Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Of Montreal

  • The Sunlandic Twins [Polyvinyl, 2005] Dud
  • Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? [Polyvinyl, 2007] Choice Cuts
  • Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl, 2008] **
  • False Priest [Polyvinyl, 2010] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Sunlandic Twins [Polyvinyl, 2005] Dud

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? [Polyvinyl, 2007]
"The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" Choice Cuts

Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl, 2008]
Fleshing out the biggest drawback of the bi life, which is that love is complicated enough when there's only one sex to choose from ("Gallery Piece," "Women's Studies Victims"). **

False Priest [Polyvinyl, 2010]
Though Kevin Barnes begins lucky in love for once, he's all "You're such a crazy girl" as of track two, then back-and-forths until "Famine Affair," Sly Stone hyperbole intended. Yet the back-and-forth evokes a real-life marital seesaw, extreme by normal standards but pretty convincing coming from a borderline hysteric, especially after the hysteric's real-life wife Nina breaks her accursed silence in her native Norwegian. The realistic aura is greatly abetted by co-producer Jon Brion, whose presence signals Barnes's felt need to put some bottom on his verbal spew and some body on his sexual fantasies. Solange Knowles's throaty cameo on "Sex Karma" also helps; Janelle Monae's cameo is of course spacier. And at the very end comes a sermon utilizing voice simulation software: "When will certain people realize/that afterlife is nothing to live for/nothing to die for/nothing to fight for." Some will surely find this preachy, yucky, or technologically compromised. I'm just happy I can say amen. A-

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