Rhythm & Views

Of Montreal

Ahhh, spring is here and with it this year, comes not only the inevitable preheat of a Tucson summer, but also a new Of Montreal album.

This new album is a wonderful cacophony of sounds mixed into and with eccentrically happy pop ditties. Songs that mish and mash within themselves and bring about memories of puppet shows, yellow submarines and brightly colored flags. If you don't have those memories, something equally childlike and wonderful will come to you. Something out of your past happiness.

That's what Of Montreal seems to be able to create. Images of the past that you find the happiest. Not only are they able to boil up the past in their sounds, but they also skim the cream off the top of the bliss milk. Even the songs that are, or seem, sad, are happy. It's truly wonderful.

At times it can be too wonderful though. Unless you're in a fairly happy mood to begin with, this album could be considered, dare I say, grating? A good analogy would be, say, when you're in a funk for whatever reason (your stocks are falling, you stubbed your toe, you realized you gave up the one and possibly only true love you ever had) and you run into one of your "bubbly" friends. All they do is try and cheer you up and make you smile and they are just annoyingly optimistic. That same affect applies to this album. Great if you're already on your way, but icky if you're not.

The music itself contains mixtures of everything you might find happy but also might find magically mysterious (Psychedelic-era Beatles) or possibly preservational of village greens (Psychedelic-era Kinks). You might also find sonic bafoonery and skits of a silly nature, that when performed live (I recognize the skits from the last show Of Montreal played here), really make an Of Montreal show something special.

Do make sure you go see them when they appear at Solar Culture tonight with the wonderful Marshmallow Coast (same people, different band, different music, same price). It's a show that will leave you with a big, stupid smile on your face, provided there was an unstupid smile there to begin with.

Of Montreal plays tonight, May 3, at 9 p.m. at Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission is $5.
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