Imaginary Places
Frank Mullen

Imaginary Places

Like tumbling down a rabbit hole and finding yourself wandering dizzily through a strange, surreal new world, attending an Of Montreal show necessitates a wholesale abandonment of reality. Led by the ever-fanciful Kevin Barnes, the Athens, Georgia band dwells at the intersection where Sgt. Pepper, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, and Ray Davies come together, and is known as much for its midshow skits and children's theater props as its wondrous, quasi-psychedelic, fairy-tale indie-pop.

Of Montreal's most recent album, last year's Aldhils Arboretum, isn't as grand and sprawling as, say, 2001's Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse. But it still contains plenty of memorable character sketches -- from Auntie Eleanor and Sulking Sara to Larry the Alcoholic Neighbor -- that compare nicely with any T.S. Eliot creation you might fancy. Go with the off-kilter flow and you'll be rewarded with one of the maddest twee parties ever.


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