Lousy with Sylvianbriar


Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
Buy On
  1. Oct 8, 2013
    Whether exposing light or dark, or some blank hue in the middle, Barnes has all but bulls-eyed his status as a brilliantly daring artist on Lousy.
  2. Magnet
    Oct 18, 2013
    In control, indeed, and not just of scathing language. His command over his songwriter's rainbow, from pop sprite to pastoral sage to rockabilly goat gruff, redlines on "Hegira Emigre." [No. 103, p.56]
  3. Oct 10, 2013
    In the grand tradition of rockers who have music to cure their own isolation and misery, Barnes and Of Montreal have entered a great one in the canon with Lousy With Sylvianbriar.
  4. Oct 7, 2013
    Swapping out the sonic and mental clutter for a host of centered, unconfused rock tunes is a curveball move, for sure, but the end product is the most memorable, lasting, and relatable albums in Of Montreal's extensive catalog, and easily one of the best.
  5. Oct 10, 2013
    Although Lousy With Sylvianbriar lacks the violent eclecticism of their 2007 classic ‘Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?’, it’s a genre-morphing triumph that reveals new surprises with each listen.
  6. 80
    Each and every moment of Lousy With Sylvianbriar celebrates the breaking down of genre barriers that Dylan jumpstarted in 1965. It’s an album that looks to the past while illuminating perfectly the many talents of its contemporary creator.
  7. Oct 9, 2013
    Exactly where the album fits within the band’s catalog will probably be debated for as long as people talk about the band; where precisely you place it is irrelevant if the listening experience itself is this enjoyable.
  8. Oct 8, 2013
    Sylvianbriar brings a sunny openness to of Montreal’s ever-evolving cache with its sweeping changes in styles and instrumentation and adherence to more traditional song structures.
  9. Alternative Press
    Oct 7, 2013
    Give this three plays and it'll stay imbedded in your autumn playlist. [Nov 2013, p.90]
  10. 80
    [Kevin Barnes] sounds like he’s gotten more comfortable here, and while that doesn’t always make for the best music, in the case of Of Montreal, it resulted in one of their best.
  11. Oct 8, 2013
    What makes Lousy with Sylvianbriar a typically of Montreal album is Barnes’s effortless subversion of these classic rock idioms, his ability to distort the twangy harmonies and corn-fed heartland melodies with blindingly vivid, visceral lyrical imagery as deceptive and dark as it is gorgeously enunciated.
  12. 75
    While of Montreal aren’t exactly strutting 2007-style again, their tweaked, re-energized sound has them strutting nonetheless. And that’s what they do best.
  13. Oct 11, 2013
    Barnes seems playfully aware that his lyrics are Gordian knots, impossible for even the most devoted Of Montreal fan (including, possibly, himself) to untangle completely. And yet there are moments of clarity on Lousy with Sylvianbriar that prove Barnes is both his own harshest judge and most lenient jury.
  14. Uncut
    Nov 1, 2013
    Bitter but sweet enough. [Dec 2013, p.71]
  15. Oct 10, 2013
    Lousy with Sylvianbriar won’t ever be viewed as the quintessential Of Montreal album. But sourness aside, it’s the healthy sound of a restless spirit.
  16. 70
    The stronger songs sound intentionally raw and impulsive; the weaker songs like demos waiting to be fleshed out.
  17. Oct 7, 2013
    By producing an album without electronic stimulants, Kevin Barnes continues to explore fresh musical dimensions. And while it might not always pay off, Lousy With Svlvianbriar proves once again he has a songwriting consistency few can match.
  18. Oct 7, 2013
    The melodies, meanwhile, avoid obvious hooks, in favour of tension and knotty complexity. This rescues Lousy with Sylvianbriar from dreary rockism.
  19. May 1, 2014
    12th album Lousy with Sylvianbriar strums out a more agreeable amalgam for the veteran Athens, Ga., clown car.
  20. Oct 8, 2013
    Overall, Lousy With Sylvianbriar is a satisfying link in bringing Barnes’ musical progression full-circle, but at times he seems to forget what made him so good at this stuff the first time around.
  21. Dec 17, 2013
    Even as Barnes works with a more limited palette, the drums/bass/guitar ensemble sounds as tight and crisp as could possibly be desired. He just doesn’t seem to want to be as gentle as the music that he has created here, resulting in a frustrating, and sometimes rather irritating listen.
  22. Oct 22, 2013
    Lousy with Sylvianbriar is, quite simply, a weary album.
  23. Oct 18, 2013
    For a group whose best moments are when they teeter on just about every edge imaginable, it's just... boring.
  24. Oct 15, 2013
    Lousy With Sylvanbriar is a drab, insufferably uninteresting album.
  25. Q Magazine
    Oct 11, 2013
    Where once Of Montreal sparkled, they're now mired in a plodding, asexual beige. [Nov 2013, p.113]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Aug 27, 2014
    lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololo Full Review »
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    Looks like the critics can't agree on this one. After many listens, I am hearing some influences of beatles, deerhunter, velvet undergroundLooks like the critics can't agree on this one. After many listens, I am hearing some influences of beatles, deerhunter, velvet underground and maybe even foxygen, to name a few. With the exception of the song Hegira Emigre (which should be thrown out), all the songs are fantastic. I have listened to a lot of music this year, this is one of the best of 2013. Glad they changed things up, I was never a fan before. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2013
    On this LP, Of Montreal give a solid release. They connect with the instrumentation found in their early works and Barnes' songwriting isOn this LP, Of Montreal give a solid release. They connect with the instrumentation found in their early works and Barnes' songwriting is still menacing and heartfelt while his vocal delivery and lyrical content communicate across the intimate and disturbing planes of emotion, which he consistently gives on every track here. The songs are cohesive however there isn't much diversity amongst the tracks. The band does however balance each style they bring into this album perfectly. There isn't too much rock and there isn't too much psychedelic flair, it's a happy medium. I do love the switch up from their previous works though, subtle electronic instrumentation is a good direction for them, really bringing out the talented strengths that the band is capable of. All in all, if there's anything to get from this, it's that you need to listen to this album and get lousy with sylvianbriar. Whatever that means.

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