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Amazon's of Montreal Store

Music

Image of album by of Montreal

Photos

Image of of Montreal

Biography

The brainchild of singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal was among the second wave of bands to emerge from the sprawling Elephant 6 collective. A native of Athens, Georgia, Barnes was inspired to form the euphoric indie pop group in the wake of a broken romance with a woman from Montreal. He signed with Bar/None Records while living in Florida, subsequently moved to Cleveland and ... Read more in Amazon's of Montreal Store

Visit Amazon's of Montreal Store
for 34 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00006IJ2Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,803,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Elephant 6 band Of Montreal is at its best when they make goofy, quirky concept albums, or at the very least weird songs that make you wish you had whatever they're smoking. That endearing surreality is missing from "Adhils Arboretum," which is a fun indiepop album, but feels somehow too toned down and laid-back.

It opens with the disjointedly bouncy "Doing Nothing," which fits the lead vocals like a four-fingered glove. Things improve somewhat with the clinky pop of "Old People in the Cemetary," which one-ups the "What a drag it is/getting old" with lines like "It must be hard to relate/after the world of your youth/totally evaporates."

There's a more garage-rocky vibe to songs like "Isn't It Nice?" and the ringingly percussive "We Are Destroying the Song." But hints of their older style peep out in the second half of the album, like in the lilting "Predictably Sulking Sarah," perky piano-pop "Natalie and Effie in the Park," and the psychedelic swirls of "Kid Without Claws."

It's hard to know why, after the glorious psychedelic tapesties they've woven, Of Montreal would opt for a sound that is so... ordinary. It sounds a bit like garage rockers on acid, which is a cool idea in itself -- but Kevin Barnes and Co. sound pretty uncomfortable with such a stripped-down sound.

Their colorful pop has been toned down to some slightly muffled guitar melodies and solid percussion, augmented by cello and some electronic flourishes. But in the second half, the band starts slipping back -- they use a drooping violin, sprightly piano, robotic vocals, odd wavery keyboard, and a sort of French folk-club sound, complete with brass. That's more like it, people.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Elephant 6 band Of Montreal is at its best when they make goofy, quirky concept albums, or at the very least weird songs that make you wish you had whatever they're smoking. That endearing surreality is missing from "Adhils Arboretum," which is a fun indiepop album, but feels somehow too toned down and laid-back.
It opens with the disjointedly bouncy "Doing Nothing," which fits the lead vocals like a four-fingered glove. Things improve somewhat with the clinky pop of "Old People in the Cemetary," which one-ups the "What a drag it is/getting old" with lines like "It must be hard to relate/after the world of your youth/totally evaporates."
There's a more garage-rocky vibe to songs like "Isn't It Nice?" and the ringingly percussive "We Are Destroying the Song." But hints of their older style peep out in the second half of the album, like in the lilting "Predictably Sulking Sarah," perky piano-pop "Natalie and Effie in the Park," and the psychedelic swirls of "Kid Without Claws."
It's hard to know why, after the glorious psychedelic tapesties they've woven, Of Montreal would opt for a sound that is so... ordinary. It sounds a bit like garage rockers on acid, which is a cool idea in itself -- but Kevin Barnes and Co. sound pretty uncomfortable with such a stripped-down sound.
Their colorful pop has been toned down to some slightly muffled guitar melodies and solid percussion, augmented by cello and some electronic flourishes. But in the second half, the band starts slipping back -- they use a drooping violin, sprightly piano, robotic vocals, odd wavery keyboard, and a sort of French folk-club sound, complete with brass. That's more like it, people.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on 28 April 2003
Format: Audio CD
Kevin Barnes is a genius. He knows pretty much every chord in the book, and tries to use as many as possible in each of his songs, with impressive results. On the first listen to this CD, it is almost impossible to predict where the melody is about to go. However, after several listens, the brilliance of the songwriting shines through and the songs become surprisingly catchy. This album is different to Of Montreal's other records - instead of being a lo-fi concept-driven epic, it is brighter, shorter, more focused and each song stands on its own. The fact that there is no 'concept' allows each song to become a thoroughly original psychedelic symphony. The band sounds much tighter and the music is more innovative than ever before. The lyrics are still surreal and unique, sung in an optimisic voice even when they are about death and loss. It is a tragedy that so few people have heard Of Montreal, as it is one of the most original and interesting bands around today. Buy it if you like Syd Barrett or anything involving the Elephant 6 collective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.5 Stars - A return to simpler Of Montreal 14 Oct. 2002
By Sheldon Rowan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If Of Montreal's The Gay Parade was their Pet Sounds, Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies their Smile, and Then Who will Protect our Children their Smiley Smile, where does that leave Aldhils Arboretum? Why it's Wild Honey, of course. This isn't meant to slight either album, as both have their distinct qualities, but for Of Montreal and The Beach Boys it represents a change in musical direction to looking backwards and not forwards. Aldhils Arboretum doesn't have the same high concept as Coquelicot or the coherence of The Gay Parade, but this probably makes it a more likable album for the newly initiated. If you're listening to the group for the first time, this should be your album. It's really the Of Montreal sampler. You can hear bits of Cherry Peel (Jennifer Louise), The Bedside Drama (Predictably Sulking Sara), The Gay Parade (Natalie and Effie in the Park), Coquelicot (the most challenging song on the CD, Kid Without Claws), and even Then Who Will Protect Our Children? (the beautiful An Ode to the Nocturnal Muse which is sung in Japanese (Neru No Daisuki) on the aforementioned CD).
There aren't too many clunker songs on this CD, which makes it very listenable from beginning to end. Even the lower quality songs like Isn't it Nice? and A Question for Emily Foreman have charm. What holds me back from giving this album the 5 star rating and my highest recommendation is the lack of some truly brilliant songs. Doing Nothing could be a pop hit if Of Montreal ever wanted that kind of thing, and Kid Without Claws brings me back for repeated listens. They just don't set off bells in my head like some of their better songs from earlier CDs.
That said, Aldhils Arboretum is worth buying for existing fans and those drawn by their curiosity. The cheery relentless poppy hooks are all there, as are some of the finest musical arrangements this side of Circulatory System. Of Montreal is a band that loves to make music, loves to play music (if you can ever get to their live performances, they are routinely among the best performers I've heard), and loves to make you smile.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Strange Album 3 May 2005
By jacktheidiotdunce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Aldhils Arboretum was my first Of Montreal CD. It is a very interesting CD and it seems like a good place for new-comers. They'll probably appreicate it more than hearing all the without hearing the supposedly awesome original neat concept albums like "Gay Parade"(which I'm dying to hear). It seems like old fans were kind of bored with this one for that reason. This seems just like a weird pop album without a concept like the others.

Songs like the humorus "Blank Husband", "Isn't it Nice?", "Emily" and most of the songs are off-beat pop songs, some are enhanced with horns and cello. All in all, Kevin and Of Montreal rock too. Lots of catchy songs. Definitely worth the ten bucks it is here. Oh yeah, neat artwork too, not too much but it look looks great.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Of Montreal's "Revoler"-equivalent 12 Oct. 2002
By David Eniz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Upon its release last year, Of Montreal's previous album, "Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies", took its place among my over-1,400 cd's as the Absolute Favorite in my collection. I wondered how they could ever follow something so huge, so colorful and ambitious. Like the Beatles moving backward from "Sgt. Pepper" to "Revolver", they followed it up by tightening the structures, trimming some whimsy, and turning the guitars way, way up. Horns, strings, and pianos are still part of the sonic arsenal, but are used more sparingly, moving their sound away from the psychedelic vaudeville of past records and into a more electrified, "live" feel.
The songs here, in perfect Kevin Barnes style, are still as sweet, colorful, and twisty as licorice whips. But where their last few albums utilized crates of Crayola color, making each song fan out like fractal "oil puddles in taffeta patterns" (to steal a line from Joni Mitchell), the songs on this record are leaner, colored with fewer crayons, pressing harder. This is an aggressively guitar-and-buzzing-organ oriented record, and easily their most "rock". The conceptual ideas of the last few records have also been shed, giving the record a somewhat haphazard, random feel, lacking the strong collective identities of "The Gay Parade" or "Coquelicot." That said, the absence of an overarching story brings the individual songs more into focus, and these are some of the greatest songs they've come up with yet.
I was a bit taken aback by some of the lyrics on this record, particularly "Old People in the Cemetary." It's a good song, but an unusually mean-spirited and condescending missive from a normally good-natured and open-hearted songwriter. The lyrics of "Isn't it Nice?" are also uncharacteristically glib and prosaic, and sound awkwardly mashed into place. However, I also chuckled aloud at them, so they're not entirely ineffective. :)
Of Montreal are simultaneously more confident and less ambitious on "Aldhil's Arboredum", and by scaling back their sound have given themselves another path forward. Another great record from one of the greatest bands around.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For me, a good introduction to a great band 14 Oct. 2002
By C. Jaycox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First of all, download track one (Doing Nothing). If you like that song, buy this album as the rest will certainly appeal to you. Full of storytelling gems, this album reminds me of so many moments in my life. "Old People in the Cemetery" just offers such beautiful imagery. The catchiness of "Jennifer Louise" will remind you of a forgotten cousin. "Pancakes For One" is the perfect song for a breakup, while "Kissing in the Grass", with its haunting clarinet, makes you wish you had a lover again.
An album that reminds me of The Apples In Stereo and of the "Magical Mystery Tour" couldn't be bad, and it isn't.
Although a friend of mine disparaged this as a Beatles ripoff, 60s pop influences don't make it that. Instead it is an intelligent album that is definitely one of the top 10 of the year.
Give "Aldhils Arboretum" and Of Montreal a chance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Growing "Arboretum" 1 Dec. 2004
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Elephant 6 band Of Montreal is at its best when they make goofy, quirky concept albums, or at the very least weird songs that make you wish you had whatever they're smoking. That endearing surreality is missing from "Adhils Arboretum," which is a fun indiepop album, but feels somehow too toned down and laid-back.

It opens with the disjointedly bouncy "Doing Nothing," which fits the lead vocals like a four-fingered glove. Things improve somewhat with the clinky pop of "Old People in the Cemetary," which one-ups the "What a drag it is/getting old" with lines like "It must be hard to relate/after the world of your youth/totally evaporates."

There's a more garage-rocky vibe to songs like "Isn't It Nice?" and the ringingly percussive "We Are Destroying the Song." But hints of their older style peep out in the second half of the album, like in the lilting "Predictably Sulking Sarah," perky piano-pop "Natalie and Effie in the Park," and the psychedelic swirls of "Kid Without Claws."

It's hard to know why, after the glorious psychedelic tapesties they've woven, Of Montreal would opt for a sound that is so... ordinary. It sounds a bit like garage rockers on acid, which is a cool idea in itself -- but Kevin Barnes and Co. sound pretty uncomfortable with such a stripped-down sound.

Their colorful pop has been toned down to some slightly muffled guitar melodies and solid percussion, augmented by cello and some electronic flourishes. But in the second half, the band starts slipping back -- they use a drooping violin, sprightly piano, robotic vocals, odd wavery keyboard, and a sort of French folk-club sound, complete with brass. That's more like it, people.

Kevin Barnes sounds good in songs like "Pancakes For One," where his voice flows naturally with the melody. In the rockier numbers, he sounds uncomfortable having to mold himself around the angular music. Their songwriting is is also less colorful, but they miraculously retain that childlike weirdness. It has meditations on aging and death, an incontinent Yorkie who brightens a little girl's life, what foods shouldn't be eaten alone, and climaxes with "I want to dance so I don't have to think anymore/about the steam cleaned caterpillar in the pinafore."

The stripped-down songs are a step backwards for Of Montreal, but "Adhils Arboretum" brings back their colorful vibe in the second half. Flawed, flighty fun.
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