Of Montreal are one of several bands at the moment who are doing their best to not be labeled as making any one kind of music. Their sound can range from simple drum machines and sythns to almost thrash-worthy heavy guitars and real drums. `Skeletal Lamping` continues in this vein and even takes the band closer to perfecting its signature sound. That being mixing musical experimentation with the basic tenets of pop i.e. catchy melodies and sing-along choruses.
`Skeletal Lamping` is a much brighter and happier album than previous outing `Hissing Fauna, Are you The Destroyer`. Tracks like `Nonpareil of Favor` run the gambit of sounds from a child`s piano to electronic distortion and high pitch melodic coos. `Wicked Wisdom` sound like a hip Scissor Sisters, while `For Our Elegant Caste` sounds like a cross between ELO and The Postal Service. Lead singer Kevin Barnes has a wide vocal range going from Freddy Mercury to Elliot Smith in a moment`s notice. `Touched Something`s Hollow` starts out slow and then delves into an almost Carter USM pop sound. `Plastis Wafer` is my favourite on the album ranging from quiet melodies to wild, almost African tribal drums and back again in a seven minute wild ride. `Death Is Not A Parallel Move` is a very Beatles sound track and has a very simple guitar, bass and vocal harmony. Another one of my favorite songs on the album, `Beware Our Nubile Miscreants` has the wonderful line `he`s the sort of guy that will leave you in a k-hole to go play Halo in the other room`. Ah, good times!
It`s nice to see the band in a happy mode but I hope that they can combine the last album`s more sombre tones with this album`s cheerful side to produce a well-rounded album in the future. `Skeletal Lamping` remains a fun album with serious but often silly lyrics and highly enjoyable music.
7 out of 10
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