There are plenty of reviews that will tell you why you should or shouldn't buy this album, but it frustrates me that so few reviewers on Amazon mention the actual version of the product at hand. I would think that many if not most of the potential buyers of this disc are already familiar with The Residents, if not this album itself, but what is seldom (if ever) mentioned is that this is a fantastic 'pressing' packaged very handsomely in a CD-sized, glossy hardcover book. I first dicovered that Residents albums were being packaged this way when I recently picked up the two double-album discs comprising the so-called 'Mole Trilogy.' I decided to take a chance on this disc (as well as Duck Stab) and was very happily surprised to see that these, too, had been released in these wonderful packages, with booklets containing artwork and lyrics.
As for the music, what can I say? The "Commercial Album," a 'reaction' of sorts to their own magnum opus "Eskimo," is a late-70s avant garde classic, a kind of satire of a culture of sound bites. There are 40 1-minute tracks (as opposed to the single 40-minute track on "Eskimo") that sound like an alien child's attempt to recreate the experience of having heard Earth music, and in particular, music from TV & radio ads (in my opinion).
Are all the tracks great? No, you have to absorb them more as a collection, but it's still a clever concept album, and some of these tunes will have you laughing at their absurdity (like "The Act of Being Polite"); others may have you pondering the meanings behind their short lyrics for hours to come ("Easter Woman"). A few are actually pretty ("Amber"). If you're looking for originality, you've come to the right place. You may not play this album every day, but it's worth having in your collection, especially this well-packaged edition.