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Pitchfork Gives 8.3 to Laurie Anderson's "Homeland," "An Exquisite State-of-the-Union Dispatch As Only Anderson Can Provide"

  • Monday, June 21, 2010
    Pitchfork Gives 8.3 to Laurie Anderson's "Homeland," "An Exquisite State-of-the-Union Dispatch As Only Anderson Can Provide"

    Laurie Anderson's latest album, Homeland, is out tomorrow. Her first studio album in nearly a decade, it proves well worth the wait, according to a new Pitchfork review, which rates the album a glowing 8.3. Pitchfork reviewer Brian Howe suggests that "fans will welcome [Homeland] as an heir to her definitive performance piece, United States. It's also a perfect starting point; an exquisite state-of-the-union dispatch as only Anderson, America's darkly comic conscience, can provide."

    The review goes on to describe the album's eclectic musical styles, also noting the inclusion of "top-notch guests like [John] Zorn, Antony, and Kieran Hebden," along with "Anderson's probing keyboards and violins. The music is spacious, mercurial, and thoroughly conceived ... Homeland teems with the same variety and spirit as the U.S. itself."

    Looking at the lyrics and the subject matter Anderson tackles, examining as it does some of the more challenging aspects of contemporary American culture, Howe says it all feels "timely, even oracular, a quality for which Anderson is known."

    Read the complete review at pitchfork.com.

    ---

    The Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun give the album a perfect four stars in a review by Margaret Wappler, saying it "has a profoundly nomadic feel—from the opening song 'Transitory Life' to the natively wandering Tuvan throat singers who appear on certain tracks to Anderson's own roaming proclivities between music, art, political activism, all tying into a world of breathless ideas." Homeland, Wappler concludes, "is a poetic capturing of the still moments of a restless mind." Read the review at latimes.com or baltimoresun.com.

    ---

    In the UK, where Homeland is out today, MusicOMH gives the album a perfect five stars. "Laurie Anderson has always been equally at home with pop music and experimentalism, and Homeland offers us the most satisfying synthesis of those two worlds since 1981's Big Science," says reviewer Darren Harvey. "Homeland sounds beautiful, without ever resorting to cheap tricks, sonic or verbal."

    The album remains "true to the popular/classical crossover spirit of Anderson's best work," says Harvey. "But where it really achieves is in its completeness. Anderson's music can sometimes feel unfinished without a stage show to accompany it, but Homeland is a standalone work of art. And what a work of art it is."

    Read the complete review at musicomh.com.

    ---

    The Independent gives it four stars, describing the album as "a series of ruminations and observations upon her native land, in which unashamed intellectualism ... is balanced by her dry wit and ironic delivery." Says reviewer Andy Gill: "The first four tracks ooze by in a haze of wistful, elegiac bliss, before 'Only an Expert' brings a more tart, sardonic edge to Anderson's critique, emboldened by Lou Reed's strangulated guitar and Kieran '4 Tet' Hebden's electro-bricolage groove." Read more at independent.co.uk.

    BBC Music says the album track "Only an Expert," which was recently featured in an Indaba Music remix contest, "succeeds as a brilliantly vicious satire of the hollowing out of the American Dream, managing to find a through thread between the Iraq War, the bail out of the US banks and the empty wisdom of Oprah Winfrey." BBC reviewer Andrzej Lukowski says "the album really does come into its own when Anderson allows herself to hit a more sombre note," yet also cites the "witticisms aplenty" on it. You'll find the review at bbc.co.uk.

    ---

    The Courier-Mail, out of Australia, where Anderson and Reed recently curated the Vivid LIVE festival in Sydney, says she has "an impish sense of humour and an acute sense of the absurdities of modern life as revealed on her new album." Says the Courier-Mail's Noel Mengel: "The result is some of the most striking music of Anderson's career, sometimes haunting and elegiac, sometimes moody, sometimes tender." Read the review at couriermail.com.au.

    ---

    You can see what Anderson and Reed have to say about the making of the record in an excerpt from "Homeland: The Story of the Lark," the 40-minute documentary included with the album, at nonesuch.com/media. To order Homeland, and the "Only an Expert" vinyl 12" single, head to the Nonesuch Store.

on June 21, 2010 - 12:35pm
Excerpt: 

Laurie Anderson's latest album, Homeland, is out tomorrow. Pitchfork rates the album 8.3, calling it "an exquisite state-of-the-union dispatch as only Anderson, America's darkly comic conscience, can provide ... The music is spacious, mercurial, and thoroughly conceived." The Baltimore Sun , LA Times, and the Independent (UK) give it four stars. Australia's Courier-Mail calls it "some of the most striking music of Anderson's career." MusicOMH gives the album a perfect five stars, exclaiming, "what a work of art it is."

Copy: 

Laurie Anderson's latest album, Homeland, is out tomorrow. Her first studio album in nearly a decade, it proves well worth the wait, according to a new Pitchfork review, which rates the album a glowing 8.3. Pitchfork reviewer Brian Howe suggests that "fans will welcome [Homeland] as an heir to her definitive performance piece, United States. It's also a perfect starting point; an exquisite state-of-the-union dispatch as only Anderson, America's darkly comic conscience, can provide."

The review goes on to describe the album's eclectic musical styles, also noting the inclusion of "top-notch guests like [John] Zorn, Antony, and Kieran Hebden," along with "Anderson's probing keyboards and violins. The music is spacious, mercurial, and thoroughly conceived ... Homeland teems with the same variety and spirit as the U.S. itself."

Looking at the lyrics and the subject matter Anderson tackles, examining as it does some of the more challenging aspects of contemporary American culture, Howe says it all feels "timely, even oracular, a quality for which Anderson is known."

Read the complete review at pitchfork.com.

---

The Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun give the album a perfect four stars in a review by Margaret Wappler, saying it "has a profoundly nomadic feel—from the opening song 'Transitory Life' to the natively wandering Tuvan throat singers who appear on certain tracks to Anderson's own roaming proclivities between music, art, political activism, all tying into a world of breathless ideas." Homeland, Wappler concludes, "is a poetic capturing of the still moments of a restless mind." Read the review at latimes.com or baltimoresun.com.

---

In the UK, where Homeland is out today, MusicOMH gives the album a perfect five stars. "Laurie Anderson has always been equally at home with pop music and experimentalism, and Homeland offers us the most satisfying synthesis of those two worlds since 1981's Big Science," says reviewer Darren Harvey. "Homeland sounds beautiful, without ever resorting to cheap tricks, sonic or verbal."

The album remains "true to the popular/classical crossover spirit of Anderson's best work," says Harvey. "But where it really achieves is in its completeness. Anderson's music can sometimes feel unfinished without a stage show to accompany it, but Homeland is a standalone work of art. And what a work of art it is."

Read the complete review at musicomh.com.

---

The Independent gives it four stars, describing the album as "a series of ruminations and observations upon her native land, in which unashamed intellectualism ... is balanced by her dry wit and ironic delivery." Says reviewer Andy Gill: "The first four tracks ooze by in a haze of wistful, elegiac bliss, before 'Only an Expert' brings a more tart, sardonic edge to Anderson's critique, emboldened by Lou Reed's strangulated guitar and Kieran '4 Tet' Hebden's electro-bricolage groove." Read more at independent.co.uk.

BBC Music says the album track "Only an Expert," which was recently featured in an Indaba Music remix contest, "succeeds as a brilliantly vicious satire of the hollowing out of the American Dream, managing to find a through thread between the Iraq War, the bail out of the US banks and the empty wisdom of Oprah Winfrey." BBC reviewer Andrzej Lukowski says "the album really does come into its own when Anderson allows herself to hit a more sombre note," yet also cites the "witticisms aplenty" on it. You'll find the review at bbc.co.uk.

---

The Courier-Mail, out of Australia, where Anderson and Reed recently curated the Vivid LIVE festival in Sydney, says she has "an impish sense of humour and an acute sense of the absurdities of modern life as revealed on her new album." Says the Courier-Mail's Noel Mengel: "The result is some of the most striking music of Anderson's career, sometimes haunting and elegiac, sometimes moody, sometimes tender." Read the review at couriermail.com.au.

---

You can see what Anderson and Reed have to say about the making of the record in an excerpt from "Homeland: The Story of the Lark," the 40-minute documentary included with the album, at nonesuch.com/media. To order Homeland, and the "Only an Expert" vinyl 12" single, head to the Nonesuch Store.

Publish date: 
Monday, June 21, 2010 - 12:00
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
Laurie Anderson: "Homeland" [cover]

Comments

i NEED "another day in america" on vinyl please.

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