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The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.94 | 75 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Possibly the best album the eyeball-heads ever made. According to legend, this album was recorded as the follow up to the debut Meet The Residents. Due to their "theory of obscurity" the band only released the album after forgetting having made it. The only real evidence that this might be the case is the absence of guitarist Snakefinger. However, this does not sound like their early work and instead sounds closer to their most recent albums. The synths being used here, and what sounds like vocoderized vocals in places, make this album sound more late '70s.

As usual, no one knows who the members even are. I think one of the eyeballs was a woman at one point, and you can hear what sounds like female vocals sometimes. The Residents singing style is weird and unique; Les Claypool was clearly influenced by these weirdos in the vocal department. The music is mostly based on drum machines, synths, sax, percussion and piano. I'm not sure if this supposed to be a concept album, but it seems like that is the case.

"Edweena" opens with about a minute and a half of drum machine and tympani(?) with synths. There is some vocoderized gibberish vocals, then changes to the main theme with just synths and vocals. Some chanting. Changes to a melodic section with female vocals. Some tympani and chanting. An oddball voice and a capella chanting before main theme comes back. "The Making Of A Soul" starts with boogie-woogie piano and soaring saxes with some kind of percussion. Chanting vocals. Later some slightly vocoderized vocals. Then lovely piano playing. Synths join piano and some typical weird vocals. Back to saxes and boogie-woogie piano before the music stops. A new part now with drum machine. Vocals at first and then later dissonance. You later hear two voices talking.

The beginning of "Ship's A-Going Down" is both majestic and creepy with the mix of synths and wind instruments. Then it just gets crazy. Different weirdo vocals and changing to different sections. The music stops almost halfway. Then a spoken voice, followed by a chanting of the song title. Near the end is some cool piano and sax playing. "Never Known Questions" starts with a drum machine beat and a catchy modified piano line; sounds slowed-down and treated. Then vocals which are actually pretty normal. Catchy 'chorus' of "spark the rock". There is some actual singing in this song instead of just the typical talk- singing.

The music stops halfway and then some vocals and piano. Just vocals for awhile with background sounds. Then a melody on what sounds like accordion. The same melody later gets played on synth. "Epilogue" is obviously the last song on the original album. The main theme from "Edweena" gets reprised. Some more chanted vocals. Near the end is what sounds like some symphonic string-synths and piano with a kid talking. Some CD versions have bonus songs from something called 'Title In Limbo'; I have never heard these songs.

I think this would make a good introduction to this group; if you don't like this, chances are you will not enjoy anything else they did either. Definately a group with their own sound. As weird as this album is, it's still a lot more accessible than some of their other albums from this period. A great avant-prog album. I would give this 4.5 but it's not exactly 'masterpiece' material. So 4 stars it is.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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