of Montreal
The Gay Parade
Feb 16, 1999

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Released by: Bar/None

Pre-Polyvinyl of Montreal album.

The Gay Parade is indie-pop's very own Sgt. Pepper, a richly detailed, grandly ambitious concept record which forgoes the ponderous pretensions the phrase implies to instead exult in the simple joys of everyday life.

Kevin Barnes' songs radiate a childlike wonder and boundless enthusiasm, discovering beauty in the most unlikely of places; his lyrics suggest psychedelic nursery rhymes, populated by absurdist characters (each and every one depicted on the jacket art) sketched in Crayola across a series of majestic melodies and ornate arrangements which belie the record's surface naïveté.

For all of The Gay Parade's effervescence and whimsy, there's also a melancholy that pervades songs like "Jacques Lamure," "The Autobiographical Grandpa" and "My Friend Will Be Me," recalling the lovelorn hues of the previous of Montreal record, The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy; far from deflating the euphoria, however, these moments simply acknowledge the necessity of sadness and loss to the human experience, and deem them worthy of celebration as well.

These are songs in the key of life, Zen-like expressions of simplicity and innocence resonating with remarkable complexity and wisdom.

— Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide (4.5 Stars)


  • 1
    Old Familiar Way (2:25)
  • 2
    Fun Loving Nun (2:17)
  • 3
    Tulip Baroo (2:10)
  • 4
    Jacques Lamure (2:31)
  • 5
    The March of the Gay Parade (2:55)
  • 6
    Neat Little Domestic Life (2:45)
  • 7
    A Collection of Poems About Water (3:57)
  • 8
    Y the Quale and the Vaguely Bird Noisily Enjoying Their Forbidden Tryst / I'd Be a Yellow Feathered Loon (2:40)
  • 9
    The Autobiographical Grandpa (2:19)
  • 10
    The Miniature Philosopher (1:54)
  • 11
    My Friend Will Be Me (3:54)
  • 12
    My Favorite Boxer (3:01)
  • 13
    Advice From a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage (2:08)
  • 14
    A Man's Life Flashing Before His Eyes While He and His Wife Drive Off a Cliff into the Ocean (3:04)
  • 15
    Nickee Coco and the Invisible Tree (5:21)
  • 16
    The Gay Parade Outro (0:47)

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