December National Music Reviews

Review: of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar

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of Montreal
Lousy with Sylvianbriar
Polyvinyl
Street: 10.08
of Montreal = Bringing It All Back Home–era Bob Dylan + The Apples in Stereo
Rejoice! The rut that of Montreal have been in for the last few years has finally ended. Lousy with Sylvianbriar takes elements of the Satanic Panic and Hissing Fauna–era that we know and love, and flips it into something totally new. Kevin Barnes intensifies the lyrical quality, making them more poetic, but thankfully not cryptic. Inspired by artists from the ’60s and ’70s, of Montreal adopt protest-song qualities both lyrically and instrumentally, while simultaneously incorporating folk and Barnes’ weirdness to create a genius album that defies any kind of general classification. The standout track is “She Ain’t Speakin’ Now,” which encompasses the off-the-wall spontaneity and cheery spirit of their earlier work, although it appears to be about a girl who’s on the verge of death. Ultimately, I’d venture to say this is probably one of the better albums released this year. –Allison Shephard
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