Of Montreal False Priest

Of Montreal False Priest
Is it too early to call False Priest the best of Montreal album to date? Barnes, who is notorious for indulging his every flight of fancy ― sometimes at the listener's expense, as on his 2008 LP, Skeletal Lamping ― sounds positively focused, giving ample opportunity to soak in every hook and lyrical turn of the 13 expansive tracks. Yes, there will be arguments that Barnes' 2007 effort, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, is still his best, and it remains his most successfully experimental, but the sheer number of influences present on False Priest, and the effectiveness with which he employs each one without coming across as imitative, makes it his most substantial and "complete" album yet. We're still talking about of Montreal, so the album is still delightfully quirky; Barnes employs uncharacteristic strings on "Casualty Of You," a hilarious monologue in the middle of "Our Riotous Defects" (sample: "I supported your stupid little blog, bought a bowflex") and a heavy low-end throughout. But for the first time since 2007, Barnes sounds totally and utterly in control. It's a thrill to hear it. (Polyvinyl)