Review Summary: Great release from a great band, give it multiple spins, let your ears adjust to the obscurity, and above all keep the love and the good recommendations going!
Well I suppose its now been long enough to get going on this grossly misunderstood LP from what is now perhaps the most criticized band in the indie scene (for whatever reason we like to pretend we can know what Kevin Barnes is thinking, which, lets be honest is likely not something anyone should care to truly understand). The reality is that with the passing of Bowie us indie-die hard fans are feeling a little lost and the world seems more tumultuous then it did in the 1990s. Kevin Barnes (dare I say it) tends to remind me of an ever evolving new-wave Bowie; this is not a new idea by the way just look at any article on of Montreal from 2007-2009 and you'll hear that comparison quite a bit. Problematically, we'd all love to "be inside the mind of a singer-songwriter" but this is just not possible. Therefore, why not just sit back and listen to the music? Can we continue to berate a man who has released more albums now than many bands have in their entire career? Are the lukewarm receptions to this LP a cognitive lapse, a non-listening review, or merely a spur for Kevin to get back to doing the same *** he was doing ten years ago? I'll posit that this review is less about the album itself and more about the nature of how we see music, or, more importantly; what drives us to make snap-judgments?
That's enough banter though so lets dig in to the change in direction. Pop-oriented malady mixed with confused 90s guitar rock. Sound familiar? Not, really. That is the essence of an evolving band on the right track. Not one of us can even begin to comprehend what the next LP will sound like because, in all honesty, of Montreal has yet to make the same record twice; we've no reason to expect that to change. So let us, the sputnik brethren, juxtapose the concept itself of self-awareness mixed with mounting anxiety. Few cannot relate to this and to me that is precisely what makes this a great, if not more varied than anything else Kevin has released. I'd honestly five this but it, like all of Montreal albums, demands multiple listens. First time it will make no sense, second spin likely even less sense, but after that third try I dare you to get the stellar opener, the off-beat single, or some of the more guitar-driven rock fest, grungy tracks out of your head for the next few days. This is a complex album. Give it some time and you will thank yourself later.