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False Priest

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Editors’ Notes

Of Montreal’s tenth release is dominated by glitzy, hooky, synth-funk in the vein of “I Feel Ya’ Strutter,” “Like a Tourist,” and “Girl Named Hello” with Kevin Barnes singing in a skittering multi-tracked falsetto that instantly brings to mind Prince (or a Prince parody). The songs run breathlessly from one glossy jam to the next, occasionally shifting gears as on the guitar-driven “Coquet Coquette” or the bitter ballad “Casualty of You.” It’s sprawling and dense, and chockfull of the oddball, stream-of-consciousness lyrics that Barnes favors. What makes this release different from previous albums is there seems to be a method behind the madness. Barnes is restless but not erratic. The songs are fuller and fleshed out and sound more crafted and less like a frenzied collage of ideas. Many even contain catchy sing-along choruses. Mostly though the album is pure adrenaline fun with a hint of underlying doom — you know the party is nearly over but not quite yet. In the end, False Priest straddles the moment between Saturday night’s cathartic release and the inevitable Sunday morning letdown.

Customer Reviews

strange,

strange, yes, but the good kind

Another quality album from Of Montreal

Upon first listening to this album I was a little dissapointed, but upon second listen I started really liking all the songs, even the ones I wrote off the first time around. Now I really like this album. The same thing happened to me with Skeletal Lamping, which I originally was very dissapointed with because I love Hissing Fauna, but after repeated listening Skeletal Lamping is right up there with Hissing Fauna for me. I think that's just the way Of Montreal are. They are constantly evolving their sound in subtle yet substantial ways and it's a little easy to be put off by new albums upon first listen. But after repeated listening you realize it's still the same awesome band and the quality of the song craft shines through. This is a very good album. Well done.

mixed bag

What happens when you mix 70's Bowie, Queen, Prince, with a veneer of disco and soul? This record happens. It'd be easy to write off as a crap salad, and the first half of the record is very weak. The disco/soul stuff is emotionless and cold. It's not even fun, and it is impossible to connect with the lyrics. The record is somewhat saved by some standout songs (Coquet, Famine Affair, Casualty of You, Around the Way, and a few other decent bits), which are mostly in the second half of the record. These are very good, kind of classic Of Montreal songs. But it's a long way to those tunes and the listener is clobbered with such garbage along the way (tracks 1,2,4,6,8) that it is almost not worth it. The band needs a good producer who will reign in this stuff next time out.

Skeletal Lamping was an indulgent disaster IMO, and False Priest does pull back from that a bit. But Kevin Barnes needs to realize he is not Prince or Peaches & Herb and ditch the whole alter ego crap and write songs that mean something. That's why Hissing Fauna was so great - he was going through serious stuff at the time and it came through. Now he's happy as a clam and about half this record is just boring and unconnectable.

Biography

Formed: Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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 Minneapolis in search of compatible bandmates,...
Full Bio