Of Montreal’s Skeletal Lamping

There have been a lot of comparisons as of late between Of Montreal and Prince.
It is apt, though. Both artists (if one considers Of Montreal in the studio to be solely lead singer/guitarist Kevin Barnes) record their albums in their studios with their libido making a nasty mess all over the songs and lyrics.
This may seem like a strange and, frankly, a vulgar description, but it is not unwarranted for Of Montreal’s new album, Skeletal Lamping. Just check out the lyrics to “St. Exquisite’s Confessions”:
“Maybe I’ll blow you/Whatever kind of kisses you want/Because you’ve got so much in common/With my big c**k creator.”
Need I say any more? These lyrics pretty much sum up the direction of the record.
If Skeletal Lamping was going to be compared to any Prince album, it would probably have to be his 1981 album, Controversy. That was the album that found Prince taking what he had learned on his previous album, 1980s breakthrough Dirty Mind (much like Of Montreal’s 2007 album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?), and pushing it further and freakier. Seeing a pattern?
That’s not a bad thing either. Musically, this album is just as creative as Barnes has ever been, transitioning from thrash to funk to psychedelia to electronica, often at the drop of a hat. His singing is also at an all-time best. With his new “character,” Georgie Fruit (a former black funk singer who has undergone multiple sex changes), Barnes has found a good use for his falsetto. It shines through on cuts such as “For Our Elegant Caste,” where he builds harmonies over his own falsetto. It works well.
There is certainly a lot going on, but it is fairly easy to put this record on to just dance (with the exception of the painful “Touched Something’s Hollow,” which serves as a nice reprieve from the otherwise high octane music).
It’s a record that works on a complex level (multiple listens reward listeners) and a simple one as well. And to have something complex come off simple, that’s quite a feat.
The price scale: To rate albums, I will be more or less rating them by price. Since a fair price at a place such as Best Buy for a CD is around $12.99, Of Montreal’s Skeletal Lamping, I say, stands at a value of:

Leave a Reply