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Horse & Elephant Eatery

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 11, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 11, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bar/None Records
  • ASIN: B00004NRRQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Fans of the Beatles and lo-fi recordings will eat this up like Froot Loops. This compilation of singles and "songles" might be better than any of Of Montreal's "proper" releases. Being from Athens, Ga., Of Montreal's music definitely betrays an Elephant 6 influence, but they're not as intense as Neutral Milk Hotel and not as far-out as Olivia Tremor Control. Of Montreal's music is much more catchy and concise. This isn't to say they're not experimental; this CD is chock full of bizarre chord changes and sections, weird little spoken word bits and occasionally grating bits of noise. But some of the melodies, which strike me as a combination of "Magical Mystery Tour" and old 1920s show tunes, are just devastatingly perfect and gorgeous: "A Celebration of H. Hare," a declaration of brotherly love which is practically tearjerking; "The Problem with April," which sounds like a rollicking marching band, "Nicki Lighthouse," which alternates a wonderful melody with kitchen sink instrumentation, "In the Army Kid," the stupendous, freakish "Ira's Brief Life as a Spider," and others. A handful of icky tracks mar the record a little bit, but there's at least 10 ace songs that make this collection well worth purchasing.
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Format: Audio CD
Even a band that you'll never find on the radio can have plenty of "singles and songles" lying around the place. "Horse & Elephant Eatery (No Elephants Allowed): The Singles & Songles Album" collects Of Montreal's assorted songles into one album, which has no cohesion, but it's enchanting anyway.

"It's strange how when we were young/ I was so mean to you/I didn't know the connection we had till we go older," Kevin Barnes croons in the opening song, an ode of brotherly love. And after that -- except for a few offbeat songs like the robust "Problem With April" -- the collection takes off into outer space, with songs about flaming swans, ghostly faces and stalker librarians.

Of Montreal runs the full gamut here, from enchanting love songs ("Spoonful of Sugar") to spoken stories about baby spiders, pudding and reincarnation. Barnes and Co. introduce us to Nicki Lighthouse (a psychedelic Pippi Longstocking), laments lost love, and plans a funeral. And, of course, it has some feel-good assurances: "You worry 'bout the sun/What's the use of worrying 'bout the big old sun?/You worry 'bout the rain/The rain keeps falling just the same..."

Of Montreal is best known for creating enchanting theme albums -- albums all about love, about magical dreamlike stories, or about the life of a love affair. "Horse & Elephant Eatery (No Elephants Allowed)" is the exception. Since it's entirely made out of songles, there's no flow from each song to the next. But strangely, it almost feels as if it did have.

Swirly guitar-and-tambourine pop is at the core of it, along with the required odd chords and strange sound effects. There is folk, pop, a tint of rock, and "The Problem with April" sounds like a drunken marching band doing a musical number.
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By towercity on November 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
For a collection of B-sides and rarities, this is fantastic. It's not up to other releases in of Montreal's catalog, especially the other from the time of its release, but it stands on its own as a somewhat less perfectly sequenced collection of songs both uproariously joyous and deadeningly sad. Also, it has one of the too few spoken word of Montreal tracks, Ira's Brief Life as a Spider, which are always an absurdist treat.
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Format: Audio CD
this is a wonderful batch of songs. my personal favorite is, "nickie lighthouse." they are just so cute!
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