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Demons Dance Alone

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 3, 2002

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Tongue
  2. Life Would Be Wonderful
  3. The Weatherman
  4. Ghost Child
  5. Caring
  6. Honey Bear
  7. The Car Thief
  8. Neediness
  9. Untitled
  10. Untitled
  11. Untitled
  12. Thundering Skies
  13. Mickey Macaroni
  14. Betty's Body
  15. My Brother Paul
  16. Untitled
  17. Baja
  18. Untitled
  19. Untitled
  20. Untitled
  21. Beekeeper's Daughter
  22. Untitled
  23. Wolverines
  24. Untitled
  25. Make Me Moo
  26. Untitled
  27. Untitled
  28. II. Demons Dance Alone

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: East Side Digital
  • ASIN: B00006HICQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,886 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Pomeroy on October 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
To say that Demons Dance Alone is the Residents' most "accessbile" or "mainstream" recording to date would be both true and misleading. Let me attempt to tell you why....
The Residents have spent the last 30 years "amusing the muses and confusing the masses" with music that ranges from absurd hallucination to the essence of poignancy. They have written music for Pee Wee's Playhouse and the Discovery Channel, as well as created two award winning games (Freak Show and Bad Day on the Midway). All this and more, while the actual members of the band have remained anonymous. Even guest artists have sometimes recorded their contributions separately from the band itself. And speaking of guest artists, The Residents have been joined by guitar wizards Fred Frith and Snakefinger, performers Penn and Teller, and many other very talented folks over the years.
But still, for many people, The Residents' music has been a lesson in ongoing obscurity and has not been viewed as "radio friendly". Demons Dance Alone (DDA) might just be the first recording from the band to offer a marginally mainstream audience a way to approach and appreciate The Residents, while long-time fans of The Residents should still not be disappointed.
DDA is broken into three sections: "Loss", "Denial" and "Three Metaphors". With all the material having been written post-9/11/01, DDA's overall feel is one of sadness, and yet the songs do not wallow in despair so much as they explore the ways neediness and despair manifests without judging it. The result is a recording that feels more personal than anything else I've ever heard from The Residents.
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Format: Audio CD
In a nutshell, I'd agree with a previous reviewer in saying this is their best album in 20 years. To temper that judgement, I should admit that I've not been as fond of the Residents' output for some time. I'm definitely an old school Rez-head. And with that in mind, please don't expect another Commercial Album or Duck Stab. That period was a magical chemistry of people and ideas that could not nor should not ever be recreated. If you come to this album expecting the good old days of psychedelic dada wackiness, you'll be very disappointed. The Residents have matured beyond their years, added some new members and lots of new ideas, which need to be approached and analyzed on their own terms, in our own time. For example, this album was inspired and influenced in part by the 9/11/01 attacks. In my mind, this represents an enormous leap from the world of satire and fantasy to a timely, heavy political issue. It's not dealt with explicitly, but reflected opaquely in a series of vingettes which work as a song cycle. I say this because there are a number of repeated musical themes.. upon a first listen one might think they're only doing 3 or 4 songs in slightly different arrangements, but over the course of the album it cements the project together, not conceptually but materially.
One change to reckon with is their overall sound.. the guitar player and Molly Harvey have been with the group for some time now, and I've honestly had an undecided reaction to their inclusion till now, but with this project they have fully come into their own as creative participants. Some advocates of the new members would say that this is their "crossover album", that will finally propel them into the pop charts.. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first disc that I ever heard from the Residents, and its power & poignancy hooked me. Since then I've developed an obsession with the formally dressed Eyes and their crazily eclectic & adventurous work.
If you're reading this, you are probably already a Residents listener. Obviously, in that case you have your own opinions. If you are new to the Residents, then I suggest you approach them by getting DDA, Petting Zoo (a budget sampler like Frank Zappa's Cheap Thrills series), or Eskimo (the Residents most well-known work).
Like most of their work, Demons Dance Alone is very satisfying & intriguing. Unlike most of their work, there is a (very small) chance in hell that a radio station would actually play some tracks off of it. Apparently the lyrics to Demons Dance Alone were inspired by 9/11/01. There is certainly a lot of sadness and thoughtfulness in songs like "Ghost Child", "Honey Bear", "Betty's Body", and "The Car Thief".
Of course this IS a Residents release, so some goofy weirdness is in order. This approach is most self-evident on "Mickey Macaroni" & "Make Me Moo" (both of which feature a child singing), the manic tempo increase on "Neediness", as well as a musical interlude of "Jingle Bells".
As far as musical textures are concerned, imagine combining Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians", Enya's voice, Captain Beefheart's rhythmic adventurousness, Kraftwerk's electronic approach, Devo's eccentricity, and a more subdued Tom Waites on vocals, then you would have an idea as to the originality and vitality of Demons Dance Alone. For sheer musical audacity and artistic integrity, the Residents are beyond reproach.
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