of Montreal has been on a tear as of late: releasing two acclaimed albums (2004's Satanic Panic In The Attic and 2005's The Sunlandic Twins), all the while spreading its dance party-inducing live shows to the masses.
Now, with Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, of Montreal has created its masterpiece. It is an irresistible and remarkable album, sounding like a logical extension of the erratic indie-disco sounds of The Sunlandic Twins.
However, Hissing Fauna is also the most personal of Montreal album to date, with Kevin Barnes, lead of Montreal songwriter, pouring tremendous amounts of emotion, heartbreak, frustration and elation into its twelve tracks.
Written and recorded primarily during what he calls "an insane year," Hissing Fauna sees Barnes adopt a new writing style. It's an unabashedly autobiographical attempt from a songwriter whose early material tended towards characters and story-songs.
Barnes continues down the whimsical pop funk path, while changing up its lyrical scope; and Hissing Fauna balances its poppy nature while showcasing brutal and unflinching honesty.
#5 /Top 50 Albums of the Year – PITCHFORK
#7 /Top 10 Albums of the Year – UNDER THE RADAR
#9 /Top 10 Albums of the Year - ASSOCIATED PRESS
#9 /Top 10 Albums of the Year - CANADIAN PRESS
#10 /Top 10 Albums of the Year - NPR ALL SONGS CONSIDERED
#11 /Top 20 Albums of the Year – MAGNET
#13 /Top 100 Songs of The Year – “The Past Is A Grotesque Animal” - PITCHFORK
#20 /Top 40 Albums of the Year - SPIN
#27 /Top 50 Albums of the Year – HARP
#31 /Top 100 Albums of The Year – PASTE
#41/Top 50 Albums of the Year - ROLLING STONE
#1 /Top 10 Indie Pop Albums of the Year – POPMATTERS
#2 /Top 10 Albums of the Year – REFINERY 29
#2 /Top 25 Albums of the Year - 30MUSIC.COM
#10 /Top 25 Albums of the Year - TINY MIX TAPES
#13 /Top 50 Albums of the Year – COKEMACHINE GLOW
#18 /Top 50 Albums of the Year – TREBLEZINE
#21 /Top 60 Albums of the Year – POPMATTERS
#23 /Top 50 Albums of The Year – PREFIX
#27 /Top 50 Albums of the Year - STYLUS
READERS POLLS/MISC NOTES:
#4 /Top 50 Live Acts of the Year – STEREOGUM
#5 /Top 50 Albums of The Year - STEREOGUM
#6 /Top 50 Videos of the year, "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse" - STEREOGUM
#8 /Top 25 Albums of the year – PITCHFORK
#15 /Top 25 Songs Of The Year – “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” - PITCHFORK
#16 /Top 20 Albums of the Year – NPR
#2 /Top 10 Albums of The Year - CLEVELAND FREETIMES
#4 /Top 10 Albums of The Year - DENVER POST
#5 /Top 10 Albums of The Year - MINNEAPOLIS CITY PAGES
No Rank /Top Albums of the year – LA TIMES
Ceaselessly fascinating and inexhaustibly replayable.
Kevin Barnes has made his masterpiece.
[Of Montreal]'s best to date.
This is a cohesive, serious album. It is distressing, depressed, isolated, alienating, and probably the best Of Montreal album to date.
One of the most important releases of 2007.
This time Of Montreal's music revolves around a staple of loners in studios: synthesizers, used mostly for synth-pop that looks back to the 1970s and 1980s but is warped with shifty structures and skipped beats that could trip up unwary dancers. The album's centerpiece is the 12-minute "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," pulsating steadily in a spiral of self-laceration. Manic pop and depressive revelations have rarely been so closely bonded
Hissing Fauna might be an album of ego trips, but at least Barnes is on the good stuff.
This Athens, Georgia collective have blossomed from winsome indie-pop virgins to frocked-up future pop stars, beaming their febrile college rock through a kaleidoscope of sleazy funk, electronica jitters, and Fear Of Music-style Talking Heads ethno-beat.