Saturday, October 25, 2008

Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping

In Pitchfork's semi-pan of Of Montreal's new album, Skeletal Lamping, reviewer Adam Moerder writes of the "relentlessly schizophrenic composition"; he further states: "Although broken into 15 tracks, the album seems like nearly an hour of song fragments. The pop hooks are still there, but like the similarly kaleidoscopic material of the Fiery Furnaces or even Girl Talk, Skeletal Lamping can be utterly exhausting, even at its most fun-loving." While he does note that Lamping contains "loads of silver lining," Moerder believes that, ultimately, the album "registers as a misstep."

Perhaps an alternate, and more accurate assessment of Barnes' new musical suite is to understand the compositions as indicative of his, or his character Georgie Fruit's ("a middle-aged African-American transsexual"), divided gender-sexual identity. To wit, a listener searching for the misguided illusion of totality may find Lamping frustrating or "exhausting." But for those comfortable immersing themselves in music that unabashedly embraces multiplicity and turns the camp dial up to 11 with dance beats, wanky synth, and hyper-sexual lyircs, this LP will prove to be quite rewarding and immensely listenable.

While Hissing Fauna may be a more immediately accessible pop album, Lamping offers a slightly different, and therefore a more challenging, listening experience. As I have had a hard time removing this album from my compact disc player, I give it two thumbs up.


Johnny Cakes said...

Interesting review. I never really stopped to listen to this group, but one time, last year, I was in a shop and really liked what was playing on the house stereophonic. It was the Hissing Fauna. Maybe I will check out that album.

Johnny Cakes said...

This is so awesome: turns the camp dial up to 11 . I also love, in the closing track, the shout out: NINJAS...!

Johnny Cakes said...

Yeppers, this is Of Montreal paying homage to a great song!