Music Review: Of Montreal

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Of Montreal

Aldhils Arboretum


Aldhils Arboretum is a well-meaning indie pop album that fails to attain beauty or truth more than sporadically.

Of Montreal exhibit the imprint of the Elephant 6 collective, whose pervasive sound is reminiscent of 60s psychedelic pop.

The instrumentals are listenable, if less than groundbreaking. Guitar and drums are prominent, and other slightly less standard instruments like saxophone appear occasionally. Appearing to be intentionally awkward, the band's tunes hover somewhere below the realm of catchiness.

The band's main flaw is in the vocals. Singer Kevin Barnes has a cheerful but ungainly voice, which struggles to navigate the clunky melodies.

Similarly, the lyrics are occasionally funny, but are mostly obvious: "Pancakes for one / Are always depressing / Because having breakfast / With you was such fun."

The album's not worthless, of course: the awkwardness and relative lack of depth don't completely forbid enjoyment.

A few songs are even memorable. The best is probably the music hall-styled "Natalie and Effie in the Park," which charmingly tells the story of Natalie, who's not lonely anymore now that she's got a dog named Effie.

"The Blank Husband Epidemic," though, illustrates the shortcomings of the album, telling a predictable tale of the singer's depressed uncle, who ran away with his wife's friend, through the hardly underused medium of inelegant rhythms and melodic lines.

David Boyk


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