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"You'll need to keep an open mind for this one, but The Dresden Dolls are the most excitingly different duo that I've come across in ages."
Fast forward to 2008 and here's "No, Virginia..." which isn't technically a new album, because it's made up of left-over tracks from previous albums and B-sides, but it's definitely good enough to qualify for "new" status.
Amanda Palmer is as brilliant as ever with her dark, edgy lyrics, pounding piano and impossible-to karaoke vocal performances. This type of music (punk cabaret) may be an acquired taste, but for originality and audacity it can't be beaten.
The songs that I have been playing from this album are:
"Dear Jenny"- listen for the howling at the end
"Night Reconnaissance", where she observes "Nothing is crueler than children who come from good homes"
"Lonesome Organist R@pes Page-Turner" - not only a naughty name, but witty lyrics such as "So on the bench I watched his left hand crossing / While doubling entendres with the voicings"
"Sorry Bunch" - great piano performance
"Pretty in Pink" - my favorite track. Begins like Dire Straits "Walk of Life", and just gets better
"The Kill" - love the lyrics
"The Sheep Song" - a punk cabaret lullaby
If you know somebody whose musical taste is off-mainstream, you might want to put this on your Christmas list to convince them that Santa Claus is alive and cabaretting.
Amanda Richards, June 6, 2008
Thankfully the Dresden Dolls haven't lost any of their Brechtian flavour or wild devilish energy since their second album "Yes Virginia." And though "No Virginia" is not really an album proper -- it's a string of B-sides, odds and ends -- it's a deliciously dark cacophony of piano, psychiatric catastrophes and sharp drums. It's a bit smoother and less punky than their past work, but still what you'd expect from the Dolls.
Stabs of piano and drums punctuate Amanda Palmer's singing, as she announces, "Ashley talks to astronauts back home by way of fax transmission... weary, oh so drearily we wave our flags into the camera/Amber goes berserk completely, she's been here since last December."
The melody becomes subtler and darker as she announces, "Sometimes they let strangers in and other times they check the records!/When they check out in the morning dad puts out the lie detectors..." That one's about a psychiatric hospital, ya know. Think of it as a sequel to the gloriously mad "Girl Anachronism," but with more dramatic music and a slower beat. And, of course, the girl anachronism is now in a ward with self-harmers, flashers and imaginary astronauts.
And it's followed by the music-hall darkness of "Night Reconnaissance," a wildly weird song about lawn ornaments and social outcasts. But the Dresden Dolls prove that they can do more than that -- hauntingly angular pop music, cascading piano-rockers, weird experimental tunes, mellotron-saturated melodies, and of course the cabaret-flavoured punk music. It ends with the yearning, desperate drama of "Boston," which is all about travel, sex and "forty-five minutes every day religiously devoted to regret.Read more ›
In case you are oblivious to The Dresden Dolls, this is, and I quote:
"A collection of unheard treasures from the Vault of The Punk Cabaret taken from the Yes, Virginia Sessions & featuring new songs from the winter '08 Sessions."
I was worried all the attention they got for their last record would go to their heads, but no. Quite the contrary, all these songs remain true to the Dolls' former releases in every way without feeling like a cash-in or a lame attempt to remain relevent. Amanda and Brian are simply having fun and you can tell through the duration of No, Virginia.
Where's the love for Dear Jenny? That is by far my favorite song on here and ranks among my favorites of their's period. Past that, other stand outs include The Mouse and the Model, The Gardener, Sorry Bunch, and The Kill. Much like the past two releases, No, Virginia is a record that is totally easy to listen to completely with no reasons to skip any song.
As a side-note type of thing, I must say that Amanda and Brian sound incredible. Amanda's voice is only getting better with each new CD and the chemistry between the two musically is enthralling. Listening to how they feed off of each others energy at some of this CDs most intense moments are so fun to hear.
My favorite songs are Dear Jenny, The Mouse and the Model, The Gardener, Sorry Bunch, and The Kill. When it seems there's rarely a truly great b sides collection anymore The Dresden Dolls come out of nowhere and offer up a glimmer of hope for future b sides CDs from other bands. However, with a band as unbelievably original as the Dolls, does it really surprise you that they delivered? I think not. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Amanda Palmer so so so so so much. Got what I was expecting from her album. Just thatPublished on January 17, 2014 by Ricki Polsky
Classic Dresden Dolls/ Amanda Palmer at their best. The lyrics are raw and poignant. Excellent addition to my music collection.Published on September 15, 2013 by Syracruz
Best thing goth punkers have seen or heard since the 90s...great album, get it now and enjoy It. Goth rules!Published on September 11, 2013 by Trezonator
I heard Amanda Palmer give a ted talk and checked out her music. I subsequently bought four of her CDs if that tells you anything.Published on May 20, 2013 by Jeff
My son is really in love with this group then he enjoyed this disc and he is looking for anothe one.Published on January 21, 2013 by Raúl Ponce de León Tavira
This CD is more for Fans than others; it isn't quite as good as any of the other Dresden Dolls or Amanda Palmer albums out there...
... Read more
If you're a fan of Amanda Palmer,
please buy direct from HER website,
or buy in person at one of her shows. Read more