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 :) ).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, like Kevin Barnes, read "The Story of the Eye" after Bjork mentioned it in an interview that I read in college on the internet. I think Bjork said that it was one of the first works of art that convinced her that she was "not insane." I found it profoundly disturbing and frightening. I'm not exactly enlightened when it comes to the genre of erotica, but that book gave me nightmares. Since then, I've read that Bataille aligned himself with the Marquis de Sade in his belief that conscience is not natural, but the result of prejudice, and that sex without pain is like food without taste. I think the part I find the eeriest is that these guys presume that a love life that doesn't include violence is somehow the result of self-oppression. I hope Kevin doesn't share this opinion, because I find it ridiculous and a little dangerous.