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No, Virginia...



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No, Virginia... by The Dresden Dolls
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"Virginia, I Changed My Mind"
4 stars"

The Dresdon Dolls are proud celebrants of the Punk Cabaret, and their music has a vibe that reminds you of the sleezy, angry, proud ladies of the old burlesque clubs. It sounds like it comes straight out of the speakeasies of 1920s America, by way of a healthy dose of the alternative and punk scene of the 1980s (Singer and songwriter Amanda references Lene Lovich as a long time hero). It ROCKS. No suprises that they got signed to a label that primarilly deals in metal, even though the two piece consist of a pianist/singer and a drummer (though the album has been fattened out a bit by supporting musicians). This is a collection of tracks that the Dolls had developed or near completion when they went in to record “Yes, Virginia” (google the title and find the NY Times Article to get the irony). For various reasons, these songs didn't ‘fit’ with the rest of the album, but as the band seems to be on hiatus (read: Where the hell is Brain while Amanda is off doing her solo stuff?) this collection was put together and put out, but not toured that extensively. As a result, the songs, while mostly very good, are a bit of a mish-mash, and don't really feel like a cohesive album. That said, there are some stand-out tracks, including “Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner”, which was previously released as a B Side to a single in Europe, and is pretty darn explosive. The lyrics don't dissapoint, neither does the raw energy and enthusiasm. If anything, some of the songs that made it on to “Yes, Virginia”, should have been bumped in favour of some of the stronger numbers on this album. Now all we have to do is wait for the Dolls to put out album number 4 (or 5, if you can track down “A is for Accident”, but good luck with that). Since Amanda has had a loud and public falling out with her record label and now headed off to be a blissful newlywed, don't hold your breath for anything new anytime soon.


Boston glamorpusses The Dresden Dolls occupy a singular niche in modern music. Their spin on Brechtian punk cabaret manages to be at home either in a velvet-draped burlesque club or a seedy rock venue. The piano and drum duo's latest, NO, VIRGINIA, is a collection of b-sides and outtakes designed to slake the thirst of their rampant cult audience in the absence of a full-length album. Raucous piano-vamps like "Night Reconnaissance" swing like two a.m. in a crowded beer hall, but the album's real highlights come in smoky, sparkling ballads like "The Gardener" and torch song "The Kill" that allow Amanda Palmer to wrap her husky pipes lovingly around them. Much of this material may have been left off of their last album, YES, VIRGINIA, but there's no discernible drop-off in quality or passion.

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
  1. Dear Jenny
  2. Night Reconnaissance
  3. The Mouse and The Model
  4. Ultima Esperanza
  5. The Gardener
  6. Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner
  7. Sorry Bunch
  8. Pretty In Pink
  9. The Kill
  10. Sheep Dog
  11. Boston
Release date Australia
May 19th, 2008
Roadrunner Records
Number of Discs
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