I've spent the last few nights listening to the new record from the Beantown duo The Dresden Dolls. The disc, "Yes Virginia.." is the sophomore effort of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione and is far and away better then their self titled debut. The first single from this record is "Sing" but I think the one that may make a splash on radio is "Shores of California" which is lead by Palmer's sexy throwback voice and her skilful piano line.
Her vocal style has been described as borrowing from 1930's German Cabaret but I think she is in a file of it's own. So, too, are her lyrics as they are cool, smart and provocative while being poetic at the same time. "Shores" recaps the dating world around the country through the eyes of girls and guys. The girls "really (want) that fickle little bitch romance" but the guys have their minds on something else. "He's been trying with limited success, to get this girl to let him get into her dress." She summarizes that this push and pull leads to a situation where "the girls are crying and the boys are masturbating."
The record sports a number of stand out tracks all heavy with Palmer's acerbic story telling and blistering observations. "Mrs. O" is a slow drum and piano backed open letter to the title character that is packed with dramatic sarcasm. "We all know, there's no Hitler and no Holocaust, no winter and no Santa Clause. And yes Virginia all because the truth can't save you now. The Sky is falling down, everything they ever told us shakes our faith and breaks their promise. But you can't stop the truth from leaking, if you never stop believing." I found much of the record to be intriguing and thought provoking, and although I'm sure there are places I could go online to find the meanings of most of the songs I would rather spend a few more listening reminding on them myself.
The straight forward song on the record is "Sing" which is a wonderful commentary on the state of freedom of speech in the world to day. "There is this thing that's keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked. It's called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance." The songs continues in poignant juxtaposition "sing for the president, sing for the terrorists, sing. Sing for the soccer team sing for the janjaweed, sing" before wrapping up "You motherfuckers, you'll sing some day..." When all is sung and done this album is just some damn good work out of Dresden Dolls. Go out and pick it up and you will be glad you did.