The Residents – The Ghost of Hope album review: Art-rock veterans triumph again

Thu, Mar 16, 2017, 09:22


The Ghost of Hope


Cherry Red


There may be some better known oddities out there in the enthusiastic vastness of art-rock, but there are surely none more resilient than America’s Residents. Since their inception in the late 1960s, the arguably unverifiable art collective has hoodwinked and blindsided all but the most astute (if not obsessive) fan with many albums (more than 60) and a signature image (an eyeball dressed for an evening out with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).

What marks The Residents out, however, is good ideas, and Ghost of Hope functions around a brilliant one: a collection of folksy songs that act as a brief yet accurate history of rail disasters of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Part metaphor (the clue is in the album title) and part history lesson, once again the all-seeing eyeball confounds, confuses and amuses.