantasy


Final Fantasy Watch: The promised review is in today's paper. The published version was cut down quite a bit. Here is the original. Annotations to come.

Has a Good Home
Final Fantasy
Blocks Recording Club

ast004.gifast004.gifast004.gif (ie., 3 out of 4)

Every year now, a film seems to come along that was financed on credit cards and restaurant tips but holds its own beside the blockbusters (in 2004 it was Primer). This debut is a rare musical equivalent. Recorded in six days at engineer Leon Taheny's home, it's as saturated with colour as many big studio productions. The original scenario for Final Fantasy found Owen Pallett (known for his string work with Toronto's the Hidden Cameras and Jim Guthrie, and his own band Les Mouches) alone on stage with fiddle in hand and FX pedals at his feet, looping and layering short violin lines atop one another into high honeyed towers from whose windows he would sing. The image went wide-screen last month when Pallett joined his friends in Montreal "it" band the Arcade Fire (the subject of the second song here, This is the Dream of Win & Regine) on a smash U.S. tour. On the recording, Taheny and a small musical crew help add depth and shadow, as the arrangements ping-pong along tangents and vectors that befit an act named for a video game, like Bartok reborn with a yen for synthesizer pop. But there is nothing second-hand about these 16 songs, sung in soft mumbles and occasional shouts, coming across like dialogue from a mislaid narrative about family and friendship, cities and money, attachment and betrayal: "My mother never takes a break/ from pining after furniture ... and I share her love of wine and cake/ and taking advantage of amateurs." Scenes drop in and out of focus, one shot in a Montreal cannery, the next in a plane bound for the Philippines, but they are all lit with the same gentle glow. Never tentative, always exploratory - although perhaps too interior for some fans of Pallett's more extroverted collaborators - the curtain is just rising on Final Fantasy, and I can't wait for the sequel.

On Record | Posted by zoilus on Friday, February 18 at 4:02 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)



"bartok reborn"...good call. my grandmother was a violinist, and as a teenager, before facism took hold over europe, she studied at one of the institutes where bartok and kodaly taught and administered. she recently passed away, but if she were alive to hear this record she'd be inclined to agree withy your assessment.

Posted by steve birek on February 20, 2005 11:46 AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson