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Laurie Anderson

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Laurie Anderson Homeland album cover
3.41 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Transitory Life (6:52)
2. My Right Eye (5:01)
3. Thinking of You (4:12)
4. Strange Perfumes (4:46)
5. Only an Expert (7:26)
6. Falling (3:19)
7. Another Day in America (11:24)
8. Bodies in Motion (7:10)
9. Dark Time in the Revolution (5:19)
10. The Lake (5:39)
11. The Beginning of Memory (2:45)
12. Flow (2:15)

Total time: 66:00

Bonus DVD from 2010 edition:
DVD-1 Homeland: The Story Of The Lark (41:00)
DVD-2 Laurie's Violin (7:00)

Line-up / Musicians

- Laurie Anderson / vocals, keyboards, percussion, violin (3,7,12), Fx (9), co-producer

- Aidysmaa Koshkendey / vocals (1,11)
- Anthony Hegarty / vocals (4,7)
- Lou Reed / guitar (5), percussion (2,5), co-producer
- Skúli Sverrisson / guitar (8,9), bass (7)
- Rob Burger / keyboards (2-5,8,9), Orchestron (2,3,8), accordion (3,4,9,10), Marxophone (4)
- Kieran Hebden / keyboards (5)
- "Lolabelle" (L.A.'s dog) / piano (8)
- John Zorn / saxophone (8,11)
- Eyvind Kang / viola (1-5,7,9,10)
- Mongoun-ool Ondar / igil (1)
- Igor Koshkendey / igil (1)
- Omar Hakin / drums (5)
- Ben Wittman / drums & percussion (7)
- Joey Baron / drums (9)
- Peter Scherer / percussion (1,2,4,5,10,11)
- Shahzad Ismaily / percussion (4)
- Mario McNulty / percussion (11)

Releases information

Artwork: John Gall with Andrew Zuckerman (photo)

CD+DVD Nonesuch - 524055-2 (2010, US) Bonus DVD with 2 documentaries directed by Braden King

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LAURIE ANDERSON Homeland ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

LAURIE ANDERSON Homeland reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm the lousiest Laurie Anderson fan ever. Not only was I unaware that she'd release Homeland with few weeks ahead, but I also thought it marked the end of an almost ten-year hiatus. I can't explain why Life On a String seemed a farewell bouquet in 2001 either. Homeland as a new record is a deceiving subject. Laurie Anderson remained as active as ever, through collaborations, projects, shows and many other openings. Her albums are merely meant for the indexes. Her performing incorporates her work and values, and that's a constant.

Many classic traits are brought up, with no denying that it's another work that has the author signature and explores the familiar: art pop's sparkling concepts, harmonised touches of ambient and electronic, plus, above all, the everlasting synthesis between music, poetry, narration, technique and effects. At the same time, through its striking connotations and profound enough gestures, Homeland opts for more.

It's fair to anticipate comments regarding the album's vast critical concept (already described as an artistic "state-of-the-union" or the voice of "America's consciousness"), with social, political inserts, with references towards the system, the society and the crises they both share, with ironies, portrais and deplorings. Fortunately, the activism doesn't overwhelm what's so meaningfully musical: the outlook is rather sensible than showy, the freshness in ideas remains Anderson's merit, while the elegy, irony or pessimism are the reflections of a bright expressivity.

The bond between music and lyrics appears more woven than ever, but allows some variations. Transitory Life seems a good example in which the moment we're all waiting for is for the cold cabaret light to be cast on Anderson's profile, alone on stage, in the darkness of the frame, starting to sing - while the instrumental arrangement reaches peculiarly for world music, but can't be called shallow. You also discover how spellbinding and stylish her singing remains to this day. The "stand-up" momentums throughout the album are paused by several guest stars. Antony Hegarty's cameo is remarkable and John Zorn steps in with his succint, troubling "downtown jazz" sax squirts.

You could really turn back the time two decades in search for a more eloquent work of hers than this one. The second half of the material is, however, more interesting than the first. Beats go off on Only an Expert, but it's a too risky, ostentatious leitmotif, while the message is delivered without any subtlety, its grip being weaker than usual. More fruitful couplets ensue afterwards. Falling (likely an ethereal reply to the more abstract Walking and Falling from 1983) is the type of miniature in which stasis and vocal effects count the most. Another Day in America fully crowns the album, tributing as well the great narrations from United States Live, scaling aphorisms, stories and scenes on a gradually tense musical background. There is one more tiny gem to be mentioned, The Beginning of Memory, impeccable in its short form.

With Homeland, Laurie Anderson steps into the fifth decade of her career, one so honourable for any great living artist.

Review by Matti
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.

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