This being Of Montreal’s 10th LP, a landmark that most bands today don’t live to see, False Priest stands out, even so, as a solid piece of work. The 13 tracks on this disc deal mostly with relationships inside and out. It is about relationship highs, relationship lows, and everything in between. It plays out as a portrait of a relationship from its exciting beginning to its bitter end.
Starting with the high points on “I Feel Ya Strutter” Barnes proclaims “I see you girlfriend/I got so lucky with you!”. Moving on to the middle of the album we hear with tracks like “Sex Karma”, “Close your eyes and count to three/I kiss you where I shouldn’t be/You look like a playground to me, playa”. But before long there is unrest on tracks like “Famine Affair” in which there is some apparent loathing going on “I don’t want you anymore, I don’t love you anymore/go away, go away, go away, go away/you’re a bad thing”. It’s really quite a pretty thing to hear unfold. It’s a reminder of how love can be rewarding and volatile at the same time and in no predetermined order or ratio.
All of that set aside, False Priest is definitely the most playful of the recent Of Montreal albums. As always it makes your feet tap with just about every measure. Though in this rampant playfulness, there is some feeling lost at times. In my opinion, this has always been a problem for Barnes and crew. They could use some more solemn, stripped down tunes, especially on this disc. I know damn well they could write some really great ballads. Perhaps its hard to write ballads about a character like Georgie Fruit, frontman Kevin Barnes’ Ziggy Stardust-like alter-ego who happens to be a black man in his 40’s who has gone through several sex change operations and serves as the main character on this album. Yeah, that may be the problem. At least it makes for an interesting set of lyrics.