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The Residents - Gingerbread Man CD (album) cover

GINGERBREAD MAN

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.56 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
2 stars The Gingerbread Man originally was a children's morality tale. Of course The Residents have to twist it all up until there is no semblance to the original story at all and then they have to make it depressing and dark. This is a concept album where the main character of the story, the gingerbread man of course, listens in on various other characters which have certain characteristics as noted in the titles of the songs. Each one of these tracks follow the same basic formula: start off with a variation of the main theme, then the character sings one verse of his own melody followed by the character talking about his or her fears and paranoia. Charming, isn't it? At the end, the main character sums everything up. The voices are done by 3 different guest singers, one of them being Todd Rundgren. And no I am not a Rundgren fan, so that doesn't help.

The instrumentation isn't too bad, it does have a little more to it that a lot of the minimalistic mood of a lot of The Residents albums. Of course, since it is from the period of time when they were exploring a lot of electronic sounds, there is a lot of processed sounds and fabricated instruments that sound like synthesized music. There is more to the music here however, but since the main theme is repeated so many times and it seems that each character's themes flow from that theme causing each song to sound similar in atmosphere....usually dramatic and dark. There are some interesting moments, but the same formula gets old after a few tracks.

There was a interactive CD-Rom that went along with the music that apparently shines some light on the music, as far as the meaning and the lyrics which at times are hard to understand. The interactive program had a lot of outcomes depending on how you interacted with it, but it isn't enough to save this one. The production is good as far as the music goes, but it just isn't one of The Residents better endeavors, even though they worked hard to get their cult following by producing strange albums usually with some thread of an idea flowing through. I have to admit it is fun to explore their music because their discography is so immense, and sometimes they hit on something very interesting and innovative, but, this one is just too dark and repetitive to want to listen to very often. I can only squeeze 2 stars out of this one because most people just won't be that interested in this unless they are fans or collectors.

TCat | 2/5 |

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