Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra : Theatre Is Evil
Written and recorded on the outskirts of Melbourne, Amanda Palmer’s latest project came together right under our noses. With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking Theatre Is Evil is a humble, run-of-the-mill indie release. You’d be wrong: when prompted, Palmer’s die-hard supporters crowd-funded the project to the tune of almost $1.2 million. Flooded with donations – from instruments to studio-delivered dinners – Palmer posted a massive victory for independent creativity.
Best of all, Theatre Is Evil actually ranks among her best releases, building upon 2008’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer. In an ironic twist, Palmer freely indulges in flamboyant theatricality from the outset, the album aligned with her previous punk-cabaret patterns. Smile (Pictures Or It Didn't Happen) escalates to epic proportions, Palmer's self-styled cinematic grandeur igniting beautifully.
Overall, the album boasts a healthy diversity between tracks, from the rambunctious stomper Do It With A Rockstar to the stunning pop-sensibilities of Want It Back. True to form, Theatre Is Evil is an eccentric album, but all the more thrilling for it. One has to believe the excess of funds did contribute to the sheer magnitude of Palmer’s project and, at over an hour long, it does begin to feel a tad exhausting. But then, that’s the beauty of it all: Theatre Is Evil is a story of artistic license enabled and, in turn, artistic license run amok.
BY NICK MASON
Best Track: Grown Man Cry
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Somewhere Under The Rainbow THE JANE AUSTEN ARGUMENT, Parasiticide TWO TON BOA
In A Word: Exhilarating