Review – Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra, Theater Is Evil, 8 Foot Records, 2012


Classification: Pop / Rock
File Under: P

Artist: Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra
Title: Theater Is Evil
Label: 8 Foot Records

Recorded: 2012
Date Released: 09/11/2012
Date Received: 08/07/2012

Clean: 1, 4-14
Indecent: 2, 3, 15
Play: 4-Do it with a rockstar, 5-Want it back, 9-Lost, 13-Melody Dean
RIYL: St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Dresden Dolls (obvs), Cabaret

Comments: You can’t just put out records or singles anymore. To make it in the music industry today, you have have give fans videos, contests, assurances via social media that you love them, exclusive content, and most of all reasons to buy your music instead of steal it. In that sense, Amanda Fucking Palmer continues to give the people what they want. This album (her second solo LP) is a culmination of relentless touring, side projects (Evelyn Evelyn) and ruling Twitter along with her husband, Neil Gaiman.

But how does it sound?

It sounds pretty great, actually. It skews poppier than her work with the Dolls, or her last album “Who Killed Amanda Palmer.” There’s still nods towards cabaret, high drama, and plenty of naked emotional confessions. Her latest videos feature plenty of actual nudity: “Want It Back” and “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” (not on this album), which shows just how much she’s willing to do to put herself out there, or at least try to get your attention.

It’s not hard to see some of the songs as modified love letters or unspoken conversations with Neil: 4-Do It With A Rockstar, 6-Grown Man Cry. 12-Massachusetts Avenue is a nice tribute to her address / Boston / whatever passes for home these days. For me, the emotional poles of the album are 9-Lost and 5-Want It Back, which center about what’s lost and what’s never really left you. There’s plenty of high drama, but I get the feeling that there’s even more raw stuff left on the cutting room floor. Who’s to say it won’t end up on the internet, or part of the next project? One thing’s for sure, after all the expectations and build up, AFP’s fans still want more. -DJWB