3 January 2013
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Audio Orchestra - Theatre Is Evil
Another fan funded album - seems to be all the rage these days. Before this album was released, Amanda Palmer asked for $1,000,000.00 from her fans to help fund the album being made and would get various 'bundles' in return - IE copy of the album,. meet and greet, etc. The project obviously made it's target and we have this little 71 minutes plus, 15 track album which has courted both controversy and praise in equal order. One of my mates gave this his album of 2012 and will not be told any different. Well, it was a bit late for me to include it in my 2012 list, which can be found else where on here - so lets see what all the fuss is about.
It has been 4 years since Ms Palmer has last released an album - the delightful "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" which has seen her leave her old record company in (again) controversial circumstances, seen a few tours of the world with her husband and various musical friends, and attempt at making an 8 track album in 8 hours which sort of did not succeed but made for a cracking ep, had a reunion tour for her old band - The Dresden Dolls and has been working on getting this album out. Not exactly being work shy like some people.
The problem I have found with Amanda Palmer albums I have found in the past is that the ambition outstrips what she is capable of doing. The vision is there but the resources where not available which means that the resulting album did not fully release their potential. This album has been giving all the funding she needed and then some to get it all out as the artist has envisioned it. It is the full deal, it is her final version of the picture. But is it any good - well, that depends on what side of the piano rock and songs which look quite far into the singers head with some retrospective stories and her own views on the world.
Personally I do find this a very engaging record, songs like "Smile (Pictures Or It Didn't Happen), "The Killing Type", "Berlin" and "Want It Back" do hit all the buttons that I know and knew she is capable of hitting. I did find the album slightly too long for my own personal tastes, but even the stuff I am not too fond of is still well crafted and would give another person a thrill I am sure. But is it the true peak of her career so far?
Well, again it depends on where you stand on her other work. For me personally I still cannot see past The Dresden Dolls and the album "Yes Virginia". However, this is very very close. If I had have heard it last year it would have been in top section of the albums of the year, maybe not actual album of the year, but it is a wonderful flight of fancy which goes to show if people get behind their chosen artists anything is possible. Here is to the power of the self promoting artist and the audience for being able to fund exactly what they want.
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
You can purchase from here
You can purchase directly from the artist here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
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