Album: Of Montreal

The Sunlandic Twins, TRACK & FIELD
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The Independent Culture

This is the seventh album by the Athens, Georgia indie outfit Of Montreal, but it's the first to cross my radar. There's a confidence and refinement about their musical approach, with the melodies of songs such as "Forecasted Fascist Future" and "So Begins Our Alabee" following the most tortuous routes, while front man Kevin Barnes's lyrics muse tongue-twistingly on such observations as "Boredom murders the heart of our age/ While sanguinary troops take the stage". It can get a touch rarefied for comfort: the lowing cellos and fanciful lyric make "Death of a Shade of a Hue" sound like some outtake from Smile, and elsewhere the wedding-cake arrangements recall the more indulgent corners of the Queen and Todd Rundgren catalogues, but there's a defiant joy in some old-school pop stylings. Best of all is "The Party's Crashing Us", where the complexity of the arch, clever-dick verses is redeemed by a catchy chorus: imagine if the Scissor Sisters had chosen to emulate The Kinks rather than Elton John, and y

This is the seventh album by the Athens, Georgia indie outfit Of Montreal, but it's the first to cross my radar. There's a confidence and refinement about their musical approach, with the melodies of songs such as "Forecasted Fascist Future" and "So Begins Our Alabee" following the most tortuous routes, while front man Kevin Barnes's lyrics muse tongue-twistingly on such observations as "Boredom murders the heart of our age/ While sanguinary troops take the stage". It can get a touch rarefied for comfort: the lowing cellos and fanciful lyric make "Death of a Shade of a Hue" sound like some outtake from Smile, and elsewhere the wedding-cake arrangements recall the more indulgent corners of the Queen and Todd Rundgren catalogues, but there's a defiant joy in some old-school pop stylings. Best of all is "The Party's Crashing Us", where the complexity of the arch, clever-dick verses is redeemed by a catchy chorus: imagine if the Scissor Sisters had chosen to emulate The Kinks rather than Elton John, and you'll get the idea. With a nice line in creepy keyboards, calliope and chimes beneath Barnes's quirky songs about dreams and "bizarre celebrations", The Sunlandic Twins is this year's equivalent to The Shins' Chutes Too Narrow.

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