Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra
Theater Is Evil
8 Ft Records
By David Chiu
Theater Is Evil is the latest solo work from the Dresden Doll singer, a dazzling collection of grandiose, theatrical-influenced rock music that is sexy and ironic with a dash of humor and poignancy. With the sensibility of a 20th century torch singer a la Dietrich, Palmer reimagines Tin Pan Alley on steroids from the bombastic rockers of “Smile (Pictures That Didn’t Happen)” and “Do It With a Rock Star” to the melodic quirky Ben Folds-like pop of “Massachusetts Avenue” and “Want It Back”; there are also some melancholy moments like on the lovely “Grown Man Cry” and the haunting piano ballad “The Bed Song.” Dullness is not in Palmer’s musical vocabulary—her sound soaks in the old fashioned melodic pop of yesteryear with 21st century attitude.