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The Residents - Animal Lover CD (album) cover

ANIMAL LOVER

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.75 | 27 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The Resident's 'Animal Lover' is supposed to be music that represents the sound of nature copulating; the 'rhythm tracks are based entirely on animal noise mating patterns generated primarily by cicadas and frogs. Also the actual sounds of mating whales and humans were used for longer tonal passages,' according to Residents website. It opens innocently enough with On The Way (to Oklahoma), a repeated infectious melody locks into the brain easily.

Olive and Gray has some melancholy violins and slow rhythmic synths, but things begin to take off a bit with What Have My Chickens Done Now? This one has character performances such as an old lady 'They accused my daughter and Scratched her on the face and hand They bite their tongues and bear their teeth, Then they scratch me til I bleed' The girl replies and her 5 sisters with sweet sung dialogue such as 'Around her neck they tied a noose, And they killed her family too.' So now we know her chickens are to blame for her murder 'Only her chickens know now'.

Two Lips has a nice little rhythm, and some sinister vocals along with high pitched children's voices. In this scenario of purchasing tulips it is 'buy or die!' Mr. Bee's Bumble is a cool instrumental I really like with crazy frenetic synthesizers over a punctuated percussion section.

Inner Space has a nice female vocal, Molly Harvey, a Resident regular since 'Demons Dance Alone', with a sea shanty style and sparkling synths make this a personal favourite. Dead Men is next and just goes on with a simple melody about the demise of the dead. My Window is a sombre bleak sound with low keyboards and ethereal nuances. It has a Japanese vibe in the instrumentation, and the Louisiana twang returns in the vocals, a component of just about every Residents album since their inception.

Ingrid's Oily Tongue is another instrumental with synth melodies, ominous sounds and ascending rhythms. The trumpets augment the soundscape considerably. Mother No More is a poignant piece that is rather mournful. Then another instrumental of beauty with Dreaming of an Anthill (Teeming). Elmer's Song opens with a capella harmonies and then a minimalist musical background with a nursery rhyme vocal.

Molly Harvey has a field day acting like a Japanese lady on The Monkey Man and the backdrop of Oriental instruments is perfect. The atmosphere is very bleak, then becomes less so on The Whispering Boys with its commercial melody. Burn My Bones ends this on a note of wilful death, very scary vocoder voice tweaked on a low deep setting and then an extended coda of ominous sounds of synths and high pitched vocal intonations.

Another Residents album that defies description but sits somewhere between clever and ridiculous. Only by listening can you make your own mind up. I did not find this to be one of the highlights in the Residents illustrious career but many will try to prove me wrong. 3 stars for the few good songs.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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