Home XIV

You might be surprised to hear that XIV really is Home's 14th album, but since this DIY art rock outfit began making music in Florida in 1992, their creativity and passion for music has continued unrestrained even after their migration to Queens, NY in 1996. XIV is unquestionably their most fully realised effort to date and it's their first record for the Arena Rock label. Home has always quested for the grand gesture, making music of epic proportions, often on a pauper's budget, but for the first time, it seems their ambition as sonic explorers has been matched by their recording environment. XIV finds them working with Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev) in his famous Tarbox studios with engineering expertise provided by Michael Ivins of the Flaming Lips. Suddenly, the band's creativity and vision has room to blossom as their songs are given the ability to jump out of its own skin with a bright, sharp realisation and plenty of bombastic instrumentation. As recent albums have attested, Home continue to channel psychedelic folk, art pop and classic American rock through their exquisite sense of melody of and composition. Comparisons to the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev are not unfounded, but Home's unique sonic path can just as easily conjure visions of XTC and early Genesis. When we get the album's latter half, the track sequencing builds with swells of pomp and power that is simply dizzying. Home take lots of chances and while not every song is pure gold, when the stars align, all the risk taking pays off with one of most artistically adventurous rock albums you're likely to hear. (Arena Rock)