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13 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He plays violin
No, this is not THAT Final Fantasy. This is Owen Pallett, who has backed up the Hidden Cameras and Arcade Fire, and whose classical training comes in handy for some of the weirdest pop out there. "He Poos Clouds" is a bizarre mixup of atheism, death, experimental violin and... Dungeons and Dragons.

It opens with a sharp classical violin solo, which makes you...
Published on October 18, 2006 by E. A Solinas

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9 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Stylized, Yet Sloppy, Distant and Uneasy
Owen Pallett's resumé is enough to make any spendthrift upper-middle class indie nut's mouth water, his schtick even more so if possible. The second album for the touring member of the Arcade Fire and Hidden Cameras is in fact ten tracks arranged for a classically trained chamber music ensemble. If you're waiting for a charmed chortle at the irony of this album's...
Published on March 6, 2007 by Collin Anderson


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He plays violin, October 18, 2006
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
No, this is not THAT Final Fantasy. This is Owen Pallett, who has backed up the Hidden Cameras and Arcade Fire, and whose classical training comes in handy for some of the weirdest pop out there. "He Poos Clouds" is a bizarre mixup of atheism, death, experimental violin and... Dungeons and Dragons.

It opens with a sharp classical violin solo, which makes you sit up straight. "She drives a little white car to the seminar on Modern Romance/Possible possible ideas for a date include... a shooting range/And her chest is full to bursting with thoughts of an evening..." murmurs Pallett, telling a story of two people who long for love, but have hearts "that will never melt."

He trips through a tense, heart-pouncing ode to fantasy ("Gotta rescue Michael from the White Witch!/Gotta find and kill my shadow self!") and into all varieties of oddball violin'n'piano pop: eerie sea ballads, trippy one-minute songs, swirling experimental pop, and everything that lies in between those styles.

The peak of the album is "This Lamb Sells Condos," an exquisite piano-led ballad with obscure D&D references melting into the real life. Halfway through the song, the strings quietly smother the piano in a quavery blanket, and a chorus of angelic voices sing hopeless lyrics. It's absolutely stunning.

Classical and experimental existentialist geek rock -- what exactly can you call this style? Well, whatever it is, it sounds quite different from the rawer, more down-to-earth sound of Final Fantasy's first album, with a more ethereal sound and more cultivated lyrics.

The core of this album is Pallett's violin skills, which have a prominent place in every song. The violin sings, shivers, slashes and just dances through the songs; at times it sounds like a soundtrack, moving along in peculiar jumps and leaps. The ethereal edge is enhanced by some well-placed horns and timpani, and that angelic choir.

The music is only enhanced more by his slightly rambling, literate lyrics, sung in a smooth, meditative voice, with the occasional anguished wail when the song demands it. Not only does he write like a modern Wallace Stevens, but Pallett peppers his music with references to Yukio Mishima, designer clothes, Anne McCaffrey, Flann O'Brien, and (of course) D&D. ("And then as an apprentice, he took a Drowish mistress/Who bestowed upon his youthfulness a sense of Champagne Chic...")

Sounding like a depressed fanboy, with a violin in hand, Final Fantasy's second album is an exquisite, downbeat pleasure of good music. Absolutely fascinating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my best finds of 2006, January 1, 2007
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This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
It's difficult to describe exactly what this album is, and that's far more of a complement than a detraction. The closest I could come is 'classically-influenced experimental pop,' but that doesn't quite do it justice. The classical influence is very 20th century, but think more Shostakovitch instead of Schoenberg - there is a central tonality that is dominant event around the more dissonant bits. The orchestration is primarily strings, piano and tympani. The result is this exquisite blend of interesting musical experimentation and pop sensibilities.

Because it is somewhat experimental, it is likely not for everyone. However, if you are looking for something a little challenging and out of the ordinary, I can't recommend a better album from this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and interesting, February 23, 2009
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
This album is definitely unusual, and very hard to define. I love it, but I'd be hard pressed to tell anyone what it's like. It's possible that those of us that like role-playing games, fantasy novels, clever lyrics and classical music are sure to like it. Those of us that like only some of those things will probably like it. Those of ust that like none of those things still might well like it. "This Lamb Sells Condos" is a fantastic song, with both the music and the lyrics totally fitting to the fear and ridicule of the topic. Incidentally, Owen Pallett is even better live. Some of the other reviewers have done a much better job than I can of describing it, I just wanted to put in my two cents worth. Give it a try, it's great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks For This Refreshing Album!, January 22, 2009
By 
Dan Wallace (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
This album has been in rotation for me since it came out in 2006. It's often categorized as "Baroque" or "Chamber" Pop, but I think that's inaccurate. This is its own thing. Owen Pallett isn't just adding some strings to a pop song. No, these are well thought-out compositions that pass as pop songs, many of them quite catchy, all of them sophisticated and engaging. This music is dynamic, melodic, often rhythmically syncopated, and very well put together and played.

Finally, I have to point out that Owen Pallett does the absolute best job I've seen of doing the live one-man-band thing using his voice, a violin and some pedals (including loop pedals, which I usually find ultra boring). He also pitches the violin down to produce more cello-like parts. I've also seen him throw in some piano, especially on the sublimely brilliant "This Lamb Sells Condos" (which also has a really cool video).
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4.0 out of 5 stars He Poos Clouds, September 18, 2009
By 
Bjorn Viberg (European Union) - See all my reviews
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
He Poos Clouds was yet another album that I picked up at my local library by mere chance. I had never heard of this group and was intrigued by the weird title. Apparently He Poos Clouds is the 2nd studio album for a Welsh Indie Rock band and when it was initially released Pitchfork Media and Allmusic wrote very positive reviews. I can only agree with this assessment. The sound is quite different and to me it sounds like a mix between avant-garde and experimental music and a bit psychadelic rock. The booklet contains all the lyrics but the selection of font make it hard to read. We also get a very informative list of whom plays what on album. 4/5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Album, November 24, 2012
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This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
Not something you can listen to every day but absolutely worth a listen none the less. Unusual musical arrangements but stunning production.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!, August 7, 2006
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
Although I liked "Has A Good Home" better as an entire album, any of the songs on "He Poos Clouds" (especially "This Lamb Sells Condos") could rank among the best of 2006.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly Entertaining, December 8, 2007
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This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
I got the album to listen to with my girlfriend who is a classical violinist. She tolerates it well and I really like it. The songs a very melodic and the album has a lot of variety within it's scope. -- good stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, August 8, 2008
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This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
I like Has a Good Home more personally, but this album has some amazing tracks, the first 3 are really amazing.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he poos MAGNIFICENT clouds, July 1, 2006
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
I was able to see him headline an act in smalltown North Manchester on June 30th. This guy is awesome live. He even sang a canadian folk song for us that he'd never tried before. And afterward, invited everyone to follow him to a vacant lot to shoot fireworks in celebration of Canada Day(candian independence day, I assume). It was definitely worth the long drive to hear him.
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He Poos Clouds [Vinyl]
He Poos Clouds [Vinyl] by Final Fantasy (Vinyl - 2006)
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