Review: of Montreal’s lousy with sylvianbriar

prc268-coverWith some trepidation I sat down to listen to the newest of Montreal album. I’ve been through this with this band before. And I’d gotten burned.

Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. It features lead singer/songwriter/strange dude Kevin Barnes’ descent into a character created in his mind called Georgie Fruit. Georgie Fruit is a “dark mutation…a black she-male from a demented past time.” So, um, yeah. It’s a great album made by a very strange and medicated guy. Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider all day.

After that one, came Skeletal Lamping, False Priest, and Paralytic Stalks. None of which I can honestly say to you are great. As someone who appreciates the way Kevin Barnes takes a conventional song and puts it in 4 blenders before reforming it into a horribly misshapen doll, I didn’t dislike them. But they all seemed to try to recapture Hissing Fauna, and all failed. Paralytic Stalks was clearly the worst. But now it makes more sense. of Montreal’s latest, lousy with sylvianbriar, is a stripped down, dare I say conventional, affair. Song structures are positively pedestrian. This album is oddly and unexpectedly friendly. The last four by of Montreal are not. Even the one I love. You have to work to understand and love them. To me, this one could almost be derided for being boring and predictable. Not two words I thought I’d ever think about of Montreal. Except that one time they wrote the Outback Steakhouse theme song.

God that Outback money. Can you imagine? I bet they got free steaks out of it. I would have worked that into the contract.

Anyway, this is a pretty good album. I feel like I’ve moved on a little bit from this band, but this brought me back in. Kevin Barnes is a pretty amazing songwriter and I’m glad that someone (perhaps himself, perhaps some new imaginary muse) told him to take it easy. Make some music. Don’t worry about the grand design of things.

I approve. You should check it out. Here’s the first track, and it’s a good one.


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