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Gay Parade

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 16, 1999
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Pop fans rejoice: Here's yet another delightful concept album from a member of the Elephant Six family, Of Montreal, who actually hail from Athens, Georgia. Of Montreal are more like third cousins to the E6 clan; their sound is cohesively pop oriented and distinctively quaint. The songs are bouncy, keyboard- and vocal-driven gems that collapse barbershop harmonies and well-enunciated, Tin Pan Alley vocalizations with Anglo mid-'60s pop (especially that of the ever-popular Kinks). The lyrics on Of Montreal's third full-length weave an intricate story in childrens-book logic, with invisible trees, a miniature philosopher, and a cast of hundreds. The words from the buoyant "Fun Loving Nun" (whose chorus appears to have been sung by the mice from Babe) can be seen as The Gay Parade's moral: "Some of us get covered up by the world, become bitter from our loneliness and forget our dreams." --Mike McGonigal

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Old Familiar Way 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Fun Loving Nun 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Tulip Baroo 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Jacques Lamure 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. The March of the Gay Parade 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Neat Little Domestic Life 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. A Collection of Poems About Water 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Y the Quale and Vaguely Bird Noisily Enjoying Their Forbidden Tryst/I'd Be a Yellow Feathered Loon 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. The Autobiographical Grandpa 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. The Miniature Philosopher 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. My Friend Will Be Me 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. My Favorite Boxer 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Advice From a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. A Man's Life Flashing Before His Eyes While He and His Wife Drive Off a Cliff into the Ocean 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Nickee Coco and the Invisible Tree 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. The Gay Parade Outro0:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 16, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bar/None Records
  • ASIN: B00000I0FP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rob Damm on January 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Of Montreal are not a novelty act. They are musical visionaries. With "The Gay Parade", they have crafted what is easily one of the best "concept" albums since Jethro Tull's "A Passion Play". It's just a mark of how times have changed to realize that 30 years ago, "Passion Play" was a #1 record and "The Gay Parade" will probably only be heard by a few thousand people. Frustratiing, huh?
Anyway, be glad that you are one of the few that cares enough to discover this record. Is it odd? you bet. Quirky, weird, psychedelic. Probably. Cute? No. That does it a disservice. It is a brillinatly conceived song-cycle of character sketches. The characters are, of course, an eccentric lot. A guy obsessed with a certain mean boxer, a widower with his "dogs for friends" awaiting death, a French firemen pining for heroism, an ecstatic dude waxing poetic about mowing the lawn while his wife knits. While the vocals approach giddy and cartoonish, the songs themselves can range for hilarious to rather disturbing--- often with one turn-of-phrase. There is indeed a intangible saddness looming over this private world, despite the Crayola surroundings.
The sound of the record is fascinating. The best thing about bands like Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, etc. is that they know exactly the sonic landscape they wish to create and accomplish it with minimalist recording technology. The result is a sonic juggernaut of an album that sounds at once high-concept and low-fidelity... hiss, tape saturation, drops-outs--- all part of the sound. And it's damn near brilliant. Horns, tape manipulations, choirs of mice, saws, kazoos, plastic guitars--- many of the instruments barely in tune.
To my ear, it sounds like a benediction.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Of Montreal has built a career on exuberant, sweet concept albums that bounce with life and love. "The Gay Parade" is a snapshot of them at their best -- it has the strangeness of "Cocquelicot," but is more accessable. These songs cheery oddball pop, but it sounds so uncalculated that it never quite sounds twee.

The acoustic/piano-ballad "Old Familiar Way" starts off the album, but it mostly focuses on how "It's amazing the wonders you can find/Just by stepping outside." Only at the end does Kevin Barnes greet listeners with "Welcome to the Gay Parade!" The album then switches to a bunch of songs about the glorious people, such as the bouncy dancey "Fun-Loving Nun," singsong "Tulip Baroo," and "The Miniature Philosopher."

While describing boxers, grandfathers and stuttering organ grinders, Barnes and Co. don't stray away from their typical little sweet songs: there's a carnival sound to "March of the Gay Parade," a goofy little sweet song. Elsewhere Barnes sings eagerly about the "Domestic Life," longs for special friends, and chronicles the story of Niki Coco, before finally bidding farewell in "The Gay Parade Outro."

The entire album more or less revolves around the Gay Parade, and how much happier the people in it (and near it) are. The general feeling is that it's not so much a real gathering as a state of mind -- enjoying the little things, "making friends with trees and animals," and seeing the magic of the world.

The songs rely heavily on Barnes' acoustic guitar, and the sweet piano pop that comes into the intro and outro. Little chimes and psychedelic swooshes give it an even more whimsical feel.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Scott on January 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
When I first bought this album, I was a little annoyed by it. It is EXTREMELY cute, and very fast, a little like Barney on amphetamines. But then I gave it a chance, and I absolutely, 100%, love this album.
THE GAY PARADE is not as silly or shallow as it sounds at first. It really deals with a lot of issues of issues we all deal with, such as feelings of inferiority (on "Hector Comacho"), or else just figuring out what is really meaningful in your life (on the opening track.) Yes, I know, when you hear the album you'll think I may have read way too much into what sounds like an out-of-control carnival. But there is definitely a dark side to this album. This dark side is subtle, but if it weren't, it really would have ruined the album's overall innocent and gleeful tone.
Plus, Of Montreal are great musicians and singers. Their harmonies are perfect, and Kevin Barnes's voice is just loaded with charm. And the guitars, drums, and all the other jillion instruments are all perfectly produced; there's a lot of sound here, but it's not at all extraneous. It is really a great album just on the musical level.
If I still haven't convinced you to buy THE GAY PARADE, then I just have to say "Nickee Coco and the Invisible Tree" is one of the most joyful and hilarious songs around. It alone would be a great album!
You don't hear much joy and happiness in music these days, and THE GAY PARADE is a great place to start.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Smith on May 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The first few times you listen to this album, it's hard not to compare it to some of the psychadelic/pop bands of the 60's. This in itself makes it a good album from the get go. However, after repeated listens, you start to realize and hear all of the concepts and experimentation behind the songs that make just about all of them great. Some of the highlights include "Old Familiar Way", "Fun Loving Nun", "Tulip Baroo", "The Autobiographical Grandpa", and "Advice From A Divorced Gentleman." They're all great songs.

Of course, I like ALL the songs (I did give it a PERFECT score after all). "Nickee Coco" is a stunning fairy tale-esque story told half in dialogue and half through singing. It makes the song hard to sing to, but a pleasure to listen to (it's also a bit humorous at times: listen for a part about an owl).

"My Favorite Boxer" is a nice guitar based pop tune about a boy's favorite boxer. What makes it so great is the sudden tempo changes, along with the beautiful harmonies.

"The March of the Gay Parade" (Kevin Barnes is trying to disregard the common misconceptions about the word) is a very experimental piece with very high pitched voices squeeking out the melody while fuzz and static are present in the background. It's weirdness makes it very fun to listen to, especially when Barnes finally begins to sing near the end (with a muffled voice echoing his own in the background).

All in all, it's the way the pop tunes, the concept of a character's story in every song, and the experimentation with instruments come together that makes this album so great.
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