Of Montreal’s latest offering starts off promisingly enough, with album opener’s “Nonpareil of Favor.” majestically strummed acoustic guitar plays before exploding into the bombast of dancey synth filled indie rock they’re known best for and that has done them so well thus far.
Except at this point it’s beginning to feel awfully trying and by the numbers and they shifts gears over and over but never really manage to land on any stable footing. The obnoxious falsetto and repetitive, stupid lyrics of “Wicked Wisdom” don’t fair much better, and with a combined runtime of 10+ minutes between these two tracks alone, things aren’t looking good for the remainder of the nearly hour long album.
“Touched Something’s Hollow” is a bit more mellow and is a much needed change of pace from the obnoxious oversexed tones of the leading three tracks, and “An Eluardian Instance” feels much more cohesive than anything else on the album, although the coda that takes up the last 40 or so seconds feels decidedly out of place.
Things turn back to over sexualized quickly – at one point Barnes sings “I want to make you come 200 times a day,” which might work if he was in The Eagles of Death Metal or The Darkness, but when sang in his oddly asexual voice it just comes off as awkward (think Mr. Garrison’s declaration “I can’t wait to go on shore leave so I can get me some poontang” from South Park if you want a decent frame of reference). By the album’s approximate midpoint, “Women’s Studies Victims,” even Barnes sounds exasperated by the constant posturing.
Someone needs to inform Barnes + co. that constant changes in song structure that make no sense do not equate to being avante garde and edgy, and neither does constantly singing about sex in the most awkward and unsexy ways imaginable. Until they realize that, I’ll stick to listening to “Wraith Pinned in the Mist” on repeat. [By D.J. Bernat]
Release Date: October 21st, 2008