Of Montreal's eleventh album, Paralytic Stalks, finds mainman Kevin Barnes writing lyrics in a dark confessional style. Speaking with NME he explained: "Paralytic Stalks is different from my previous few albums, in that none of the songs were written from the perspective of a persona, all of the songs are directly inspired by my personal life and my psychic/emotional/spiritual state. I was going through a really fu--ed up period of mental anguish, pessimism and self-hatred, and these songs helped me navigate through it, in a sense. I attempted to use the creative process as a way to direct all of the negative energy into something more positive and salubrious."
Barnes married graphic artist Nina Aimee Grøttland in 2003, and this song finds him attempting to unburden himself to her: "Oh Nina, how can I defend myself against this world?" he cries.
Nina inspired (and collaborated on) many Of Montreal songs, as Barnes often examined their relationship in his lyrics. They split up around 2006, reconciled, and broke apart again sometime after the Paralytic Stalks album was released.
The Boyz II Men hit "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" is an a capella cover of a song from 1975 by G.C. Cameron that was used in the movie Cooley High to express the feeling of parting ways with high school friends.
John Lennon's lead guitar work on Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" proved to be his final creative act. It was upon their return home after completing laying down the track that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.