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GOD IN THREE PERSONS

The Residents

RIO/Avant-Prog


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4 stars An outstanding album, but one that tends to sharply divide the fans. God In 3 Persons focuses on the complex relationship between a pair of conjoined twins with the ability to heal illness, and the protagonist who befriends/uses them. He begins by manipulating them for financial gain, then moves on to more complex desires which culminates in a truly unbelievable "climax". But the twins may not be as naive as they at first seem. It is a complicated story, yet one that I found to be emotionally fullfilling.

The story is sung/spoken over a minimalist, yet engaging soundtrack. Built on a variation of 'Double Shot Of My Baby's Love' (which became the defacto Residents theme), the music is primarily electronic and very rhythmic, moving through the story and serving as almost a Greek chorus to the events unfolding in the narration. The opening title track is a hoot, with the credit sheet sung in its entirety.

This was a signifigant break in style for the band, one they have yet to re-explore. I find it to be completely satisfying and utterly listenable (17 years on and I still listen to it frequently). This could be a good album for the casual listener as it is not nearly as jarring as some of their work, but it should not be taken as representative of their body of work.

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Send comments to DantesRing (BETA) | Report this review (#41037)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars GOD IN THREE PERSONS of the "eyeballed" band THE RESIDENTS is sincerly one of the greatest creation of the band.

The first track Main Title from "God in 3 Persons" give an excellent idea of what the album looks like. The other tracks got the same "style" and intonation of this song. Like the Bible who summarizes itself in his "Genesis", all the album is summarizes in his first song.

An excellent album who must be listenned by every psychedelic and hard prog fan!

Note : 5/5

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Send comments to D.Noisserger (BETA) | Report this review (#44034)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars This is one of those albums that I knew that I liked the first time listening to it. But just like any great material it is easy to sink into but difficult to master.

The material featured on God In Three Persons took a lot of time to really settle in. I think that I had to listen to it at least twenty or so times in order to combine the narrative with the music. But I don't regret it since it's now one of my top 10 favorite albums! There really is no point in discussing the music except possibly saying that it sounds very simple but in that simplicity hides the true essence of a majestic the Residents experience. Lyrically this is one of the most twisted tales ever told in a format of an album. This story is very graphical and I was truly shocked and disgusted by it the first few times. A had a similar experience when listening to Velvet Underground's The Gift although the Resident make it all even more figurative.

Once you can overcome the shock God In Three Persons presents you with a true masterpiece of an album that should not be missed out on!

***** star songs: Main Title From "God In 3 Persons" (3:52) Hard & Tenderly (4:36) Devotion? (3:36) Their Early Years (4:39) The Touch (3:30) Confused (By What I Felt Inside) (4:37) Time (1:18) Silver, Sharp And Could Not Care (3:03) Kiss Of Flesh (9:39)

**** star songs: The Thing About Them (4:05) Loss Of Loved One (4:50) The Service (5:02) Fine Fat Flies (4:26) Pain And Pleasure (4:35)

Total Rating: 4,63

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#256063)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Conceptually brilliant, this album falls nearly flat in execution. This is a concept album that tells a strange story of a widowed man who walls into a bizarre relationship with a set of conjoined twins. The story itself is typically bizarre, with love, hate, pain, sex, violence, etc.

The album starts out magnificently, with Laurie Amat singing the album credits over an almost symphonic introduction. It's about as close to traditional prog as the eyeballs ever get. But then the story begins. Completely spoken, in a cowboy rhyme deadpan, over mostly nondescript backing music, the drone of the story itself meakes it a chore to pay attention to the majority of the album. In fact, if the "lyrics" were not printed on the CD booklet, I probably wouldn't know the story at all, other than the few snippets that capture my attention.

It's notable that Phillip "Snakefinger" Lithman was supposed to add guitar to the music. It probably would have helped quite a bit. But still, the droning cowboy voice throughout might be insurmountable.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#331172)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
HolyMoly
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Forum & Site Admin
4 stars I have a feeling that the Residents spent more time on this album than on any other album in their catalog up to that point. It really is an album that has to take its time sinking in, but once you fully get what's going on (I'm still not sure I do), it's pretty mind-blowing. It seems so far removed from their concurrent cheeky attempts at parody (e.g. the American Composers Series) that I get the impression that they spent the better part of a decade working on this, all the while releasing relatively half-hearted albums like "George and James".

The album seems to presage the latter-day Residents renaissance they've had of late, releasing elaborate, very emotional albums like "Demons Dance Alone" that are just as dark and serious as they are playful and strange. The "playful" part shows up right at the beginning, as a musical theme based on the old pop tune "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" (in fact, that's the recurring musical motif on the whole album) accompanies a chorus of women, who act throughout in a way similar to the "chorus" of Shakespearean plays - unseen by the main characters, but commenting on and reacting to the action. So what is the chorus on about here in the beginning? Well, they're just singing the opening credits. Brilliant!

After that, a series of deceptively simple musical pieces (all basically performed on keyboards and a drum machine) accompany an insanely convoluted spoken story, spoken in a warm Southern drawl (the lead singer's natural voice, it turns out). I won't begin to try to decipher the story (as if I could), but it plays out like a dream-sequence, with unnatural transitions, surreal imagery, and just some real heavy, at times bordering on violent, psycho-erotic sexual stuff. Roger Waters' "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" as seen through a kaleidoscope, in a way. AND! That's not all: the ENTIRE ALBUM is written and recited using a consistent meter and rhyme scheme - the whole thing is one big, crazy hour-long poem. Wow.

I can't call this a five star album, though, because as often happens with the Residents, the music doesn't always keep pace with the genius of the concept. However, this is still among the Residents' finest creations; the music, while staying out of the way most of the time, does react to the narrative in a way that indicates some thought was put into it. Even though it's just 80s keyboards with electronic drum sounds, it still "does the job" and ultimately works as an effective backdrop for the narration. The female chorus also interjects from time to time, adding a layer of humor to the proceedings. The rhythmic, poetic cadences of the narration adds to the "musical" side of the experience as well.

A strange, profound album that you won't soon forget. 4/5.

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Send comments to HolyMoly (BETA) | Report this review (#775960)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
TCat
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Residents definitely have some interesting and original ideas and this album is an example of that. Sometimes, their weirdness speaks to me and other times I just don't know what to think. This album is a concept album, as are a good many of their albums, but it is formatted in a rock opera or play so to speak. Most of the album is spoken word set to music, and most of the music is electronic, but this time it isn't quite as minimalistic as some later albums would be. The spoken word is the narrator of the story, the very strange story, of a preacher and his relationship with conjoined twins who he believes have healing powers. Of course, strange emotions come about and you get a somewhat graphic story of love, lust, pain and desire, even though it is very strange and results in a separation of the twins. Yes, it's very odd.

The album starts out with an excellent track, well produced and very well orchestrated. The narration doesn't start in this track and it is actually the best track on here. The parts are sung by Laurie Amut who is credited as the song stylist. Her vocals are treated and also harmonized by multi-tracking. It gives a sound like a chorus of singers. The funny thing is that they sing the opening credits. The next track is where the narration starts and he gives a basic synopsis of the overall story. This one isn't a bad track either. The narrator has a southern drawl that persists throughout the album. At this point, the best way to listen to the album is with the lyrics, otherwise the sound of this somewhat deadpan delivery gets very annoying even faster than it does if you have them. So, either way, you have to deal with this delivery. There is some lyrical quality to the delivery however as it is done in a "talking blues" style, and the poem is written with the same stylization and meter as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". This 2nd track will give you a fair idea of what the rest of the album is like. If you don't like this, you should just stop listening now. If you do like it, chances are you will be sick of it soon enough.

Even though the instrumental passages are much better developed in this album than some of The Residents other electronically lead albums, the narration is too distracting to really enjoy the instrumentals. The Residents remedied this by doing an instrumental version of the album, but was available in a very limited supply. Anyway, the album continues in this vein and I don't really find the story interesting enough to listen to more than once. You might be interested in the poetic delivery of the story, and no doubt a lot of time and talent went into writing the lyrics. But I just can't take the sound of the narrator's voice and the fact that even though the lyrical delivery is pretty spot on, the voice itself is annoying to me.

So, with the background singers giving some interesting parts and the instrumental passages being quite decent, I suppose there is something to this album. I find it hard to tune out the narrator though, which is the focus of the album after all. I can only give this a 3 star rating and can't help but wonder if the rating would have been better if the characterization of the narrator was better.

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Send comments to TCat (BETA) | Report this review (#1395715)
Posted Wednesday, April 08, 2015 | Review Permalink

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