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Theatre Is Evil

78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 11, 2012
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Frequently Bought Together

Theatre Is Evil + Who Killed Amanda Palmer (Dig) + Dresden Dolls
Price for all three: $34.16

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Editorial Reviews

Singer, songwriter, piano-slayer and super blogger Amanda Palmer is preparing to release her first new studio album in four years, in conjunction with her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, featuring Michael McQuilken, Chad Raines, and Jherek Bishoff. Entitled THEATRE IS EVIL, the album was recently recorded in Melbourne with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Murder By Death, Modest Mouse, Xiu Xiu).

Palmer and GTO will embark on a six-city summer tour, unveiling the new album as a series of intimate performances alongside a dynamic visual art exhibit featuring thirty contemporary artists including Francis Bean Cobain, Shepard Fairey, Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses), David Mack, and Cynthia Von Buhler.

Arguably her most pop-influenced album yet, THEATRE IS EVIL showcases Amanda's powerful vocals and talented songwriting in ways that might purprise even her most ardent fans. Written over the course of several years (since the release of her last studio album, WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER), the album offers a collection of sounds and rhythms heavily influenced by the music Palmer grew up listening to - most notably 80's synth rock and Brit Pop.

True to form, the undispted queen of crowd-sourcing and fan engagement enlisted her community of loyal supporters to launch her ambitious global release, selling nearly 25,000 copies of her new album in multiple formats via Kickstarter, along with a variety of unique merch items including hand-painted turntables, two different coffee table art books featuring art from the group exhibit, and numerous Amanda Palmer experiences. All told, Palmer's pre-sales have already earned the artist over $1 million, garnering accolades from the likes of Forbes, CNN, The New York Times, and The Economist.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B008JFQU4S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Daniel on September 11, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I absolutely love this album. It was hard for me to finish it; I kept reaching back at previous songs to hear them all over again. Amanda Palmer's THEATER IS EVIL full of spectacular moments of parody, irony, and sincerity. She's never been one to be subtle, and with her newly freed canvas, she (and the Grand Theft Orchestra) paints in some of the biggest strokes possible.

Amanda Palmer has got to be one of the most polarizing figures in music right now: I don't know if I can think of anyone else that divides music fans in the way she does. Some listeners love the strangeness of The Dresden Dolls, while others found it gimmicky. She's got a huge following, to be sure; THEATER IS EVIL is an album funded almost entirely by her fans. By using the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter, she was able to raise over a million dollars so that she could have complete control over her music (unlike with her previous record label, Roadrunner Records). Based on this, I didn't know what to expect: will it be overly self-indulgent? Will it be a crowd-pleaser? Will it continue her work from her last full-length studio album, WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER?

This record feels like modern-day glam rock (and I mean this is the best possible way). Similar to David Bowie or T. Rex, THEATER IS EVIL has style and attitude on its mind, but it never sacrifices its melody in sake of these things. The album is littered with different genres, moods, and ideas -- it feels listeners constantly guessing what's coming next.

The album's opener, "Smile (Pictures or it Didn't Happen)" is a perfect indicator of where this album is headed: it's a synthesizer-washed, poppy track that name-checks Instagram and the popular internet adage "Pictures, or it didn't happen.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By snarkinator on September 12, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
It's all here, Amanda F'in Palmer in her glory, firing her freaky, red-hot art straight into your soul. She channels glam rock, new wave, punk, and the circus. She relives the post-apocalyptic cabaret hangover of the Dresden Dolls. But most of all, she brings a big, crackling thunderburst of Amanda, a real live human being who is beautiful and strange, broken and vulnerable and exactly like you. She is screaming and half-naked. She is covered in jewels. She has lost her wallet.

This album is a tour de force from a woman who has seen the future of art. She walked away from the recording industry and turned to her fans. Through Kickstarter, she did the impossible: created art from the people and for the people, with no strings attached.

Theatre Is Evil is Amanda Palmer's love letter to her fans. It's more than just music. It will make you smile, it will make you dream, it will make you want to live.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Madeline on September 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It was in middle school when I first started streaming music on the internet. Suddenly a whole world opened up that wasn't just mainstream radio, my friend's limited collections or my parent's old Dylan records. I distinctly remember listening to my first Dresden Dolls song "Shores of California." Despite believing myself shock proof (mainly due to years of staying up late sneaking in hours of my local rap station), I was stunned at the lyrical content. Yes, I had heard the Stones singing about how they couldn't get no satisfaction and Eminem rapping about slitting his wife's throat---but songs like those just didn't resonate with me. As a 12 year old, those weren't exactly my life experiences therefore it was easy to dismissive and nonchalant.

But Amanda... Amanda wrote about those first relationships, friends getting pregnant, girls masturbating--and all the angst and loneliness that's practically a teenage rite of passage. It was real. It resonated. And it was catchy as all get out. I followed Amanda's journey to become a successful solo musician after the Dolls went on hiatus---and again was almost overcome with the beauty, passion, and attention to almost mundane yet so poignant stories about life. The tremendously talented Ben Folds played a huge part in lifting Amanda's debut "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" into stratospheric levels for me. It crashed, wailed, whispered and wept. I was captivated.

I was so excited about what I was sure was going to be years of quality, creative music. Then Amanda ran afoul of her record label undergoing a long battle to be let of of her contract. In the meantime, she released a bunch of Radiohead ukulele covers, a circus cabaret inspired faux conjoined twin affair with Jason Webley, and a poor quality series of songs about Australia.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookie Mom on September 12, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
Regarding genre: phththt I have no idea. Poprockalt? Altpoprock? If David Bowie and Grace Slick raised a child together, I can imagine that child being Amanda Palmer. (total props to her actual mom, btw.)

Albums like this are few and far between... it's complicated, it's beautiful, it's 80's-rrific. All of these songs belong together: Theatre Is Evil is instantly familiar yet challenging. Yes, you could pick and poke and buy *just* the ones you like ala' carte, but they BELONG together in one family. Her song structures mix Broadway-worthy patchwork with traditional lyric/chorus/lyric. One simply cannot predict the next word, chord, or transition. After several listens I've decided there are no "skipping" songs. Palmer's Grand Theft Orchestra brings depth and expertise we haven't heard from non-premanufactured acts in recent years. Yes, they are singer-songwriters but they aren't messy, this record is TIGHT. I can see this record not only sweeping college campuses this fall, but also cranking out the GenX soccer moms' windows after morning carline drop-offs.
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