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Laurie Anderson - Homeland CD (album) cover

HOMELAND

Laurie Anderson

 

Crossover Prog

3.41 | 20 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars My relationship with LAURIE ANDERSON's music relies on four albums that I'm pretty fond of: Strange Angels (1989), Bright Red (1994), the story-telling live album The Ugly One With Jewels (1995) and Life on a String (2001). Homeland is my first and only new acquaintance for a long time. Maybe my appetite for her was already fully satisfied by the mentioned albums, but anyway it didn't manage to make as notable an impression on me. Lyrically it could be Laurie at her most meaningful with all the critical views on the United States etc., but in my reception the two pieces with the strongest emphasis on words were also my least faves, even though on albums such as The Ugly One the story level is the very essence.

On this album the way lyrics are delivered is not as grabbing,; instead of that spellbinding spoken word approach she rather sings on high register on several tracks. But first about my two unfavoured tracks that stick too much of the 66-minute album whole which often has a dream-like, quiet, introspective and musically minimalistic aura. Trip-hop(?) flavoured 'Only an Expert' has awful lots of words and an ear-worm chorus, and on the 11-minute monologue-centred 'Another Day in America' Laurie uses a voice-changing device. The idea is to sound like a man (on het liner notes she speaks of the fictitious character called Fenway Bergamot, "the debonair misfit on the cover") but it only reminds me of the crime/misfortune documentaries where the voices are made unidentifiable. Such a drag to listen to this long track.

The unique and personal Laurie Anderson touch is there, ie. one couldn't think of anyone else behind this bravely uncommercial album. The mentioned dreamy atmosphere is at times impressive -- although a bit monotonous on the long run --, but the definitive highlights are few. 'Bodies in Motion' reminds me nicely of Life on a String, and 'The Beginning of Memory' is a lovely fable-like story. 'Flow' is a beautiful closing piece for solo violin.

The supplementary DVD was a disappointemt for me, having seen a fascinating film written and directed by Laurie herself. Naah, the 41-minute 'Homeland: The Story of the Lark' is mainly just talking heads and live snippets focusing on the album making, and missing subtitles too, I didn't get very much of it.

Matti | 3/5 |

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