Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Black's # 8 album of 2008

# 8
Of Montreal
Skeletal Lamping
Polyvinyl - 10/21/08

Another album that has found its fair share of hate in the press this year finds itself in the eight spot of my top ten. I will begin by admitting that upon first listen I wasn't sold on Skeletal Lamping either, but like most great records it grew on me with each subsequent listen. I will say that I feel this record is far from perfect, as I feel at times that it can feel long and drawn out, but when it is hitting, its just plain gold. Maybe even a little too quirky, maybe a little too self-absorbed, but this beautiful, schizophrenic mess is worth your time. Now, I am firm advocate that music should be enjoyed with headphones whenever possible and this is one of those albums that truly benefit from the personal experience that headphones give you, so before you load up, grab yourself some phones, and if possible avoid those shit-box dollar store brands.

Now as far as the songs go, they are best described as weird, personal, tragic, fun, sexy and some just downright confusing tales on the nature of life and the human experience. I really feel that Kevin Barnes has really begun to toy with the notion of the expectations of what a pop-song must sound like over his band's last few albums. Meaning, it seems likes he wants us to throw any of our expectations out the window and just listen to the album for what it is all the way through without too much direct dissection of any of one track. Of Montreal have really grown out of an identification of just a handful of tracks and have transformed themselves into an entity that demand attention as a whole. From what I've heard about their live show, it has also morphed into quite the experience.

Whether you love this album or not, it is near impossible to deny that listening to this album is not an interesting experience. And with Barnes navigating the journey, you never know what lies around the corner, whether it be glorious bliss or a tragic breakdown. The beauty lies in the surprise, much like life itself.

STANDOUT BANGERS: Wicked Wisdom, St. Exquisite's Confessions, Gallery Piece, An Eluardian Instance

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