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No, Virginia...

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 20, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B0015435PW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Back in May 2006 I reviewed the album Yes, Virginia... by the Dresden Dolls, and I quote myself (after all, nobody else is going to quote me):

"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
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Format: Audio CD
Welcome back, king and queen of punk cabaret. We missed you and your weird, wild little songs.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
You know what gets me? The fact that the Dolls' sophomore effert, Yes, Virginia, was so highly touted by fans and critics alike and yet No, Virginia, has gotten NO publicity. I understand that it's not a proper follow-up but come on, these songs are incredible!

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.
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