Lousy With Sylvianbriar

of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2013 Ratings: #302 / 1035
User Score
Based on 81 ratings
2013 Ratings: #259
October 8, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Label
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Lousy with Sylvianbriar is steeped ankle-deep with Barnes’ academic non sequiturs, which swirl like psychotropic babble into and around a brook of warm, nostalgic rock tunes in perhaps the most organic recording of Barnes’ career.


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.


Every once in a while, Kevin Barnes and company reinvent themselves and remind you why you loved them so much in the first place: because they’re shapeshifters.

The 405

of Montreal have created another genuinely exciting album, and it's brilliant to be able to maintain that with twelve albums already in the bag.


While not reaching the flamboyant, glitter-dizzy heights of the band’s very best, it manages to be the band’s finest offering since the band’s 2006 crown jewel, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Consequence of Sound

With Sylvianbriar, Barnes highlights himself as a lyrical poet, intelligently celebrating the era that inspired him.

American Songwriter
Rather than try to take Of Montreal’s expansive psychedelia any further than it’s already gone, Barnes instead opts for a more organic, classic rock feel that often evokes early ‘70s Dylan, Stones and Neil Young.

It’s still the dark, unsettling path of Montreal have always tread, but Lousy with Sylvianbriar is proof that the deepest scars are not always the ones you see on the surface.

Pretty Much Amazing

All of the songs demand a listen and most of them are worth a repeat. While of Montreal aren’t exactly strutting 2007-style again, their tweaked, re-energized sound has them strutting nonetheless.


It’s arguably the best—not to mention the funniest, prickliest, most purple, and least fastidious—Of Montreal album since Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? 

Under The Radar

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.

The Line of Best Fit

At its simple hook-laden best it reminds you what an immediate and intuitive songwriter Kevin Barnes can be; at its worst it feels like little more than a diversion. 

Drowned in Sound

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

Even when Barnes embraces old-school techniques, he's still a weirdo at heart.
A.V. Club

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.

The Skinny

While very much a far cry from the skits and glitter of earlier work, Lousy... is an analogue, uncluttered experience with a welcome lack of frills.

In delving deep in to the Great American Songbooks of the past, Barnes has created something that doesn’t just flirt with normality, it basks in it.
Slant Magazine

For all of its pitch-perfect evocation of the jangly British beat sounds coming out of Liverpool in the early '60s, Lousy with Sylvianbriar is perhaps Of Montreal's most lifeless album to date.

This album is garbage. There's very little that I found more annoying than this LP.
Lousy with Sylvianbriar, the twelfth release by psychedelic indie pop act of Montreal, throws yet another curveball to the listener after the more dense Paralytic Stalks by toning things down and going for a more raucous indie rock effort. The songs are the most heavily driven by traditional instrumentation that the group has gone in since their earliest work, but with the benefit of denser production efforts and over a decade of experience. If you’re looking for something flamboyant and ... read more
Fairly uninspiring
Best Track: Fugitive Air, Sirens Of Your Toxic Spirit, Triumph of Disintegration, or She Ain't Speakin' Now
Worst Track: Amphibian Days
Most Overrated Track: hegira émigré
Most Underrated Track: Imbecile Rages
The strange world of this group comes out of the speakers and spreads its vivid colours in a way that forces us to participate in their party.
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Year End Lists

#26/The Needle Drop
#35/Under the Radar

Track List

  1. fugitive air
  2. obsidian currents
  3. belle glade missionairies
  4. sirens of your toxic spirit
  5. colossus
  6. triumph of disintegration
  7. amphibian days
  8. she ain't speakin' now
  9. hegira émigré
  10. raindrop in my skull
  11. imbecile rages
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Added on: July 10, 2013