SirTheory’s Treatise on Life

(opinions on just about anything)

The Residents – The Voice of Midnight

First off, let me apologize for the long silence and lack of updates. School/life has pretty much sapped all creative thinking out of me. Considering this blog is a creative endeavor, it suffers as a result.

The Residents have been experiencing a creative resurgence the past few years. While their career has been quite steady in its streaky nature (a decade of amazing releases, a decade of trash, a half a decade of pretty good, a half a decade of trash, etc) it has been on an upward swing for several years. Animal Lover from 2005 and Tweedles from 2006 are both really good albums that showcase what a group can do 35 years into their career.

The Voice of Midnight immediately made me both excited and worried. While the prospect of new Residents material is always good, the fact that only about a year (as opposed to the year and a half separating the aforementioned Animal Lover and Tweedles) had passed since the last album made me wonder if The Voice of Midnight could be as well developed or original as the last few albums had been.

It is a valid concern, as nothing on the album is really compelling or any kind of surprise. It simply retreads what they’ve been doing the last two to three years. Like The River of Crime, there is a strong focus on narration instead of singing. Unlike Crime, however, The Voice of Midnight feels more like a stage production than a radio program. Tweedles had some narrative elements, but they were mixed with interesting music. The Voice of Midnight lacks that aspect.

The main redeeming feature of this release is the super-limited EP, The Sandman Waits, that the first 500 people to order the album off of Ralph America received. Unfortunately they are no longer available (as one just sold for over $140 on ebay), but it takes the themes from the full length and presents them in more of a classic Residents sound. Highly essential for Residents fans.

For those who are new to the band, The Voice of Midnight is not a great place to start. Definitely a subpar effort that hopefully won’t signal the start of bad years ahead.

November 17, 2007 Posted by | Music | , , , , | 1 Comment