White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood

of Montreal - White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2018 Ratings: #638 / 794
User Score
Based on 105 ratings
2018 Ratings: #802
March 9, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Label
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Under The Radar
Barnes has a once again solid outing under the of Montreal moniker on an album that is as quirky as it is seamless.
A.V. Club

Hamstrung by blippity-blooping indie electro-pop idioms in recent years, Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes seems creatively refreshed as he delivers one of his spaciest, most sonically interesting sets of songs on White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood.

The 405

There won’t be another album that comes out this year that sounds like White is Relic/Irrealis Mood.

Spectrum Culture

On White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, Barnes shows that he has grasped and mastered the exhilaration and anxiety of the dance floor, harnessing it into yet another memorable effort—psych-funk where the “psych” stands for “psychoanalysis.”


Citing influences from DJ Screw to James Baldwin, Kevin Barnes’ latest is a maximalist dance party about our simulated realities.

Slant Magazine

Unease with our increasingly digital world has gradually worked its way into Barnes's songwriting in recent years as well, and White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood cranks up his fear of a simulated reality to Philip K. Dickian levels of dread.

Northern Transmissions
On the latest record from the abstract minds of Of Montreal, dance and experimental pop clash in a magical digital world of colour. Though there are many intriguing moments, the album lacks cohesion between and even within songs.

Taken together, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood offers convoluted yet catchy dance-rock that lures with flamboyant basslines while capturing a dancing-while-anxious Zeitgeist.

It's pleasant and poppy, but if you don't get around to listening, no sweat — knowing Barnes, there will be another album in a year or two.
As far as the more experimental Of Montreal records go, this is near the top of the list. This doesn't necessarily mean I can give it a straight recommendation, but it's more listenable than Barnes' most outré material.
Drowned in Sound

White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood is, in essence, a very solid new of Montreal album. But have there been enough of those now? For many people who got on board a decade ago, of Montreal’s career has become a priapic, confusing blur.

Admittedly, I don't see White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood as a bad outing by of Montreal. For a fifteenth album, which at that point you would imagine all new ideas would have been drained, Kevin Barnes is still moving forward and trying new concepts. This album is similar to the previous outing Innocence Reaches, but its identity comes out a little further in terms of a commitment to a sound. Even if I found that sound less compelling on the previous record, it is at least more consistently ... read more
For over a decade now, of Montreal songwriter/frontman (and, erm, sole member a lot of the time), Kevin Barnes has been chasing his own tail. His magnum opus, the bona fide 21st century indie music touchstone, 2007’s Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? has proven to be his definitive, as yet insurmountable, statement. That chase to approach it, match it, better it even, has led Barnes down some, how can I put this tactfully? ... interesting paths, down which not everyone (least amongst ... read more
I Don't Understand All The Hate/This Thing Is Great
First three songs are really good. I loved them. The latter three are good but not great; just your standard synthpop.
What's with the bad user reviews, this album is great! I do not see the need to merge two tracks together though. I have not made a definite favourite track since all of them are really good.
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Year End Lists

#88/Under the Radar

Track List

  1. Soft Music / Juno Portraits of the Jovian Sky
  2. Paranoiac Intervals / Body Dysmorphia
  3. Writing the Circles / Orgone Tropics
  4. Plateau Phase / No Careerism No Corruption
  5. Sophie Calle Private Game / Every Person Is a Pussy, Every Pussy Is a Star!
  6. If You Talk To Symbol / Hostility Voyeur
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Added on: January 12, 2018