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The Gay Parade

The Gay Parade

16 Feb 1999
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Of Montreal has built a career on exuberant, sweet concept albums that bounce with life and love. "The Gay Parade" is a snapshot of them at their best -- it has the strangeness of "Cocquelicot," but is more accessable. These songs cheery oddball pop, but it sounds so uncalculated that it never quite sounds twee.
The acoustic/piano-ballad "Old Familiar Way" starts off the album, but it mostly focuses on how "It's amazing the wonders you can find/Just by stepping outside." Only at the end does Kevin Barnes greet listeners with "Welcome to the Gay Parade!" The album then switches to a bunch of songs about the glorious people, such as the bouncy dancey "Fun-Loving Nun," singsong "Tulip Baroo," and "The Miniature Philosopher."
While describing boxers, grandfathers and stuttering organ grinders, Barnes and Co. don't stray away from their typical little sweet songs: there's a carnival sound to "March of the Gay Parade," a goofy little sweet song. Elsewhere Barnes sings eagerly about the "Domestic Life," longs for special friends, and chronicles the story of Niki Coco, before finally bidding farewell in "The Gay Parade Outro."
The entire album more or less revolves around the Gay Parade, and how much happier the people in it (and near it) are. The general feeling is that it's not so much a real gathering as a state of mind -- enjoying the little things, "making friends with trees and animals," and seeing the magic of the world.
The songs rely heavily on Barnes' acoustic guitar, and the sweet piano pop that comes into the intro and outro. Little chimes and psychedelic swooshes give it an even more whimsical feel.
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Format: Audio CD
The Gay Parade neatly bridges the gap between the acoustic low production of 'A Petite Tragedy..' and the incredibly complex and ambitiousness of the proceeding album-'Coquelicot Asleep in the Posies'.
The words which most accurately describe this album are-
Charming, delighful, playful, comical, retro, sureal, melodic, jolly and very clever.
This album is not as mellow as the previous, there is generally much more craziness and songs which change beat, key and lyrical direction with no warning. This is a trait which 'Of Montreal' really define themselves by in the following album.
The other trait which make 'Of Monreal' such an interesting band is the fact that they have dozens of naratives running through their songs. This album is full of stories with very colourful characters which make the songs very memorable, plus, all the characters appear in the art work on the album sleeve.
'Of Montreal' are a truly great band, to many bands take themselves way too seriously these days, which is why albums like this are such a breath of fresh air.
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