This comes as something as a surprise. I've been loving and loathing Of Montreal on and off for a while now, but then they go and do something like this and it throws me off completely. The whimsy is toned down considerably, bar `Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse', which uses the best bits of 2005's The Sunlandic Twins, but it's all a long way from songs like, `Let's Do Everything For The First Time Forever'. And what's Of Montreal without all of the silliness? Well `The Past Is A Grotesque Animal'is a good place to start, a twelve minute masterpiece with minimal changes of direction, which I would have to say sounds a little dull written down like that, especially given that changes of structure is what makes Of Montreal so likable/hateable in the first place. But like the equally epic LCD Soundsystem `All My Friends' track, Kevin Barnes uses the repetitive beats to deliver his most personal lyrics yet in his most straight-faced (albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheek) manner. Although the grandeur of that track seems to dominate the album (how could it not given the length), the other songs also show a development in songwriting for Barnes and Of Montreal, the Vaudeville charm is still there, but I get the sense that it's slowly beginning to crumble and reveal a band who are finally so comfortable with one another, that the songs have become mini-stories in their own right. Take both `Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider' and `She's a Rejector' - every change of pace reflects the shifting tone of Barnes's storytelling lyrics, further heightening their evocative nature and providing the perfect setting in which such actions can take place.
Highlights: Suffer For Fashion, The Past is a Grotesque Animal, Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider