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The Residents - The Tunes of Two Cities CD (album) cover

THE TUNES OF TWO CITIES

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.50 | 36 ratings

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thellama73
4 stars Arguably the most successful of the albums that make up the Mole Trilogy. The Tunes of Two Cities presents the "native" music of the fictional cultures, the Moles and the Chubs, from a ethno-musicological standpoint.

Putting aside the utterly fascinating nature of the concept behind the album, there is some really fun music here. Of course it is all terribly quirky, for the Residents can write in no other way. I particularly enjoy the Chub music, due to its jazzy, catchy melodies and warped big band feeling. Smack Your Lips, Clap Your Teeth is particularly successful. The music of the Moles, by contrast is dark and rhythmic, showing the ritualistic nature of their culture. Less catchy, but still quite interesting.

The major flaw in the album is the lack of acoustic instruments. The Residents instead opt for synthesizers that now sound rather dated and cheap. Whether this was due to budget constraints or if they thought it contributed to the superficial cultures being portrayed is unclear. Perhaps they were just using tools that were considered cutting edge at the time. In any case, we can only imagine how good these tunes would have sounded with a real horn section.

thellama73 | 4/5 |

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