Thursday, October 30, 2008

Always Stuck Repeating

The of Montreal blog posts links to two new interviews today. Both focus on mention Kevin's ambition to write songs on Skeletal Lamping that differ from the standard pop template, "something that was constantly shifting, constantly changing, with no rules and no limitations, no structure really...." The interview with The Toronto Star even features Kevin saying, "I know people don't want this record, really – I can tell by most of the reviews. Everyone seems so befuddled. Some people are actually pissed off. `How dare he make this record? Obviously, he can write pop songs. Why is he doing this?' It's absurd, the reaction, when people are given something that is complicated and unconventional and exceptional. They don't even know what to think of it." A statement which is totally true - I've seen reviews along those lines.

So maybe now is the time to mention that I just don't think Skeletal Lamping is all that weird. I don't know. I mean, yes, some of the songs really differ from traditional song structures, like the opener, "Nonpareil of Favor." That song basically follows the structure ABCD and is legitimately unusual. But there are also several songs that seem to mostly follow a standard verse-chorus structure, maybe deviating from this slightly at a couple of points, but not to any genuinely unusual extent. "An Eluardian Instance," "Triphallus, to Punctuate!," and "Beware Our Nubile Miscreants" all strike me as fitting to at least some extent to the standard pop song verse-chorus template, and are three of the most immediately catchy songs on the album, presumably because of this; first single "Id Engager" fits into this category as well, which is, again, presumably why it was chosen as the first single. Even the lengthy "Plastis Wafers," which certainly doesn't fit the standard template, actually starts out with an ABCABC structure, enough to make the song's catchy "chorus" get stuck in my head, at least, even if it moves on to different places from there.

Furthermore, even when it comes to the album's more unusual songs, intellectually, I certainly notice the disorienting effects that Kevin and his interviewers are talking about, but, viscerally, I don't feel like what I'm listening to is particularly bizarre. I don't know. Is there something unusual about the way that I listen to music? I don't feel disoriented at all, and I'm not sure I feel like listening to Skeletal Lamping is different from listening to any other reasonably good album. Does anyone else in the world feel this way? Or is there really something I'm missing?

1 comment:

Jon Jucovy said...

It is difficult to have a reaction to this, and I hope to one day take some time to listen to Montreal. As always, I respond slowly to new music.