Of Montreal
Aldhils Arboretum


5.0
classic

Review

by zoso33 USER (2 Reviews)
October 5th, 2017 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: of Montreal's most underrated album demands attention as a turning point from their former, under-produced sound.

of Montreal's records are rarely as directly engaging as Aldhils Arboretum. From the opening track we are at once inspired to "do nothing" and rock out with our socks out all at one. If that wasn't enough, there is a gripping pop jingle about how when you get older life makes less sense and the young people pity them, a perfect sense of Queen-inspired genius with the excellent "Emily", and the beautifully crafted "Ode To The Nocturnal Muse" which, in my view, hits on just about everything this band has to offer. There is a slacker-rock element confronting a dazed apathetic listener's ears on some kind of magical mystery tour level. Not that it particularly sounds like the sum of its influences; it somehow supplants them with a new wave bliss on psychedelia. Likely not before or since, Kevin sounds direct and at the top of his Beatles/Early Floyd-sounding powers; when the album ends you just wanna spin it again for the layered effect of experiences of the apparently unconnected yet sterile, boring sounding protagonists whom inhabit the album's almost eerie atmosphere.
Instrumentally, this is has always been a tricky band in terms of timing and limitlessly loquacious lyricisms. The listener will find here more than enough for these elements as the production level is entering its meta phase in of Motreal's varied and extensive catalogue. "Pancakes For One" will always be a personal favorite of mine for feeling lonely, but then we get hit with a summarily silly song in "We Are Destroying This Song": a song that bears an interestingly similar message/sound as found in the likes of the Beatle's "Only A Northern Song". The instruments all sound detuned, the vocals seem to greet nothingness with a nearly nihilistic familiarity, and this dissonance gets wrapped up in the ultimately hopeful opus "An Ode To The Nocturnal Muse" which evens things out nicely. The tracking at first seems disjointed, yet further inspection will find that as archaic and unrelated the songs sound the actual lyrics match up from one to the next in terms of themes found in this colossal monument of indie rock,
and perhaps hidden messages you forgot throughout the exhaustive emotional roller coaster you've just experienced in 'Aldhils Arbortetum'.
This seemed to deserve a review and (in all reality) by someone more equipped to write than me. Nonetheless I really do spin this album all the time. Arguably more than Hissing Fauna which is unstoppable as an album - Aldhils just has so many catchy, psychedelic tracks that warrant future listens in all the great ways. Perhaps we would all of us partake in a bit of the good 'ol medicine that is this poppy, catchy record?


user ratings (66)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
October 4th 2017


4442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fix those paragraphs maybe



"This seemed to deserve a review and (in all reality) by someone more equipped to write than me."

:/ don't say that in your own review

do it in the comments like the rest of us

Digging: Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat Dan Singa - Open the Crown

foxblood
October 5th 2017


7111 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think this is their most boring album pre-false priest, still has solid tracks though

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2017


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i mark satanic panic as the album where they really started to up their production and songwriting game, but this is a fine record

foxblood
October 5th 2017


7111 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely, they never made anything as slick as satanic panic again either

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2017


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

think i agree with that statement depending on how you define slick, i.e. i definitely feel an album like sunlandic twins is more produced and polished than satanic. in any event satanic is probs my favorite of montreal record

foxblood
October 5th 2017


7111 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah sunlandic is much more polished and clean sounding, i just meant i think the song writing is at it's best on satanic and i prefer the fuzzier sound, i always considered it their best work in most respects. i really like cherry peel too though

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2017


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cherry peel is great, definitely the best of their earlier stuff imo. my big issue with a lot of their records is just consistency, they tend to vary wildly from one song to another. agree that satanic is mostly hit after hit

Veldin
October 5th 2017


2976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Two of my favorite albums by OM are Gay Parade and Asleep in the Poppies, but I don't listen to this one much anymore. Great collection of songs, but merp

Crawl
October 5th 2017


2335 Comments


I could never get into pre-Sunlandic of Montreal, including this album. I like their later years much more.



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