Back in April, Amanda Palmer set out to raise $100,000 via Kickstarter to fund her latest album, Theatre Is Evil. Instead she raised $1,192,793 via the campaign, which fans donated to for a full month. In contrast to 2008’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer and any of the musician’s other musical endeavors, Theatre Is Evil takes on a much complex and poppier sound, but isn’t so different that one wouldn’t be able to identify the disc as Palmer’s. The album opens up with an intro, which is mostly in German, by Meow Meow, a pretty popular cabaret performer. Backed by The Grand Theft Orchestra, Palmer’s Theatre Is Evil has a very full sound that engulfs the listener for well over an hour.

The CD encompasses edgy pieces like “Do It With A Rockstar,” synth-driven sing-a-longs like “Want It Back,” and “Melody Dean,” and even chill inducing numbers such as “Grown Man Cry” and “Trout Heart Replica.” There is even an instrumental track, “A Grand Theft Intermission,” which marches the first half of the disc right into the second portion. Waning guitars and wavy drums help to add an oceanic effect to the disc during the cool and crisp “Bottomfeeder.” The tides change once again on the disc as the nostalgia heavy “Massachusetts Avenue” comes flying in with a complementary sleek brass section. The disc ends on a high note with “Olly Olly Oxen Free,” another song that plants itself right inside your head and forces you to listen to the album once more. Theatre Is Evil is a fresh listen no matter how many times one hits that replay button, and can easily be noted as my pick for album of the year.

In A Word: Fantastic

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