Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
'America is a good place for stories,' Laurie Anderson told London's The Guardian right before she brought 'Homeland,' her self described 'concert poem,' to English stages. 'Homeland' contains some of Anderson's most incisive work, -- darkly humorous, starkly emotional, and, at times, movingly tender. Her stories are once again about these United States of America, the sprawling subject that first brought her acclaim more than 25 years ago with her eight-hour Reagan era phantasmagoria, 'United States, Parts I - IV.'
'Homeland' is a distilled, up-to-the-minute portrait of our agitated nation, its politics, its economics, its delusions and its dreams. Her tone is less outraged than elegiac, mourning for lives lost, ideals misplaced. The music is dramatically stripped down to a handful of players, centered around Anderson's haunting violin and voice, frequent Bill Frisell band-mate Eyvind Kang's viola and Peter Scherer's keyboards. The arrangements are embellished with such touches as the siren-like vocals of Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), thumping keyboards from Keiran Hebden (of Four Tet), and, on the brilliant, wickedly funny 'Only An Expert,' a gnarly guitar turn from Anderson's husband and co-producer Lou Reed.
'Homeland,' long awaited in recorded form, has evolved over more than two years of touring as Anderson developed the songs in front of concertgoers around the world, from downtown clubs in Manhattan to an amphitheatre in Athens, Greece. In Artforum, Anderson summarized the songs as 'one-third politics, one-third pure music, and one-third strange dreams.' The work was shaped more by humanity than by technology; Anderson built an intimate rapport with her audience during a show that featured a shifting set-list of new material and relied on words and music far more than visual and theatrical effects. That intimacy is just as palpable in the songs that evolved to make up her new album.. The Guardian said ''Homeland' represents some of the most purely beautiful music she has ever made.' In the States, Daily Variety declared, 'The music that accompanies the vignettes and songs is some of the loveliest that Anderson has ever written ...Like the narratives it accompanies, the sound's grave but not without wit; measured and dispassionate, but not without heart.'
On the road, 'Homeland' drew acclaim and attracted controversy for its political content. But Anderson is not merely criticizing or complaining; on tracks like the stunning 11-minute album centerpiece, 'Another Day In America,' Anderson is really singing for our survival, retelling the stories of our present state in the most forthright material of her career. It can be harrowing but it can be hopeful, and it is as riveting as anything Anderson has produced since the groundbreaking 'Big Science' in 1982. As Variety concluded, ''Homeland' reinforces Anderson's place as the best interpreter of our troubled times.'
Packaging Specs: 4 color 36-page hardbound book, CD and DVD. DVD contains 'Laurie's Violin' (7:22): Laurie plays and talks about the violin, and 'Homeland: The Story Of The Lark' (41:27), an art documentary broken up into 16 chapters.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I know this review has not described the music (though I find that a very difficult feat). For fans of Laurie's, this one os more quiet, reflective, but clearly an evolution of her earlier work. A profound and deeply moving piece of art.
for those who do not know her earlier work, I suggest that you listen to some samples. that is the best way to get acquainted. It is nice that the option exists now as it is a much better one than relying on anyone's descriptions.
I came back after watching the dvd, listening to the cd, and was so moved by it I am thinking of buying copies for several friends. i would really have to reach to think of a work which I have found so moving. I am glad to see that she is finally getting the recognition which she deserves, and that organizations like NPR are introducing her to a wider audience. if you have gotten this far, I suspect that you either already know her work... or have recently caught a glimpse of it. Delve furthur. it is worth the exploration.
Anderson's music evolves to take in what is happening in the world today. She "finished" this one due to time constraints and I wonder what she would have done if she had more time. She follows her heart and what she creates is not just music but art. It is often stream of consciousness and others like Lou Reed sometimes participate in her creations.
Now to the CD (bet you thought I'd never get to that, right?) She covers all the flaws and beauties of what has been happening in the world today but this is not a grim work. In order to get the full benefit, listen to some samples or even download a song before purchasing it. The multi-layered mixture of Anderson's voice and the music really does complete the experience.
Subject matter covers everything from New York to my personal favorite, Another Day in America. It is long (11 minutes and 24 seconds) but is a breathtaking look at the state of the world. It deserves time to sit back and let it roll over you. I wouldn't recommend listening to this particular track in your car, especially if you are moved to tears. It is well worth those 11 minutes plus to savor it and think about where are - right now - in America. I am interested in listening to it again a year from now and a year from that year to see how her vision hold up and how things change - or stagnate - from there.
Take a chance on this one. I'm betting it will at the top of your favorites list for the year.
She manages it without screaming at people, which is good. I never liked screamy music. But she's asking questions that desperately need to be asked, and demanding answers that we desperately need to find our own voice to demand.