Uncut - 01/03, p.1264 stars out of 5
- "...Its folksy, disembodied keyboard washes and softly intoned lyrics convey a sense of confusion without attempting to supply any simple answers..."
The Wire - 9/02, p.62
"...The tunes are often upbeat and catchy..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 10/02, p.102
"...DEMONS DANCE ALONE is an excellent bent-pop song-cycle in the mode of their classic DUCK STAB. [Their] access to wonderful mysteries remains unimpeded..."
DEMONS DANCE ALONE is the Residents at their most poppish. Although, fittingly, it's a candy coating over a darkly beating heart. Recorded in the Residents' 30th year as an ensemble, DEMONS DANCE ALONE harks back to such bleakly gleeful works as DUCK STAB and THE COMMERCIAL ALBUM. The opening number, "Life Would Be Wonderful," captures the tone of the whole set. After its opening foundation of whispered voices followed by a keyboard figure, a trumpet enters, offering a melody that is the very picture of melancholy. The song's title is the chorus, sung by multi-tracked female voices.
The focus here (and throughout) is on the "would be"--there's never a "Life IS Wonderful" with The Residents. The sounds of vulnerability and uncertainty make this album one of the Residents' most warmly human. With their extensive use of female vocals, there's an additional lilting beauty and a ray of light to these songs of dashed hopes, evil powers, and fractured circumstances.