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The Residents - Tweedles! CD (album) cover

TWEEDLES!

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.63 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
3 stars Just when you thought The Residents might be acquiring a little taste in their subject matter, they turn around and release "Tweedles" in 2006 to prove that no material is too creepy for them. This time around, the topic is that of the torn feelings of a sexually deviant clown.

The Residents had been left without a studio as theirs was being remodeled to be up to par with new Earthquake requirements, and a friend of theirs invited them to tour his new studio in Romania, so while there, they decided to record a new album. Keeping with the themes of spookiness and Romania, they decided to do a concept album about a different kind of vampire, one that used people's desires and feelings against them by loving them and then leaving them destitute. A kind of soul sucking jerk, if you will. So, this disturbing concept seemed to fit into their weirdness, probably the most disturbing of all of their albums. The decision to do it as a first person account, from the perspective of the deviant clown, was pretty typical for the band. The clown can't help himself and acts disconnected from his actions, yet he knows what he is doing is a bad thing.

There was a choice to bring in more acoustic instruments and not rely on electronics so much, which was a good choice and it made their music much better. They also enlisted the help of The Film Orchestra of Budapest which brought a whole new side to their music. The first two tracks, "Dreams" and "Almost Perfect" utilize a piano and some interesting effects and textural vocals. The vocals are quite deep and eerie, as you would expect from a mentally disturbed clown. Instrumentally, these tracks are quite pensive and lovely, but the vocals are creepy, both the solo vocals and background vocals. Then the lyrics of "The Mark of the Male" take you unaware and by the end of this track, you will know if you want to continue listening or not. Though somewhat comedic, they can be offensive, and the screeching and sudden loudness of the instrumentals will help you decide if you want to continue this escapade. Remember, this is avant garde music, so you can expect the harshness, dissonance, and strangeness of that music. The vocals also vary from sung lyrics to spoken word passages. The CD booklet has the spoken word passages printed at the front, and the sung lyrics toward the back. Not sure why they did it this way.

"Isolation" utilizes the orchestra along with electronics, and gives a cinematic feel to the story. It changes from ambient to dramatic several times and is mostly instrumental. "Stop Signs" is utterly spooky and creepy, but again the orchestration is perfect. This general feel of a disturbing atmosphere continues through the rest of the album with instrumental sections spot on, but the vocals and subject matter hard to listen to. I had this same problem with "God in 3 Persons" which this album is similar to, but with the use of orchestra.

Some might find this entertaining, but I have a hard time with the vocals staying somewhere in a narrative nature. The lyrics will make you uncomfortable, no doubt about that, and I have found that to be true in other albums from The Resdients, but I also find some of them listenable and effective, as in the "Wormwood" album, but on this one, I find it annoying. Since the instrumental sections are good, and the vocals are annoying, I can at least give this a 3 star rating, but it isn't one that I take the time to listen to very often.

TCat | 3/5 |

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