Have a Bad Day 1995

A sort-of soundtrack to the brilliant Bad Day On The Midway CD-ROM. Instead of just sticking the music onto a CD they have moulded and expanded it into something new. Having spent god knows how many hours playing Bad Day I know that there's music here that you don't hear in the game — the doomy Daddy's Poems, and parts of the delightful Timmy for example. This album demonstrates how the Residents are using technology to create interesting and diverse music to accompany their strange and twisted stories. If their early MIDI stuff tended to be a bit plink plonk, there's a return to noise here. There's also real musical maturity at work here.

But, it doesn't really come alive as an album until you play the CD-ROM. Given this extra layer of context, knowing which characters are speaking, and understanding what they are talking about, allows the atmospheric fabric of the music to be heard as a whole, where previously there were only separate threads. As a musical interpretation of a CD-ROM landscape, this album works very well, and contains some fine music, but you may find it actually needs that original context in order to at all.