Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Feb 23, 2012
    60
    There are some truly great moments here where the band crash around making glorious, daft, noisy pop music, but they stand at a stark counterpoint with the cloying experimental tendencies Barnes forces through.
  2. Feb 21, 2012
    30
    All too often Paralytic Stalks feels like an attempt to assume the role of indie-pop's Steve Vai by competitively crushing structural formats underfoot until there's nothing left but dusty granules.
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    70
    Convoluted as his words and ideas are, they're surprisingly singable, in all their mad profusion.
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    70
    There is ... a marked orchestral fluidity throughout, which lends itself to the experimental instrumental passages that permeate the record.
  5. Feb 10, 2012
    80
    [Barnes has created] the best experimental discordant noise pop he's worked on since 'Hissing Fauna'.
  6. Feb 9, 2012
    60
    You get the feeling Barnes is trying to bash you into the same twisted mindspace he himself inhabits, mixing up spiralling flute lines, cosmic rock and deranged show tunes.
  7. Feb 9, 2012
    40
    The result is a nightmarish mess, but it's no relapse into disarray.
  8. Feb 8, 2012
    80
    Musically, Stalks is a tour de force, filled with colorful new sonic tricks.
  9. 70
    Paralytic Stalks is a fascinating listen, for both old fans and new.
  10. 60
    An unquestionable oblique listen by mainstream standards, but compared to Of Montreal's previous offerings, Paralytic Stalks demonstrates an intimacy and immediacy which Barnes would do well to repeat.
  11. Feb 7, 2012
    70
    Paralytic Stalks isn't an Of Montreal album stuffed with steakhouse jingles. But therein lies the charm.
  12. Feb 7, 2012
    70
    Of Montreal grow less accessible with Paralytic Stalks, but it's respectable how unconcerned Barnes seems with anything besides staying true to his freakily fractured vision.
  13. 25
    Paralytic Stalks is downright exhausting.
  14. Feb 7, 2012
    72
    For all its songwriterly craft, of Montreal's experiments make Paralytic Stalks one of the more compelling efforts in the band's long discography.
  15. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    Paralytic Stalks is a record made by a genius or a hoity-toity psychopath depending on your perspective--call it whatever you want, but it certainly isn't boring.
  16. Feb 7, 2012
    83
    Paralytic Stalks feels like a marathon at times, but it's a trek worth repeating.
  17. Feb 7, 2012
    60
    It's submerged beneath the noise of a dream unraveling, schizoid instead of sexy.
  18. Barnes has definitely taken a step in right direction.
  19. Feb 6, 2012
    70
    For much of Paralytic Stalk's first half and even for most of the more unhinged second act, Kevin Barnes strikes a near-perfect balance between pop mastery and a delightful sort of weird.
  20. Feb 6, 2012
    46
    The thoroughly unenjoyable Paralytic Stalks might be a sign that Barnes should take some time off and let the inspiration come to him.
  21. Feb 6, 2012
    90
    At the end of the day, Kevin Barnes is really trying to make good pop. Paralytic Stalks is just that, bombast and all.
  22. Feb 6, 2012
    40
    It's more likely that Paralytic Stalks won't win Kevin Barnes any new fans, and may actually drive away some of his longtime followers.
  23. Feb 3, 2012
    70
    Despite its heart of darkness, Paralytic Stalks is a deceptively gentle, rambling record that gains integrity but loses focus via the strong suspicion that it was recorded more for the benefit of Nina Barnes than for us.
  24. Feb 27, 2012
    40
    Paralytic Stalks is not an easy listen, but neither is it a good one. [Mar 2012, p.98]
  25. Feb 22, 2012
    60
    The idea of crossing over is approached like somebody running onto a motorway wearing a blindfold. [Mar 2012, p.111]
  26. Feb 3, 2012
    60
    In this mood, 57 minutes with Barnes is exhausting. [Mar 2012, p.94]
  27. 50
    This is isn't a terrible album, but considering the rest of their vibrant catalog, it just seems a bit stale. [Mar 2012, p.98]
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Feb 7, 2012
    10
    I waited for a peaceful moment in the busy work week to listen to the album with full concentration. Iâ
  2. Feb 8, 2012
    10
    Kevin Barnes creates another splendorous record. I understand the different opinions the critics are having, but this has to be one of theKevin Barnes creates another splendorous record. I understand the different opinions the critics are having, but this has to be one of the most interesting releases in months. Totally worth buying it, the songs won't leave your head. Full Review »
  3. Feb 7, 2012
    10
    A glorious mess of deeply personal introspection and eclectic instrumentation. Each consecutive listen bring more clarity and enjoyment. ItsA glorious mess of deeply personal introspection and eclectic instrumentation. Each consecutive listen bring more clarity and enjoyment. Its one of those record where the first play-through has you thinking: "What on earth did I just listen to?". Nothing short of sublime. Full Review »