Laurie Anderson: Homeland (Nonesuch)

 |   |  <1 min read

Laurie Anderson: Strange Perfumes
Laurie Anderson: Homeland (Nonesuch)

From the accompanying DVD, you sense this should have been a double CD for us to fully appreciate the long arc and nuances of this, Anderson's first album in a decade.

Anderson's work is allusive rather than literal or descriptive, but in these often disturbing, melancholy and dislocated meditations on the state of her country, some thread is missing between her feeling “homeland” has fascistic as well as mom'n'apple pie qualities (as she says in the DVD film The Story of the Lark about how the album developed).

As always Anderson's voice – cool, disembodied and, in the case of her alter-ego Fenway Bergamot, masculine – is engrossing. The musical settings of strings, exotic vocals from Tuvan singer Aidysmaa Koshkendey and electrobeats of haunting minimalism are equally so.

Anderson imbues small things like snowfall and sleep with great import – which means the big issues of foreign policy, words (“In America we like solutions,” she says before listing hair solutions alongside debt and world solutions) and characters in social or spiritual motion can go simply suggested.

The idea of memory is prevalent, and this works best when it engages with more simple, human concerns (the hypnotic Falling) than when it aims for the Big Picture (the disco-churn of Only An Expert) or on Bergamot's discourse Another Day in America.

So, an epic reduced to sketches, a concept rendered manageable – to its cost.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

To be honest, despite very much liking most of Merritt's '02 album Bramble Rose -- and concluding the review, "a name to remember, Tift" -- I lost touch with her augmented alt.country... > Read more

Whirimako Black: Soul Sessions (Mai)

Whirimako Black: Soul Sessions (Mai)

Black's two previous te reo album - Tangihanu (2004) and Te Kura Huna (2005) - were compellingly beautiful and weaved between soul balladry and slightly esoteric jazz, but never lost sight of the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found (World Circuit)

Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found (World Circuit)

If, almost 20 years ago, someone told you one the biggest music phenomena of the era would be a bunch of mostly old people from Cuba singing in Spanish, it's doubtful you'd have believed them.... > Read more

Innsbruck: The imagined mountains

Innsbruck: The imagined mountains

For about four years, from when I was maybe 10, I carried a photograph of Innsbruck in my wallet. Of course at that age I had very little else to put in a wallet and I can't remember what else... > Read more