Of Montreal gets a bit philosophical in "The Bird Who Continues To Eat the Rabbit's Flower," an EP of pensive little dream-acid-folk songs. It's not their best material, but it's a fun diversion of strange little songs about men kissing men, crashing airplanes and spiritual "inner light."
It starts off with "You Are An Airplane," a laid-back little pop tune that announces, "When you crash I want to go down with you/We'll make such a horrible mess." It's followed up by the upbeat "Inner Light," and the bouncy gay anthem "When A Man Is In Love With A Man."
Things become more dramatic in the opener of the repentent "If I Faltered Slightly Twice," which seems to be a final plea for forgiveness. It's followed by by the messy, distorted "Disguises," which ends up being all the more fun because it's so chaotic. Following a couple of ordinary folk-pop tunes is "I Felt Like Smashing My Head Through A Clear Glass Window," a gloriously grumpy little song about smashing things.
Yes, Of Montreal is one of those crazy bands from the Elephant 6 Collective, who range from the mediocre to the insanely genius. This band creeps closer to genius -- they have their dud moments, but the general feel of "The Bird Who Continues To Eat the Rabbit's Flower" is of a playful, pensive little tapestry of sound.
Driving guitar melodies are in the middle of most of these songs, but Of Montreal was obviously spreading its wings at this time, given the warbling distortion of "Disguises." The distortion just drowns out the pop song, but it's mesmerizing. A gentle piano melody starts off "If I Faltered Slightly Twice," and electric organ in the finale is nothing short of glorious.
Kevin Barnes sounds right at home in the middle of all the weirdness, with his offbeat voice sometimes getting buried in the sound ("You Are an Airplane") and sometimes getting to take center stage ("On the Drive Home"). And his songs are nuggets of indiepop brilliance. Sometimes they get too sappy, such as "The Inner Light," but elsewhere he compares a self-destructive pal to a crashing airplane, and says to a lover, "You looked like heaven in bloom."
"The Bird Who Continues To Eat the Rabbit's Flower" was only the second release by Of Montreal, but it's still a great collection of psychedelic indiepop. Definitely worth getting.