Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. With this completely progressive and mature effort, it's clear that Barnes is one of indie rock's most gifted songwriters. [Feb 2007, p.115]
  2. This is a cohesive, serious album. It is distressing, depressed, isolated, alienating, and probably the best Of Montreal album to date.
  3. Much of Hissing Fauna… dances in the face of its depressing subject matter.
  4. An extraordinary record. [Mar 2007, p.115]
  5. What makes these songs so positively delicious, in the same way that going on a bender can be a welcome alternative to crying into a pillow, is that Barnes realizes how seductive misery can be.
  6. If Of Montreal were previously a bit on the superficial side with their beatific pop, Hissing Fauna adds a welcome additional ingredient: a sense of gravity.
  7. It's this mix of little quirks and big beats that makes "Hissing Fauna" so much fun. But it's the way Barnes pushes himself, both to tell the truth and to try new things, that lends these songs a heavier, more compelling edge than most contemporary baroque-pop.
  8. An astonishingly good late-period record from Of Montreal that's as uncomfortably savage in its depiction of breakup psychology as it is relentlessly catchy.
  9. Hissing Fauna might be Barnes’ finest work yet, an opus built entirely of sugar.
  10. Hissing Fauna is severely front-loaded, not necessarily because the closing songs are duds, but more because the album’s first half is nearly flawless.
  11. The band's playful musicality is undeniable. [26 Jan 2007, p.71]
  12. 82
    If last year's sublime Sunlandic Twins was Kevin Barnes' ode to "Oslo in the Summertime," Hissing Fauna recalls his Winter of Discontent.
  13. If there is one thing in this world that can elevate even the weakest of lyrics from the trough of personal diary hell, it’s a catchy melody. Thankfully this record overflows with them.
  14. 80
    A wonderfully dance-ridden companion ot the intelli-disco carved out on 2005's The Sunlandic Twins. [Jan/Feb 2006, p.81]
  15. It's a challenging yet ultimately rewarding album -- and one that definitely requires some thoughtful attention on the part of the listener.
  16. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? is probably the most fun one can reasonably have while wrestling with somebody else’s demons.
  17. Barnes's most personal and emotional album to date.
  18. 80
    The emotional gravitas only lends heft to the group's exhilarating, ever-present sugar high. [#74, p.104]
  19. The effect of the new bleak mood lurking beneath the glimmering pop is to pare away the occasional over-cutesiness that has marred Of Montreal's work in the past and enhance the freaky psychedelic sublime of Barne's best moments.
  20. The lack of engaging realism has always been one of the major problems for Of Montreal and the new material goes a long way towards solving it.
  21. For the most part an exercise in Prince-like electro-funk, full of squelchy keyboard fuzz and chicken-scratch guitar noise and absurdly complicated falsetto harmonies.
  22. It's all darkly beautiful, because Barnes continues to emote more through the music than through his words.
  23. An album of relatively accessible pop music that pulses with the pain of a life in pieces.
  24. It's by far his most personal album, but "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" keeps the self-absorption to a minimum, in favor of vivid descriptions and up-tempo music that's catchy and engaging regardless of whether you're invested in the difficult back story.
  25. 70
    Hissing Fauna might be an album of ego trips, but at least Barnes is on the good stuff. [Feb 2007, p.85]
  26. Fauna's first half is cosmic pop turmoil of the highest degree, as only a master songwriter could create.
  27. 70
    At best, Hissing Fauna... posits its creator as the missing link between Hot Chip and Morrissey. [Mar 2007, p.88]
  28. Manic pop and depressive revelations have rarely been so closely bonded. [22 Jan 2007]
  29. 70
    His gifts remain undiminished. [Mar 2007, p.99]
  30. This Athens, Georgia collective have blossomed from winsome indie-pop virgins to frocked-up future pop stars, beaming their febrile college rock through a kaleidoscope of sleazy funk, electronica jitters, and 'Fear Of Music'-style Talking Heads ethno-beat.
  31. Although non-fans will likely continue to dismiss the band as over-the-top pop marauders, Hissing Fauna proves that there’s plenty of depth to their delirium.
  32. Everything's going just swell on Hissing Fauna--from moody to hyper hip shaking to stand-still hipster pose--until Barnes stops it all with the twelve minute "The Past is a Grotesque Animal." [#16, p.93]
  33. An intermittently pleasurable record from a talented songwriter with an overstuffed brain. [8 Feb 2007, p.70]
  34. The second half is dominated by a seedy funk that feels at once self-indulgent and unappetising, despite the odd dazzling moment.
  35. Most of what Barnes throws together here doesn't get beyond annoying pastiche, and he still lacks the chops as a wordsmith to magically transform mediocre jams into memorable songs.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 97
  2. Negative: 5 out of 97
  1. Zonhin
    Feb 2, 2008
    4
    I want to like this. I want to like this. I wish I could say that I love this even more then I Sunlandic Twins. As it is, I'm not angry. I want to like this. I want to like this. I wish I could say that I love this even more then I Sunlandic Twins. As it is, I'm not angry. Just sad. The songs seem to go on forever, and I felt bored through the whole thing. The only two songs I found myself enjoying were Suffer for Fashion and Gronlandic Edit. The rest weren't sad. They weren't moving. Just boring. Full Review »
  2. DavidC.
    May 31, 2009
    10
    This is one of the greatest albums of this decade. The comedic and cynical lyrics counter the poppy melodies of the album in almost an ironic This is one of the greatest albums of this decade. The comedic and cynical lyrics counter the poppy melodies of the album in almost an ironic way. "The Past is a Grotesque Animal" lies perfectly in the middle of the album, where the music takes a sharp turn for the serious and angry. Of Montreal finds a way to make the most unlikely combination of lyrics and music to create one amazing feeling of loss and anger. It is a truly unique and wonderful album from a truly unique and wonderful band. Full Review »
  3. TimL
    May 28, 2008
    10
    I really don't see how anyone can see this album as anything other than perfect. The lyrics are so meaningful and it's clear that I really don't see how anyone can see this album as anything other than perfect. The lyrics are so meaningful and it's clear that this album means a lot to Barnes. He take you for a ride through marital and mental breakdown through dark pop and funk music. The first half is definitely the more accessible of the two halves of the album, but the second half is certainly my favourite. With brilliant tracks like 'She's a rejecter' and of course 'Past is a grotesque animal' this is without a doubt the best album of 2007 and, most likely, the best of the decade. Full Review »