Label: FatCat Release date: 25/10/10 Link: Hauschka's Myspace Buy: Amazon Swear to God (or random deity/Oxford writer you believe in), this album sounds like the soundtrack to a film. Not a costume drama with Keira Knightley, though, but some sort of coming of age type of film, one where there's a particular nasty pickle the protagonist is and has to overcome in order to become himself. If 'Alexanderplatz' is the perfect song for the opening titles, with it's calm pace, 'Iron shoes' would be particularly special for a montage, showing the routine of our hypothetical main character. The playful violin, doing a slightly creepy, temperamental figure from time to time, is chilling. The song calms down after a while, but keeps that uneasy factor, augmented by the addition of wind instruments. Foreign Landscapes is a proper modern form of classical music, a genre long lost relegated to discount bins and wedding receptions, but in a way, the genre is the cornerstone of so many genres we love nowadays. It's worthy of applause that a modern artist like Hauschka has this dedication to a sadly forgotten form of composition. The arrangements, the changes of pace (dare I say, movements?) and the juxtaposition of instruments (see the amazing 'Madeira') are what make this sort of music memorable. Sure, it won't be a staple of BBC 1 and will probably fell flat in many a ringtone-passing-as-music punter, but for people who want something different (and I don't mean that as an elitist) and for people who want to listen to songs as an album instead of a collection of disposable singles, Foreign Landscapes is a proper album. But back to the film analogy... as the hypothetical story progresses, so does the music. There's more longing in the music ('Snow', 'Early in the park', both take their easy pace for a walk) and there's the urgency in a cracking little ditty called 'Children', maybe advancing our story into the areas of romance (and the consequences thereof). Like previously mentioned in this rambling, Foreign Landscapes is a cohesive album. It seems (ok, it feels) like it is following a narrative, which seems to be up to the listener to make up. Me? I made it a romantic coming of age, but I grew up with John Hughes films. A John Hughes film finishing with a sober song like 'Trost' would've been perfect. It might be overanalysing the music, it might be putting my own rants in it, but then again, the beauty of instrumental music is the freedom you have to let your imagination run loose in the atmosphere created. In the case of Hauschka's Foreign Landscapes , this atmosphere is littered with dreamy, lush horizons. A keeper. Photobucket