Critics are way too harsh on Kevin Barnes and Of Montreal. Yeah, the band is weird, and odd, and they write very similar sounding music, but that’s their sound. That’s what he enjoys making; dark, personal, obscene pop music. And personally I think it’s fucking awesome, and fun. Who cares if it’s not different from their last couple of releases? If anything, Barnes writes the most personally of any artists out there right now, and that’s something that he should be proud of and admired for.
Now on their 13th studio album, Aureate Gloom is most at kin to their more poppy days, straying away from their Paralytic Stalks days. “Aureate,” meaning “denoting or having the color of gold,” or, “ornately elaborate,” paired with the “Gloom,” of the album title, is a perfect description for the group. Barnes writes music like a weird pop-punk group who knows a lot of words and likes to use them. And they’re definitely elaborate, with each show a staged spectacle of costumes, more like a production than a concert. Those disappointed by saying that Aureate Gloom is not as good as Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer? or Satanic Panic In The Attic, try just stepping back and remembering why you loved Of Montreal in the first place. Consequence of Sound’s review of the record, as well as others, was very harsh on Barnes. Not every album has to be better the last, and Barnes shouldn’t be writing music trying to top the last album. That’s not what music is about. On Aureate Gloom, he’s as crafty as ever. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Of Montreal’s latest album like you’ve loved all the rest.