The Residents have conceived, played, and recorded some of the most challenging music for over thirty years. This compilation is essentially a thirty year anniversary celebration. The twenty songs included are an attempt to provide an introduction to the Residents’ massive body of work, which includes thirty four albums. This excludes videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, graphic novels, and music recorded for television, documentaries, and commercials. This CD also attempts to provide an essential synopsis of the Residents at their most accessible and palatable best. This low budget offering ($5.00) for mass consumption contains numerous songs edited for dietary reasons. But the problem is not with the music, which is great, but with the fact that it is impossible to truly grasp the weight and measure of thirty years of the Residents’ work by listening to this CD. An analogy would be like randomly reading twenty pages from James Joyce’s Ulysses and stating that not only did you enjoy the book, but managed to understand the odyssey of literary and historical allusions, religious symbolism, and the convoluted plot presented by the writer. However, this does provide an amusing and disturbing introduction, for the novice, to the Residents’ world of electronic and acoustic innovation. Two interesting inclusions are songs from their 1978 album Duck Stab: Hello Skinny and Constantinople. This album, from an electronic music perspective, is similar to that of what bands like Devo were able to successfully introduce to a large scale audience. Unfortunately the Residents best album, the ethno-musicological masterpiece, Eskimo (1979), was not represented at all. Nevertheless, I do recommend this CD to anyone with an open mind willing enough to deviate from the comfort of the chronic synthpop formula.
Artist Link: http://www.residents.com