I should warn you not to go into this album with certain expectations. I did, hoping to find an album full of "Good Days" and "Girl Anachronisms". It isn't. This was disappointing to me, I'd loved the previous album so much that I just wanted more. But wait! What's this? Having taken the time to actually, y'know, listen to this album, I found it to be one of rare delights and frequent surprises.
There's a bold opening - "Sex Changes" - which is equal parts entertaining, irreverent and possibly the funniest song about gender issues since The Kinks' "Lola". "Backstabber" is Amanda Palmer's pissed-off righteousness at its finest, as is "Modern Moonlight" and "First Orgasm" stands as the weirdest and kinkiest of all on display (and that's saying something). It ends with first single "Sing", which is a song of rare beauty and magnificence. Essentially a rallying cry to the disaffected, a call to reclaim voices lost. You'll be weeping as well as grinning, following Palmer and Vigilione 'Pied Piper-style' through the album's denoument.
This isn't the same album as the debut. It's a more balanced and mature work, and stands as a testament not only to the duo's musically ability but Palmer's craft and talent as a lyricist and (dare I say it), poet. And it achieves this without sacrificing the crucial elements of fun and insanity that made The Dresden Dolls such a joy to listen to in the first place.