Thursday, October 23, 2008

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping


"We can do it softcore if you want but you should know that I go both ways."

That line is taken from the song, "For Our Elegant Castle." That is the thesis statment for this album and also this group. Of Montreal's ninth studio album, Skeletal Lamping is a sonic rollercoaster. The music on this album much like it's predecessor 2007's Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is as surrealistic as pop music can get that is still fun and listenable. Knowing where this group has been musically I was excited to hear their new offering. I was not let down in fact I was downright surprised. Kevin Barnes and crew have done it again and crafted a fantastic album!

Skeletal Lamping has even more layers and different sounds than their previous albums, which is a complete shock knowing all the crazy sounds on them. The lyrics are as strange as the instrumentation. At first listen you can't pick up on all the strange lyrics because the music has you into the groove; however, after another try you pick up on these crazy characters and weird, sick and sometimes twisted tales. One such character who has multiple references on this album is actually lead man Kevin Barnes' cross-dressing stage persona, Georgie Fruit. Fruit is a middle aged black man who has gone through several sex changes being a man then a woman and back to a man. He has been to prison and also played in a 70s funk band called, Arousal. Crazy, I know, right? That is where the genius of Of Montreal comes in.

This album is fun fun fun. The melodies stay with you from the opening bounce of "Nonpareil of Favor" to the slower and more melodic "Touched Something's Hollow." The track, "An Eluardian Instance" sums up the band's sound on this album. A clever nod to surrealist french writer, Paul Eluard, it peaks and valleys and has interesting time changes in it to keep the listener on his or her toes. One moment I really enjoy is Kevin Barnes' soulful falsetto on "St. Exquisite's Confessions", in which he decries "...I am so sick of sucking a dick in this cruel cruel city." The album's first official release "Id Engager" is the album's last track and arguably the most danceable. A wonderful way to close a wonderful album. I recommend an immediate purchase of this album. Think Salvador Dali set to indie/elctro pop.

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