Sound — 9
For those who have been trying to decide their 1st album to enter the obscure music world of The Residents, this is a great warm-up album. That doesn't change the fact that it's a hodge-podge of weird, unexpected, eerie music. I suggest before purchasing the album, be aware of other avant-garde artists. Get use to the experimental edge that some add in music. 01.Constantinople: the verses are nothing but a powerful trill. The chorus is very synthesized and robotic. Simple for The Residents, but an in-your-face quality nonetheless. 02.Sinister Exaggerator: the most spiteful-sounding, angry song on the album. 03.The Booker Tease: a bluesy song with guitar and saxophone. Near the end, they destroy your ear-drums with the squeaky saxophone attack. 04.Blue Rosebuds: a cold song with atmospheric flow. 05.Laughing Song: silliest song on the album. It's upbeat, somewhat mocking pop music, but very rye. 06.Bach Is Dead: a simple chanting song with a squeaky, duck sounding instrument and low, mumbling notes. 07.Elvis & His Boss: percussion at one of their finest moments with heavily distorted guitar. 08.Lizard Lady: a song that feels like someone's chasing you. Perhaps the Lizard Lady! 09.Semolina: beach sounds with heavy synthesizers. 10.Birthday Boy: another goofy song, but sounding only darkly funny. 11.Weight Lifting Lulu: bluesy, low-pitched notes with an undescribable effect and an eerie violin attack. 12.Krafty Cheese: menacing! (I said enough.) 13.Hello Skinny: one of the most popular songs on the album but not as haunting as it could be. It's way more intensely surreal live. 14.The Electrocutioner: the 1st part has a catchy trumpet riff. It leads to a guitar solo, then it follows into electric shock. The 2nd part is more melancholy and deeper. Excellent conclusion for the album.
Lyrics — 9
Their speciality in lyrics are darkly funny, poetic, and obscure themes. That has never changed, but who cares? It's wicked and is just how The Residents are! The only flaw is that they ditched the concept album quality. But each song still has its own story. The best is Hello Skinny, which is way more influencing than the music itself and is presumably about a meth addict. The 2nd best is Constantinople, which has "Molly" on backing vocals, and the spoken word part gives me goose-bumps. Blue Rosebuds is 3rd on my list, which has a gloomy, cynical, poetic edge to it. Next in line is probably Bach Is Dead, which I interpreted that it could be saying that people should be more open-minded to avant-garde music and should not say that classical music is the only true music.
Overall Impression — 9
When an alternative, indie, post-punk, no wave, or avant-garde/art rock band makes a more notable, well-known album, it's usually a sign that they sold out. Next to The Commercial Album, this is their most popular. But, they have definitely not sold out because they manage anonymity, obscurity, and shock value still in this album. Then, the truer fans will continue to listen to The Residents, stunned by their mysterious attitudes. I highly suggest it to an open-mind that loves innovative music as much as I do. (Just don't join their cult-following after you listen to them!)