The Residents

The Big Bubble: Pt. 4 of the Mole Trilogy

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A troubling album from the group and part four, supposedly, of the "Mole Trilogy." Whether they were reneging on their original promise or just pulling the record buyer's leg is unknown, but the album's concept for the first time is much more interesting than the result. Like Tunes of Two Cities, The Big Bubble is the Residents recreating the sound of imaginary musicians, putting on the guise of a rock band, as they tell it, the first Chub-society rock band to play indigenous Mole music. What we hear is the group throwing down their synths and trying to rock out, garage style, but with a lumpen, blocky sound and simple lyrics. After a few songs the experiment is finished, the point taken, yet there's plenty more songs to go. Only "Cry for the Fire" stands out, and particularly in the searing live version found on 13th Anniversary Show Live in Japan, where they finally attain that profound beauty that eluded them in the studio. The CD version contains the suite "Safety is the Cootie Wootie," a sort of twisted lullaby that has nothing to do with the album except its year of release -- it was removed for the reissue in 1997.

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