Fan Modine’s Homeland is yet another entry in the lexicon of indie-pop auteurs; unfortunately it’s only going to exist as a footnote to the more accomplished of this year’s releases. Ringleader Gordon Zacharias has a good ear for melody, and he can churn out pop song instrumentation with the best of them, but his lyricism occasionally lacks power. Perhaps it’s the over-urgency of his voice. I don’t know, but “Pageantry walks through the door/and I keep repeating track number four” (from “Pageantry”), as well as the underdeveloped chorus of the title track, tarnish otherwise golden songs.
Having said that, “Newsstand of the Sun,” “The Back and Forth” and “As a Dream From Above” all show that Zacharias has the capacity for total aural perfection. The album’s best track, “Throughout Your Life,” is pure Bacharach-derived genius: baroque melodies, intricate vocal/music interplay, lush atmospherics, etc. If bands like Ladybug Transistor and Essex Green hadn’t already monopolized this sound, I’d suggest Zacharias pursue it at a greater depth. Instead, he would probably be best served plying his talents on a sound less imitated, if he truly wants to make a name for himself the next time around.