Song 314: Of Montreal, “Requiem for O.M.M.2” (2005)

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Of Montreal is an interesting band, because they have a reputation for weirdness, yet their songs are often as catchy as anything you’ve heard. And sure, Kevin Barnes and co. name their records things like Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? and Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse, but the songs underneath crackle with pop energy.

“Requiem For O.M.M.2” is an especially interesting one, because even though it’s a 2-and-a-half-minute pop song with a hard-driving, wood-block-fueled beat, the lyrics are wistful and sad. “I never ever stopped wondering,” sings Barnes, “wondering if you still think of us.” He describes the overall tone of the romance as “Vaseline all over the lenses,” an image that I love because it simultaneously recalls hazy, dreamlike scenes from movies and the obscured view he had at the time.

The chords underneath the bridge (“It’s such a burden to carry ’round/The vestiges of dead dreams”) are classic pop song sad chords, but the whole thing chugs along amicably, as if Barnes’ line “I don’t want to make a wake out of my life” inspired him to make this song sound as celebratory as possible. I like to picture him banging that wood block as if his life depended on it.

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