To me‚ of Montreal sounds the way The Shins would if they dropped acid and had sex with each other. This being the case‚ Skeletal Lamping sounds the way The Shins would if they dropped acid and had sex with Bootsy Collins. Reprising his transgendered alter-ego‚ Georgie Fruit from 2007's Hissing Fauna‚ Are You The Destroyer?‚ frontman Kevin Barnes wrote his raunchiest lyrics yet to complement the group's funkiest grooves. Never one to shy away from sexual taboos‚ Barnes channels Georgie to unleash fornication fables such as "For Our Elegant Caste‚" which announces‚ "We can do it soft-core if you want‚ but you should know that I go both ways." And while the overtly sexual is nothing new to scholars of the band‚ it should be noted that on Skeletal‚ sex isn't just another topic; it's damn near the only topic.
The strongest moments of Skeletal come on "Touched Something's Hollow" and "Gallery Piece‚" two songs that go deeper than attempting to "make you ejaculate till it's no longer fun‚" and offer a gaze into Barnes' conflicted mind. "Touched" finds Barnes at the piano admitting‚ "I don't know how long I can hold on if it's gonna be like this forever." "Piece" maintains the bounciness of a normal of Montreal song‚ but its bipolar lyrics reveal that Barnes wants to "be your love" and "paint your nails‚" but he also wants to "crash your car" and "kiss your friends."

But while the high points of Skeletal are fresh and exciting‚ the album isn't without flaw. Barnes' chaotic mind can create pop perfection‚ but it also can create split-second mood changes that often fall flat. Tracks like "Nonpareil of Favor" start out strong before losing focus and becoming interlude. The seven-plus-minute "Plastis Wafer" serves as a microcosm for the entire album: it's a bit lengthy and loses direction at times‚ but there are enough excellent moments to make up for it. Skeletal isn't legendary from start to finish‚ but it does provide some of the group's best material in years.