Life Should Be A Cabaret
Yes, they wear mime makeup and are often clad in bustiers and shirtless suspenders, but the Dresden Dolls are not just another gimmicky band. These two Boston locals unite to make beautiful, often angry music. On their sophomore album Yes, Virginiaâ€šÃ„Â¶ no subject is too sensitive or off-color to be part of Amanda Palmerâ€šÃ„Ã´s piano melodies. Not unlike their attire, the shocking lyrics grab the listenerâ€šÃ„Ã´s attention, but it is the underlying theme and genre mixing that captivates throughout the CD. These songs are Palmerâ€šÃ„Ã´s emotions brought to life in peppy show tunes. Outlandish phrases like â€šÃ„ÃºWe need to chop your cock offâ€šÃ„Ã¹ in â€šÃ„ÃºSex Changesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ demand a reaction. Others become laments of regret in â€šÃ„ÃºDelilahâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and isolation in â€šÃ„ÃºMe & the Minibar,â€šÃ„Ã¹ bringing forth Palmerâ€šÃ„Ã´s poetry amid her tragic piano. She even manages a thoughtful ode to self-pleasure in â€šÃ„ÃºFirst Orgasm.â€šÃ„Ã¹
Much of Palmerâ€šÃ„Ã´s writing consists of obvious descriptions of her surroundings; see â€šÃ„ÃºSing for the kid with the phone who refuses to singâ€šÃ„Ã¹ in â€šÃ„ÃºSing.â€šÃ„Ã¹ It takes you out of the vaudeville world they so successfully create and drops you into modern-day issues for, as Palmer adds later on in â€šÃ„ÃºSing,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºLife is no cabaret.â€šÃ„Ã¹
It is their punk intensity that draws the Dresden Dolls to musicâ€šÃ„Ã´s forefont. The majority of this energy comes from Brian Viglione who adds depth to Palmerâ€šÃ„Ã´s keys through his tumbling drums and background vocals. They play off each other to form convulsing numbers like â€šÃ„ÃºBackstabberâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºModern Moonlightâ€šÃ„Ã¹ followed by Broadway-esque tunes like â€šÃ„ÃºMandy Goes to Med School.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Each song is a chance for the band to try out a new style and tone, making Yes, Virginiaâ€šÃ„Â¶ a wide-ranging album of original music.