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The Residents - The King & Eye CD (album) cover


The Residents



3.33 | 31 ratings

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3 stars This album was my first introduction to The Residents. I read a brief review of it in Rolling Stone magazine (3 stars) and it sounded intriguing. When I put it on it blew my mind. In hindsight, it is one of their more average releases, one that I barely listen too.

The third in their American composer series (Stars & Hank, George & James are the others), The King & Eye tackles the largest target of pop music, Elvis Presley. The concept of the album was to strip down the uptempo favorites we all know, and to give it music more appropriate to the down lyrics, bringing out the angst and depravity that seemed to be truly lurking beneath.

It starts out extremelly strong with a wicked rendition of 'Blue Suede Shoes' that gets more frantic and hysterical as the track progresses. It is IMO the best example of what The Residents were trying with this project, and one of their most classic tunes. "Heartbreak Hotel' (with it's "I'm so lonely I could Diiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee! howl) and 'Devil In Disguise' (with it's Halloween like keyboard flourishes) are also strong examples. The album reaches it's climax with 'Love Me Tender' performed as Elvis gets more bloated and needy and ends as a loop of The Beatles doing "Blue Suede Shoes" kills the King once and for all.

The best part of this disc is the spoken interludes (sining Resident talking to two small children) that somehow manages to capture the essence of the concept with emotion and sweetness.

Ultimately the disc collapses under the weight of the concept, and the occasional sameness of the tracks (47 min is too long). Best listened to as individual pieces rather than the whole at once. This material was also much better served on their "Cube-E" live album.

I would recommend this as a good introduction to thier music, as the already well-known tunes help to ease the otherness of the music. It is also more melodic and less harsh than some of their earlier classics.

DantesRing | 3/5 |


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