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Fans of 'A Nightmare Before Christmas', 'Rocky Horror', and 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' will love Evelyn Evelyn, the world's only conjoined-twin singer-songwriter duo. With a background in circus performance and a wide range of musical influences, the twins compose original timeless songs full of humor, sadness, and double entendre.
The multi-talented sisters move gracefully through genres - from ragtime to 80s power ballad - at times reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters, at others like the soundtrack to a long lost Broadway musical. Their songs range from the country-tinged 'You Only Wany Me 'Cause You Want My Sister' to a heartbreaking ukulele rendition of Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Discovered, and richly produced by Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) and (Seattle cult-musician) Jason Webley, this epic album - three long years in the making - is the twins' debut recording.
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Okay, yeah, so in reality they aren't twins... or conjoined... or sisters... or even named Evelyn. Makes no difference to me. This is very probably the most quirky, creative, and clever concept album I've ever listened to. In many ways I felt like I was hearing the soundtrack to a strangely beautiful stage musical, except that there is no stage musical (yet). What you hear is what you get and it's sheer brilliance.
Evelyn Evelyn consists of two musicians and singers: Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley. People may be familiar with Palmer through her Boston-based cabaret-punk band Dresden Dolls or through her solo work. Webley is an alternative folk singer from Seattle. Both performers have a taste for the theatrical, obviously, and a penchant for experimental musical efforts. Yet nothing that's come before could have prepared me for the originality or the audacity of Evelyn Evelyn.
Their debut album is a 12 track masterpiece featuring eleven original works and a melancholic folk cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". The songs shift in mood, tone, and genre with skill and intelligence from the patently absurd "Chicken Man" to the epically moody "Sandy Fishnets" to the strange country tune "You Only Want Me 'Cause You Want My Sister". The lyrics throughout are either mockingly melodramatic or irreverently humorous and full of unexpected rhymes and double entendres which will have you laughing with maddening delight.
Thematically, the album is all over the place and the story it has to tell is simultaneously tragic, hilarious, and ingenious! It tells the story of an unlucky set of conjoined twins who go from being orphaned on the day of their birth (mother died in labor and father was accidentally killed by a chainsaw when the eccentric doctor decided to separate the twins... unsuccessfully). The twins go from being adopted by an eccentric chicken breeder who keeps them in a cage to being sold to a woman who takes fetish photography of children to then being sent to the circus before finally ending up as internet celebrities after they record a song and post it on MySpace. Along the way they meet a variety of lunatics and eccentrics of every sort and discover how hard it is to be born as freaks of nature. The continual squabbling between them provides for a great deal of humor, as does the whole story, though it does have moments of genuine drama and emotional sincerity.
And that's not all folks, there's even a graphic novel!
Their story is told woven throughout various songs of different genres and sounds.
Many times with a twisted Dark Circus feel to it- others have said it put them in mind of the Andrew Sisters and that is true to an extent. But it's more than that. Toss in a bit of Hedwig and Rocky Horror and a dash of Cabaret meets Barnum & Baily- it makes a heady and intoxicating story that will haunt you. As soon as the last track ends- i want to hear more right away.
Throughout the disc there are 3 tracks- all with the words "Tragic Events..." in the title. That is the meat of their life story. Told in a very hypnotically unique way with great vocal talent for characters.. and then suddenly we're on to the next song- which will be entirely different than the last one, always. Some of the "Tragic Events" will make you gasp or you may find shocking and painful to listen to- but it's just that kind of world we live in. The world is not always kind to those who are different.
I'm not even sure if there is a weak song on the disc. I've played it five times allready in the 36 hours i've owned it- so alot of words i want to use are not coming to me yet. I just wanted to put the word out there of how fantastic of a cd this is.
It will not be for everyone- that's for sure. But again- i'm a huge Amanda Palmer fan so i was in love with their made up world of Evelyn Evelyn instantly. I'm sure over the weekend i will have listened to it more and may have more to say. But for now- i just have to give it a lovingly glowing review. I've hardly thought of much else except Evelyn Evelyn since i heard it. They won't let me be! LOL
But then- new music that i fall in love with does that to me. Right now it's just hovering constantly in the corners of my minds ear so to speak. Check it out. It's a good price and an awesome and unique work of art.
Cheers and thanks for taking time to read this.
The product itself was in very good condition and I received it in a very timely manner. Good job.