Monday, July 21, 2014

Not Available - The Residents

Today is my birthday, in honor of that i decided to do whatever I want. Since no one can lock me up for reviews, i decided to do one of my favorite albums.... EVER!!!! This is the 1978 (their second recorded, it's from 1974) studio album by Louisiana's The Residents. This album is known as The Residents living embodiment of the Theory of Obscurity. Look it up, its an  interesting concept that needs the back story, so look on their website if you care. This album also, allegedly has much personal drama on it and is an opera, of sorts. This is gonna take some multiple listens to review, but I'm not complaining. Note: I'm using the 2010 most current version for this review.
  1. Part One: Edweena: Now this album starts off with something that sounds kind of cheap. I know that intro, upon first listen isn't that much of a draw in. But trust me, sit through it and it will pay off. The intro reminds me and sound a little of When We Were Young off 1980's Commercial Album, but with more instrumentation. The drums are kind of primal sounding and remind me of Fingerprince. Then these voices that sound like possessed chipmunks, or at least ones who hit puberty come in. After that for awhile it changes vibes and it's hypnotic. The vocals that come in sound almost robotic or like aliens from outer space. The vocals, the effect and the feeling I get in my gut, reminds me a little of Simple Song. Then the flute sounds speed up and a piano that sounds like it's off Meet The Residents comes in. The lyrics on this album, and song, are vary minimal, but this is kind of like a future calling to what they'd do on Commercial Album. The female vocalist's (known as Edweena) part reminds me a little of the Forbidden Zone. Also the drums sound almost analogue-esque. The possessed alien choir comes back and continues the story. And this is only 7 minutes into the 10 minute song. After that a guy, Uncle Remus (a mentor), talks and the choir comes in again, later followed by a fade in of the music. Really this is possibly best ever described as The Abbey Road Medley if it was on Sgt. Pepper and they were either taking a little too much acid, or they were genuinely bizarre people. Also if it took up the entire album.
  2. Part Two: The Making of a Soul: This intro sounds similar to the first track. It's not even close, but the atmosphere is definitely continued. It sounds cohesive, the only real difference is the sax lead parts and it's a little louder overall. This track introduces the Porcupine. This part is followed by my favorite melody that now makes me cry when I hear it. It's like a demented Moonlight Sonata, or more avant-garde Because. The vocals just come in and sound so desperate. I honestly don't think that you can't be touched in some way by this guys voice. It's very much in the vein of Daniel Johnson, who didn't even come till years later. After it speeds up a little, the aliens return. They are almost like Omnipotent beings. Then the next section is a kind of reprise of the intro to this track. But the desperate love stricken Porcupine returns. And before he starts singing, quick note, a hammer comes in (another Abbey Road comparison, just saying). For those of you who don't know I think in every aspect of the word Abbey Road is the greatest album of all time. After the then the old guy, Uncle Remus, comes back.
  3. Part Three: Ship's a'Going Down: The song starts calm, and is, then followed by a shriek and the singer literally Freaks Out along with the music. After the freak out, it goes back to another hypnotic felling before freaking out again. This is mainly told between "The Catbird" (the screamed vocals), "Uncle Remus", and the "Enigmatic Foe". The following part just makes me honestly say that this is truly the predecessor to Commercial Album, but with a story rather than a concept. This part contains the part where the singer is basically crying and the other voices are sings the title of this track. There is a lot of repeated musical motifs in this album, but damn they don't ever get old. This is followed by a reprise of, basically, the intro to track two, and the sad piano part. Followed by another reprise of another part. This should have, in any logical thinking person's mind gotten old by now, but it doesn't. Not even in the slightest. The part that follows this up reminds me of their 90's output and possibly The Ughs! track In The Dark. And outside the music is a beautiful melody that I wont describe. I wan't you to find it.
  4. Part Four: Never Known Questions: This sounds like it's the ending of the story, and it properly is, well with the exception of an epilogue. The melody reminds me a little of Sympathy For The Devil. This is followed by "spot the rot" part. It's great! really it is. Followed by what I can only describe as Porcupine's Sonata. Followed by the "realization" in him. When everything clicks with him, he is truly happy and his first time a grand, happy upbeat part plays for his part.
  5. Epilogue: This is kind of a final call back to the intro of the album. With the according to the site "chorus" giving the final benedictions and wrapping up the story. This is followed by a final call back to Porcupine's Sonata. Well with the exception of the Son is singing this. The boys voice makes it all the more touching and sad and really.... IDK? If you are confused by the lyrics study them and piece this album together, or at least try. You can get a clearer picture and when it's clearer this track really expalins the whole trauma and calls back to the first few lines in the album.
Overall I have to give this album a 100/10. This album is a trip, in the best way possible. I can't believe this album has the honor of being the first album I've listened to 3 times in a row front to back. With each listen I find it harder and harder to say what I don't like. Why, because its like it melts away. There is just something that's so touching and just indescribably. If you've ever seen any review of this they all say it's "indescribable" but it truly is. I've tried my best, but even my descriptions can't help truly give justice to this masterpiece. Forester should have played this album a few times for the SOL, eventually they'd be brainwashed by the album into loving it. If you want to make a good album, check this one out. This ranks up there with Freak Out!, Abbey Road, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Commercial Album. Go to their website for a heart breaking review, in a good way. Upon visiting the lyrics, there are easy connections to every single human's life, and upon revisiting this it is all the more enlightening.

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