To be fair, today’s is cheating a little bit, I have heard a fair few songs from this album before (they’ve popped up on Genius playlists and the like) – BUT – I’ve never heard it in it’s entirety before, so it still fits the criteria (which I set up anyway, so my interpretation is what counts :P) plus, it’s been a hell of a week with assessment and things, and I just really didn’t have the time to listen to anything longer.
Who: Of Montreal
What: The Sunlandic Twins
When: April 2005
The second listen through on this was pretty much just a formality, I could’ve written reams on any given individual song, it’s that packed full of ideas, from the childlike, twinkly opener Requiem for O.M.M.2 (which sounds like anything but) to the strange, cut up, choral qualities of Death of A Shade of Hue, there is almost too much to write (as if that could ever be true).
A bunch of these songs really skip between genres, it’s a bit disarming at first, as it’s really not something that can ever be expected, but I love a challenge. I Was Never Young, in particular starts off with a, frankly quite funky skip, which makes it sound daggy in a way it absolutely isn’t, and incorporates latin horns, before morphing into a sort of, 8-bit composition freakout towards the end. It’s like a lot of this album can’t decide where it wants to sit, but when every guise looks this good, it’s too much fun trying everything on.
And try it on they do.. Forecast Fascist Future takes directions from David Bowie before going off on a road trip all it’s own, and The Repudiated Immortals could’ve come directly from the Night at the Opera recording sessions. But with hindsight comes the glorious ability to trace the line forwards as well as backwards, The Party’s Crashing us is a great deal of fun, and Hot Chip have clearly been taking notes from this one, and Knight Rider is a lovely instrumental that smacks of Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach, although that may just be a chance occurrence, spurred on by the two bands’ shared interest in slightly unusual instruments.
When I stop using other bands as reference points, there are still some songs that stand out. Oslo in the Summertime, besides being a cool title, is really awesome with it’s growly bassline, So Begins Our Alabee is more electro-sounding than the rest, and the guitar sounds really cool. They also get away with having a song intro go on for two minutes, and in that time you barely even notice time is passing.
It’s the striking vocality of the singers that truly strings this album together. The harmonies are gorgeous, and ensure that while it moves about so much, the album still feels like a single entity, and an excellent-sounding one at that.
Ooh.. One final thing.. A plea: I’ve been thinking, and I’d like to give my own two cents on a couple of “the big ones” the really famous albums that everybody’s heard of, so I’m taking suggestions of any albums that you think I should listen to.. Go on, dare me :)