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CD REVIEW: The Residents Ė Petting Zoo
By Ben Ohmart - 04/03/2002 - 12:06 PM EST

Artist: The Residents
Album: Petting Zoo
CD Review: Itís difficult to believe, but it seems that The Residents, that odd eyeball group known to go out of its way to dream up wacky songs, visuals and characters, has now produced a collection of Ďear friendlyí tunes upon which to Ė well, Iím not sure What their point with this cd is actually, but as a Residents fan myself (something perhaps few would admit to), itís great to have Any new release from these unknown guys/girls.

Consider this another Greatest Hits album, but more accessible than their previous GH try. Youíll recognize, and go away humming, tracks like ĎGodís Magic Fingerí (with its repetitious Ďit was the finger instead of the singerí). Another one Iíve personally never been able to forget (though Iíve tried!) is the sickly vocal from the memorable melody ĎHanging By His Hair.í Great and simple instrumentation on this.

Without going through their whole catalog, itís hard to tell if there are any new tunes in this collection, but just the fact that the ordinary person can Listen to Everything on this 20 track, 57 minute disc is enough of a reason to put it together and ship it out. Especially now that The Residents have turned 30.

Yep, in 1972 they began. The interior of the cd booklet tells of their accomplishments: being on the Grammy nominee shortlist in 1980 but then just sharing a table with Donna Summer. Being a permanent part of NYís Museum of Modern Art. Recording 40 one minute songs for The Commercial Album, then buying 40 1-minute spots to play the whole damn thing as commercials on a San Francisco radio station! (I love that!) Writing a ten hour score for the Hunters series on the Discovery Channel (release more of it, you bastards). And on and on.

Of course even though itís More ear friendly, Petting Zoo probably isnít melodic or rock/pop enough for the gist of civilization. Still, if youíve ever wondered about the Eyeballs, hereís the perfect place to start.

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