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The Residents



3.96 | 114 ratings

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Harry Hood
5 stars I recall talking with someone once about the "progginess" of the Residents. They said something like "if you think the Residents are prog, just listen to The Commercial Album, because they're not". However, the Residents have proven that they are great composers and musicians, capable of more than just commercial jingles, and on this album they prove it.

The trademark Residential weirdness remains, as it has on all of their albums, but underneath the weirdness, the strange vocals and primitive electronic beats is very brilliant, excellently arranged symphonic prog.

All of the tracks on the album flow together like one composition. Within the individual parts of this composition are many movements that flow together seamlessly. These different parts are held together with some simple, cheap sounding keyboards, early drum machines, and occasional accoustic drumming and a few non-eletronic instruments thrown in. Even with the primitive technology, the band is able to make music that sounds very beautiful and surreal at times.

Lyrically, this album may have a continuing concept, and it may not. One can't really tell and it wouldn't matter if they could. This is one of earliest examples of voice used as an additional instrument. The singing Resident, accompanied by a female singer and a speaking southern gentleman, provide vocal harmonies that, while sounding strange and dissonant, manage to compliment the music perfectly.

However, this is far from easy listening. The Residents obviously designed this music with the intent of attacking the listener. The sounds produced on this album can make the listener feel seasick, which seem appropriate, as the general concept of this album seems to have a very "out at sea" feel.

Like all Residents albums, this is something that has to be heard to be believed. This album is essential listening to any prog fan, especially fans of symphonic prog, and anybody doubting the progressive tendencies of this band.

Harry Hood | 5/5 |


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