Of Montreal Skeletal Lamping(Polyvinyl Records) Buy it from Insound
I’m not a trained psychologist, but in my professional opinion, Skeletal Lamping is not the product of a stable mind. I’ve been following Kevin Barnes for a while now and while I’ve always admired his peculiar kind of, alright I’ll say it, genius, I’ve simultaneously felt that he suffered from a nagging restlessness. This shouldn’t surprise anybody that listens to the music of Of Montreal; it’s likely part of their appeal. Many artists are compared to Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson, but few if any could write a piano ballad as lyrical as It’s Just So, or a fractured pop song as counter intuitively cohesive as Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse. He is genuinely tied to a tradition of disturbed, brilliant artists that fought their demons in the public eye. I don’t know much about Barnes’ personal life, outside of a few stray comments he has made betraying certain neuroses, but it’s possible that Lamping may turn out to be his most personal statement, even more so than his previous album loaded down with autobiographical material. That’s because more than any other work he’s done recently it reveals a staggeringly creative mind that cannot settle down for even the length of a 3 minute pop song. You can conclude that the failure of this album to really connect is due to the overwhelming demands made on the listener, or you can lay the blame, as I do, right at the artist’s feet.