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of Montreal
Paralytic Stalks - POLYVINYL
FILTER Grade: 80%

By Clare R. Lopez on February 13, 2012

 

of Montreal

The airwaves become a little more eccentric with an of Montreal release. In this sense, the arrival of their 11th album, Paralytic Stalks, is no exception. But with lead singer Kevin Barnes’ echoing vocals fading into the stormy electronic backdrop of opener “Gelid Ascent,” a shift has clearly taken place. Of Montreal have slowed things down a bit and pushed their signature funky grooves further. After working with session musicians for the first time, songs are unexpectedly infused with fluttery flute (“Dour Percentage”) or soft keys (“Malefic Dowery”). There is also a marked orchestral fluidity throughout, which lends itself to the experimental instrumental passages that permeate the record. In the final three tracks, these interludes seem to go off on their own and leave you stranded. But in the last couple of minutes, a gentle piano coupled with Barnes’ voice emerges and this solid effort ends on its greatest notes.

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