The Residents - "Lonely Teenager" CD Review (MVD Audio) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Residents - "Lonely Teenager" CD Review (MVD Audio)

The Residents - 'Lonely Teenage' CD Review (MVD Audio)The Residents have been so prolific these days that it is hard to refer to any disc as “their latest”…so, the band’s latest “factory pressed / commercially available” CD, Lonely Teenager, is the latest in the series of discs that have been released around the current Talking Light project. A limited edition version of Lonely Teenager was sold on the Talking Light tour and the disc was commercially released in June on MVD Audio.

This disc breaks from the industry norm of a release followed by a tour as it was released after The Residents’ Talking Light tour wrapped up. The press release for this disc described the impetus for this as: “during a time when little interest is being paid to CDs, the idea of developing a touring show without the restriction of promoting an album made perfect sense. This time the group could just play whatever they wanted instead of a predetermined show. It would be fun - and it was.

But after forty or so performances, The Residents started wondering: what would the album that "might have been" sound like? ...and they begin to imagine the fictitious album they would be supporting - had they actually recorded one. As usual with Randy, Chuck & Bob, imagination quickly leads to action, and, in a short time this action produced the curious Lonely Teenager.

Featuring pieces that were performed in the show as well as others that were considered but ultimately rejected, Lonely Teenager is "the studio album that might have been." Benefiting hugely from the Talking Light tour, the CD also includes additional tunes featuring new arrangements of Lizard Lady (from Duck Stab Re-Imagined sessions) and The Bunny Boy's Boxes of Armageddon.

Track List:
1 - Six More Miles (8:38)
> Original version on Stars & Hank Forever (1986)

2 - My Window (4:18)
> Original version on Animal Lover (2005)

3 - The Unseen Sister (7:56)
> From the Talking Light tour

4 - The Lizard Lady (3:05)
> Original version on Duck Stab (1978)

5 - The Sleepwalker (3:33)
> Original version on the Demons Dance Alone ltd. Edition Bonus CD (2002)

6 - The Old Woman (6:45)
> Original version on Gingerbread Man (1994)

7 - Boxes of Armageddon (3:35)
> Original version on The Bunny Boy (2008)

8 - Talking Light (9:51)
> From the Talking Light tour

The tour edition of Lonely Teenager contained a ninth track which is a unique rehearsal version of "The Unseen Sister" from October of 2009.

Lonely Teenager runs just under fifty minutes and the tracks are atmospheric and disconcertingly dark. While this disc contains the same two Talking Light tracks as Ten Little Piggies, these are longer version and the narration is down-played. The one notable exception to this predominately instrumental album is “The Old Woman” which takes on a more deranged overtone with new narration from Randy.

Residents' spokesperson Hardy Fox gave an interview with LA Weekly earlier this year where he was asked about the vision behind Lonely Teenager.

LA Weekly: The new album, Lonely Teenager, which grew out of ideas germinated on the Talking Light tour, reveals the music growing more subtly complex — and beautiful, and scary, too. "The mirror has two sides" is a sample lyric. What do you suppose the Residents mean by this?

Hardy Fox: As people age, they stop recognizing themselves when they look in the mirror. There's a two-sided mirror in the show, one side reflecting Randy and the other reflecting the audience. The audience has to face the mirrors just like the performers do — just like your death, each person has to deal with that at a very individual level.

The Residents