The Residents launched the Talking Light tour shortly after the conclusion of the Bunny Boy project. The tour was a mixture of new stories/songs and rearranged older tunes. Since most tours are done to support new recordings, at some point the Residents (now Randy, Chuck, and Bob) wondered what the studio album from Talking Light would have sounded like. This was the genesis of Lonely Teenager. So, after the tour (and the benefit of performing the material dozens of times to see what worked best), the Residents recorded these versions of the tunes featured in the live show. The pieces all seem to touch on some aspect of death or dying, all delivered with that trademark Residents dark humor. Randy (the Residents' singer) has mellowed with age and doesn't scream nearly as much as he used to. In fact, he doesn't scream at all and turns in some really nice performances. He also uses effects to alter his voice on a couple tunes in order to portray different characters. "The Unseen Sister" is yet another example of the Residents' ability to create stunningly simple and wonderful melodies (something easily lost in all the strangeness). The rearranged tracks ("The Lizard Lady," "Six More Miles," and "Boxes of Armageddon") all sound great, too, and guitarist Bob turns in some screaming solos. Sure, it's a bit dark and creepy at times, but on the whole Lonely Teenager is one of the Residents' more gentle recordings.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard