Review: Of Montreal stays unfocused

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Usually, a collection of B-sides and unreleased material is specifically reserved for bands, artists, collectives that are actually relevant to popular culture or have been at some point in time.

And usually, this band, artist, collective has a fan base that will forever grow with the release of every new project.

As it is with Of Montreal’s newest collection of B-sides and unreleased material, “Daughter of Cloud,” the band does not fit the criteria or possess sufficient credentials to have such a collection.

Granted, Of Montreal, an Athens, Ga. based psychedelic, experimental, progressive rock band, is popular amongst the selected sect that chooses to listen to an unusually specific branch of music, with the releases of a slew of mildly-recepted albums, Of Montreal’s relevancy has diminished to a few loyal fans that will go to war for General Kevin Barnes – the band’s frontman – and his awkwardly named cavalry, Of Montreal.

“Daughter of Cloud” is nothing more than a ramshackle attempt at notoriety, laced with the pains  of unfulfilled childhood dreams of acceptance and misdirection.

The sound of the album is an inconsistent body of work that poses as a challenge to finish, with no sense of reward at the 56 minutes it takes to complete.

The biggest struggle is accepting the annoyance of Barnes’ vocal delivery.

Barnes sounds of a “Boys Don’t Cry” era Robert Smith and an aging Prince. Barnes is seemingly forcing the type of innovation displayed on the groups earlier releases, like 1997’s “The Bird Who Ate The Rabbit’s Flower” or 1999’s “The Gay Parade.”

From a trained listeners perspective, it seems as if Barnes is committing mimicry against his earlier self. If Barnes’ late 1990’s self was able to see what his early 2010’s self was doing, a defamation suit would be in order.

Presumably, “Daughter of Cloud” was released to remind the public that Of Montreal still exists. Compilations like this, disregarding anthologies or greatest hits collections, are released in this vein of marketing.

Public relation moves like this are understood by the public, but only accepted by hardcore fans. If a compilation is a necessary release, than why not assemble a collection of mediocre – at best – songs, not a collection of songs that are used as throwaways at rehearsal.

Rating: One out of four stars.

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter