Kevin Barnes has been on his own as of Montreal for years now, and maybe he’s starting to wear himself out. There’s a lot of good stuff in Paralytic Stalks, but it’s all over the place with hardly any hooks to be found.
Much like past of Montreal albums, there’s a lot of experimentation going on. It sounds like Barnes is working with some challenging, modern concepts, and wasn’t really sure what to do with them. Because of that, the music is interesting and sounds good, but probably won’t hook anyone. The closest any of it gets to being really engaging might be “Ye, Renew the Plaintiff,” which moves around from a simple piano-driven opening, to a rock groove, then a jungle beat, and finally a sort of mad electronic symphony.
When it’s all over, you’re sort of left wondering what just happened. Barnes hits on so many good ideas, but doesn’t hold on to any of them long enough. It’s nice to listen to, but there’s no sense of the album as a whole or any one song you really want to hear again.