Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The new Of Montreal album is fascinating. Kevin Barnes is no stranger to writing dark or depressing lyrics (unrequited love, loneliness, necrophilia) masked in sheer pop bliss, but usually the pop bliss part overshadows the subject matter. On Hissing Fauna, the formula is the same, but with the topic focusing on his recent divorce, this is the first time you can really hear the pain through all the sweetness. "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" especially is incredibly painful, difficult, and amazing; it's 11 minutes of Barnes pouring his heart out over repetitive and driving guitars with some creepy "ooh-ooh"s going on in the background. Not the typical three-minute pop I'm used to from Of Montreal (though there's plenty of that too- see "Suffer for Fashion," another gem). The lyrics are pretty killer too: "I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met / that could appreciate George Bataille / Standing at a Swedish festival / discussing "Story of the Eye." Of course, the fact that Story of the Eye is supposed to be psychotically disturbing might have provided some foreshadowing as far as the rest of the relationship goes. (Actually, I've been meaning to read it, so I should probably hold judgment until then :) ).