‘Ur Fun’ is the sixteenth record from the sonically incandescent Of Montreal, and their first since 2018’s ‘White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood’. The ten-track effort canters among the luminescence of the band’s glossy eighties exterior, relishing in the reds of the diner glow and chuckling at its own confidence.
The glamorous ‘Peace To All Freaks’ giggles comfortably until its cheeks glow almost as brightly as the radish-tinted car on its cover. Vocalist and emphatic prodigy Kevin Barnes often grants his tracks with a touch likened to airy pop, allowing plump drums from Clayton Rychlik to frolic, and strings to swell at their own will, but the goo below the surface is often tinged with an off-pink realism.
Of Montreal‘s releases are often framed by the relationship of Barnes and his love, Christina Schneider of Locate S,1. ‘You’ve Had Me Everywhere’ is a poignant, somewhat melancholy expulsion of such saturated infatuation, “Listening to your heartbeat, realising it’s my heartbeat too”, developing further the overt vulnerability that laces the further likes of ‘Carmillas Of Love’.
‘Get God’s Attention’ is the slicked-back hair, the popped collar, the swivelling heels of teens jiving in the parking lot under the cavernous jaws of their predecessors. Nicolas Dobbratz spurs on the adolescent swoons with riffs so potent that you’re rolling up your jeans and making ground to join in on the scallywag-fuelled explosion before the second chorus hits.
‘Deliberate Self-Harm Ha Ha’ is a slurring of dismal vocal deliveries and equally lulling instrumentals. Davey Pierce‘s bass line chugs with a plodding, intoxicated rhythm that serves to drag the track along as opposed to pursuing it. The parking lot of once adrenaline-encouraged teens bruises out to faded vinyl puddles and empty whiskey bottles as ’20th Century Schizofriendic Revengoid Man’ strives, to little avail, to amp up its listeners again.
The pungent energy so rawly illustrated through the first course of the album whips and sways in all the right places, but the dip in velocity misses the mark a little. The more solemn tracks in this catalogue come too late for the energy to be replicated before the album’s conclusion, and it feels like you’re tripping over your laces through the final tracks. Then again, that’s probably the bubbling shock that Of Montreal‘s target audience is looking for.