False Priest

Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Buy On
  1. Some will surely find this preachy, yucky, or technologically compromised. I'm just happy I can say amen.
  2. 90
    Although False Priest, Of Montreal's tenth album, is easily Barnes' most accessible, you can still hear his estrangement in the unpredictable chord progressions, the anxiously whimsical rhythms, and the distancing effects in the melodies that counter easy consumption.
  3. On False Priest, Brion reins in Barnes' hyperactive tendencies and cleans up his sound mix, bringing just enough sanity to make his mad experiments succeed.
  4. On False Priest, the spirit of collaboration does for Of Montreal on record what it has done for the band's live show, building a thrilling, carnival-like atmosphere around Barnes' fractured perspective.
  5. Jan 11, 2011
    80
    On False Priest, Brion drastically widens the canvas, giving the music a newfound clarity, symphonic sweep and thick low-end.
  6. It works, if possibly only because Kevin Barnes is ridiculous enough to believe it works. And that is the genius of Of Montreal.
  7. 80
    Even though love and religion may be his False Priest, Barnes can't escape their torrid ties, and despite the struggle being a lost cause, there is much cause to rejoice on of Montreal's tenth album.
  8. False Priest generally packs the kind of shock and awe that made 2007's Hissing Fauna such a delight. Throw in some deft work at the boards by one of today's hottest producers and a couple of guest appearances by notable female vocalists, and you've got one of 2010's most colorful releases. It's not for everyone, but that's half the fun of it.
  9. Though it's a little long and a couple songs veer toward filler, it's a return to form for of Montreal and more than justifies the hype and attention their live show has garnered.
  10. Of Montreal may keep getting weirder, but it's the band's garish melodic heart which makes them worth following.
  11. Q Magazine
    80
    Recorded at LA's Ocean Way studios, his 10th album sees his screwball pop vision go widescreen. [Oct 2010, p.112]
  12. Mojo
    80
    False Priest is a blur of swings and roundabuots, the sheer ambition of its crazed vision propelling it through any lull. [Oct. 2010, p. 96]
  13. 78
    Dripping with libido and pristine production, False Priest follows Barnes as he sows his oats from a variety of angles, some of them brand new, and with multiple partners to boot.
  14. Dec 23, 2010
    70
    While some may regret Barnes's toning-done of quirkiness or ambition, False Priest plays to his best qualities while minimizing his weaker ones.
  15. In the final analysis, of Montreal represents a rare and comprehensive attainment of vitality in modern music.
  16. As False Priest beds down in its second half, the album still has a sonic charge, but the frenetic sense of discovery from the first half drifts away.
  17. With False Priest, Barnes finally seems to be settling into his own skin, cherry picking from his long history and patching it all back together into something that Of Montreal could ride into the new decade. Just no more concept albums, please.
  18. This time, frontman Kevin Barnes is putting more flesh on his fantasies, camping up a Prince falsetto over psychedelic soul and New Wave disco.
  19. False Priest is also Of Montreal's first and only adventure in hi-fi, a co-production job with Kanye West consort Jon Brion.
  20. Under The Radar
    70
    He's settled for another solid turn around the technicolor dance floor, albeit one polished to an appealing sheen by producer Jon Brion. [Summer 2010, p.80]
  21. False Priest is billed as a more collaborative effort, both on the production end with musical savant Jon Brion and in the spotlighted duets with divas Janelle Monáe and Solange Knowles.
  22. Of Montreal will always appeal to anyone looking for a world to get lost in. Is it too much to ask for him to visit ours once in a while?
  23. Over-familiarity with Barnes' recent oeuvre aside, the material on False Priest just isn't as strong as the songs that comprise those other records.
  24. Uncut
    60
    Barnes' lyrics remain a stumbling block. [Oct 2001, p.98]
  25. Of Montreal's enjoyably bizarre 10th album fuses funk with indie, and sees Kevin Barnes taking his R&B-styled falsetto to unpredictably provocative places.
  26. Like most eccentric geniuses, Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes is as frustrating as he is brilliant.
  27. False Priest doesn't do enough to reel folks like me back into the hype machine, mainly because the lyrics are simply too dense and abstract to enjoy in this setting.
  28. Alternative Press
    50
    On paper the choice of Jon Brion, a musician and engineer best known for his work in film seemed perfect, but unfortunately it didn't temper Barnes' misguided vision to be the indie-rock Prince. [Oct 2010, p.116]
  29. The hooks are more pronounced and the bottom end beefed up, which gives Barnes' R&B leanings a lot more dancefloor appeal and makes songs such as the buttery Solange duet "Sex Karma" sound better than anything Prince has come up with in years. But the affectations remain troubling.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    Fantastic improvement from Skeletal Lamping. His collaboration with Brian Eno seems to have paid off. Great for more than a few listens. GreatFantastic improvement from Skeletal Lamping. His collaboration with Brian Eno seems to have paid off. Great for more than a few listens. Great melodies and vocal performance by Barnes. Full Review »
  2. Nov 30, 2010
    10
    The best album of 2010. A blunt statement, for a blunt album, and blunt it is indeed. Not only is it trippy and bizarre, it's also very aware.The best album of 2010. A blunt statement, for a blunt album, and blunt it is indeed. Not only is it trippy and bizarre, it's also very aware. Unlike it's predecessor, False Priest knows exactly what it is, and even though it's not quite as masterful as Skeletal Lamping, it's more than just a worthy follow up. Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2010
    10
    Fantastic. The sounds are huge and organic. The lyrics are deep, enigmatic, devastating, and hopeful. The vocals are distinctly Kevin Barnes,Fantastic. The sounds are huge and organic. The lyrics are deep, enigmatic, devastating, and hopeful. The vocals are distinctly Kevin Barnes, which is frankly a great thing. The guest stars are incredible (Janelle and Solange sing with Kevin masterfully, and Nina makes a brief appearance saying something in Norwegian). The sounds are definitely more rock than usual (Coquet Coquette and Famine Affair). Even if the lyrics completely escape you, you can get quite a bit of enjoyment from the music. It really helps your understanding if you've familiarized yourself with Of Montreal's insanity, but this album shouldn't be weird enough to scare away first-time listeners. This album is great fun to sing along with your friends (especially while playing badminton), but it will really begin to show its depth after some meditation. False Priest begins to tell a story. You will understand Kevin Barnes' disappointment, resentment, devastation, and joy. There are numerous references to science (genetics, nuclear physics, etc.), which isn't too unusual. Researching mythology and science will always provide a better understanding of Of Montreal. When I began to contemplate an appropriate score for this album, I considered what I would have improved. I really could think of nothing. It's fun, deep, tragic, and can smoothly shift from euphoric to destroyed. When I hear Kevin cry out the line from Around the Way- "getting so ****ed up trying to cure you, it's so draining. How can I help when you won't talk to me?!" I literally get goosebumps. His emotion is expressed so fully that it hurts. This album is everything he said it would be. Salute your Busta-Rhymeness!â Full Review »