This is actually a soundtrack album, featuring music originally composed to accompany the Residents' interactive CD-ROM entitled Bad Day on the Midway. If the notes to this album are any indication, the CD-ROM program is a masterpiece of grim humor, a tour of a circus from hell (complete with freak show) -- tracks with titles like "Dagmar, the Dog Woman," "I Ain't Seen No Rats," and "Lottie the Human Log" are pretty revealing of the general tenor of this music, though most of it is instrumental. Some of these tunes are jaunty in a creepy sort of way, others are atmospheric in a foreboding kind of way, and the occasional spoken word bits tend to be amusing in a demeaning sort of way. Those spoken parts start getting creepy in the wrong way by the end of the program -- the trailer trash parodies start feeling kind of mean spirited by that point, and mean-spiritedness isn't normally what this band is about. But the music itself is as well realized as anything the Residents have ever done; the textures are denser and the ideas more fully developed than usual. Fans will want both the CD-ROM and this soundtrack.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson