9 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kevin Barnes is one of the most mercurial forces in indie rock, and on Paralytic Stalks, his eleventh of Montreal album, he scrambles his many obsessions—funk-pop party jams, confessional ballads, and avant-garde musique concrète—into a constantly confounding, utterly on-edge series of musical corridors. The Beatles-esque psychedelia of "Dour Percentage" glides along on lilting woodwinds and a fluctuating horn section, "Malefic Dowery" mixes painful recriminations with an acoustic toy-box whimsy, and "Ye, Renew the Plaintiff" is a fractured glam jam worthy of David Bowie.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kevin Barnes is one of the most mercurial forces in indie rock, and on Paralytic Stalks, his eleventh of Montreal album, he scrambles his many obsessions—funk-pop party jams, confessional ballads, and avant-garde musique concrète—into a constantly confounding, utterly on-edge series of musical corridors. The Beatles-esque psychedelia of "Dour Percentage" glides along on lilting woodwinds and a fluctuating horn section, "Malefic Dowery" mixes painful recriminations with an acoustic toy-box whimsy, and "Ye, Renew the Plaintiff" is a fractured glam jam worthy of David Bowie.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
79 Ratings

79 Ratings

zaddu ,

Difficult, but a Masterpiece

After False Priest, I was ready for of Montreal to try something new, and Paralytic Stalks is yet another left turn for this band. The lyrics are dark and very personal, but it doesn't sound as intimate as Hissing Fauna or even as personality filled as the last couple of albums. While this might turn some people off, the album seems to be operating on a much higher plane than perhaps anything they've done before. From the soaring, epic opener, through the rocking Ye, Renew the Plaintiff (my favorite off the album), Paralytic Stalks is endlessly exciting and more artistically ambitious than anything Kevin Barnes has written to date.

I am sure the final couple of songs will be the problem many have with this album though. Exorcismic Breeding Knife is a dissonant collage, apparently inspired by Ives and Penderecki, and the last song has a long, often dissonant, string interlude. These songs must be listened to in the context of the full album to be appreciated, I think, and they work very well in context. Dour Percentage is an obvious single, but this album is really one cohesive artistic statement, and it is perhaps the most interesting and successful one of Montreal has made yet.

Thealetree ,

Unreal

I was really hoping for another Of Montreal mind blowing session and totally got it. Kevin Barnes breaks molds and violently juggles your attention once again in a way that he hasn't since Sunlandic Twins and Hissing Fauna. There is so much intent in every moment of this album.

I wonder if I hear impact from Age of Adz? I read somewhere that he adored that album, as he should!

Saxophone?!

I'm taken aback and way into this album.

evil chris j ,

i hear dead people...

oh wait bowie is still with us.

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