Album Review

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra "Theatre Is Evil"

Matt MacDonald
Amanda "Fucking" Palmer used Kickstarter to fund her new album, an accompanying art book, and supporting tour.

This album exists solely because of the generosity of Ms. Palmer's fan base. Her original Kickstarter goal of $100,000 was met the first day, and before the campaign’s end it surpassed $1,000,000. Additionally, as of this writing, her new album has breached the top ten on Billboard. Palmer just keeps breaking milestones.

This is not the same angst-filled, piano-heavy music that Ms. Palmer embodied as a member of the Dresden Dolls and with her subsequent solo work. Identified as "Cr-ancing" by Palmer (crying + dancing), Palmer and the GTO utilize programming, synthesizers and live instrumentation so effectively that Theatre is Evil is unlike any album I have ever heard.

Theatre is Evil is evident of a songwriter at the top of her game. It starts off like a small wave with the opening number “Smile (Pictures, or It Didn’t Happen)”, which eventually swirls into a tsunami with the closing track “Olly Olly Oxen Free”. Standout tracks include "The Killing Type", "Want It Back" and "Massachusetts Avenue".

The album is being sold online on a "pay what you can" basis. If you don't want to pay for it, you don't have to – so you would be doing yourself a grave disservice as a music lover if you did not check out the entire album.

Then catch Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra on their US tour.