Of Montreal: Big On Hooks And Laughs

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Of Montreal

Alternating between shrieking falsetto and spoken word, Of Montreal's "Our Riotous Defects" chronicles a deteriorating relationship with a "crazy girl." courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Wednesday's Pick

Song: "Our Riotous Defects"

Artist: Of Montreal

CD: False Priest

Genre: Funk-Pop

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes broke out as an indie-pop wunderkind early in the last decade, as he began dropping albums full of finely tuned indie-pop that mixed Beatles-style hooks with sunny, Beach Boys-esque psychedelia. But since 2007 — when Barnes documented his psychic breakdown on the excellent album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? — Barnes has gotten more overtly weird by veering toward a funk-pop sound reminiscent of Parliament and Prince.

Barnes continues to mine that terrain on Of Montreal's new album, False Priest, which was produced by Jon Brion and features guest stars such as Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles. And, while the record doesn't strike as deeply as Fauna, tracks like "Our Riotous Defects" are big on hooks and laughs.

Over a loping bass riff and chamber-pop instrumentation, "Our Riotous Defects" chronicles Barnes' deteriorating relationship with a "crazy girl," as he alternates between shrieking falsetto and spoken word — and gets a vocal assist from Monae in the process. Barnes' words are among his funniest yet, written with smart internal rhymes that bring to mind rappers like Lil Wayne: "I did everything I could to make you happy," he says. "I participated in all your protests, supported your stupid little blog, got a Bowflex, wore color contacts to match your dresses. Whatever your eyes caught, I bought. But still we fought, like Ike and Tina in reverse."

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