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Evelyn Evelyn

Evelyn Evelyn

30 Mar 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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This has to be one of the best albums I've bought in a long time! I have to admit that I bought it because I'm a Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer fan and I wasn't sorry! This album is a real piece of art work. It's a concept album about Siamese twins and their twisted/dark life. It's not only very atmospheric but the story telling is wonderful with a number of tracks being spoken word along with great backing music, sound effects and dialogue. When I first heard this I could picture someone like Tim Burton picking this up and turning into a film for the amount of content in it!

I'd highly recommend this album to ANYONE who likes anything dark/cabaret/story based/slightly quirky and so on. If you like Dresden Dolls and Palmer then you're pretty sure to love this.

Buy it now and then buy it again!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars if you Fly your Freak Flag high 15 April 2010
By Stella Quinn - Published on
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I haven't found a high-quality avant-garde album on the new releases rack since Who Killed Amanda Palmer. No surprise that I had to wait until Amanda Palmer's next project, Evelyn Evelyn, to hear something that wasn't just a bunch of stuck up art school grads amusing themselves with tired, inauthentic noise played on deliberately broken instruments. Evelyn Evelyn, made up of Palmer and folk-punk artist Jason Webley, are the real deal if you happen to be a grade A wierdo/nerd like yours truly.

For ages Danny Elfman carried the torch for macabre music with a twisted sense of humor. But as South Park so aptly put it Elfman-Burton collaborations have gotten pretty stale. The music is still pretty, but it's been recycled. This is something entirely new.

Evelyn Evelyn, which is the name of the band, the title of the album, and the name of the metafictional characters in the deliciously melodramatic plot. The album makes vague references to September 11 and the Iraq War, but Palmer and Webley don't use it as a political point. These events simply become part of the backdrop of Evelyn Evelyn's chronically tragic existence. The twins are born on September 11, giving them the same pleasantly cursed fate as Butters Stotch. Everyone around them who is good dies, and they fall repeatedly into the hands of people who abuse and exploit them. As over-the-top as their biographies are, the very unvarnished picture of child trafficking painted by this album makes you stop and realize that this sort of thing happens -- yes, even in the United States.

Evelyn Evelyn may rightly catch some heat for its negative portrayal of Christians. While Amanda Palmer has made no secret of her dislike of organized, politicized religion, I didn't get the impression that this album is anti-Christianity. It's anti-Zealot. The religious freaks that wander in and out of Evelyn Evelyn's life are the sort of scripture-frenzied wackos that think it's okay to impose what they think God's will is on innocent bystanders who want nothing to do with any of it. These are people who never notice that by spending all of their time and energy combating perceived evil instead of trying to do some good once in a while, they are completely missing the point of the Christian faith. "Tragic Events - Part II" illustrates with haunting detail the two religion-crazed factions that want power over Evelyn Evelyn. One group believes it is an abomination to leave the girls conjoined, and so they must be split apart to please God. The other believes that God created them that way, and so the girls should be locked away to prevent anyone from ever parting them. Neither faction ponders whether the girls should just be left alone.

Laced between the spoken portions detailing Evelyn Evelyn's life are songs that are as cheery as the words are glum. The musical style of the album kaleidoscopes through time, with the opening number waltzing like a broken calliope and later songs moving through jazz, folk-rock, power ballads, and concluding with a quiet nineties-style acoustic strum. The head-bopping Charleston rag "Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn" is one of the catchiest songs I've heard for a while, with impeccably funny lyrics. "You Only Want Me `Cause You Want My Sister" is a gorgeous folk song that evokes Bob Dylan-Joan Baez duets from the sixties. If this song were lifted out of context, it makes a great song about the rejection women feel when, for whatever reason, we are overlooked in favor of our friends or sisters. But listening to this song within its placement of the album, you can't help but laugh at the inappropriateness of the lyrics as they apply to conjoined twins. "My Space" takes the musical odyssey to bad 80's pop ballads. It's Karaoke awful with way too much reverb, plenty of over-the-top synth percussion, melodramatic guitar solos, and over-punctuated downbeats. Awesome.

This album is very different for Amanda Palmer. While she's the bigger name, this is a true equal collaboration between herself and Jason Webley. Her contralto blends perfectly with his tenor, and Palmer has held back on her usually hard-hitting style to create a more fragile and delicate sound than she usually does. Webley's voice is clear and reedy, Palmer's is throaty and brusque. Their voices mixed with their superb piano and accordion work made for an album that picks up the amazing technicolor freak flag from the bland dust it's been rolling around in and they've cleaned it up, embellished it, and flown it high. This album isn't for everyone. But if you are just twisted enough to appreciate a deliciously dark tale, enjoy.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't say enough wonderful stuff 3 April 2010
By D. Bennett - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Amanda's work since I discovered The Dresden Dolls and I have hung on her every word ever since. This collaboration with Jason Webley does not disappoint. Please support this outstanding work that brings you so much more than the normal music industry drivel. And if you haven't already heard it, go get some of Jason or Amanda's other work. And you must have some Dresden Dolls on your player.

Thank you for your time, and remember, I killed Amanda Palmer.
4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two dimensional 9 Dec. 2010
By C. D. Olsen - Published on
Verified Purchase
I'll be honest here, I found everything after song 2 to be boring and I shut it off around song 6 or rather talk 6 since half of the tracks on here are only talky talky.

I get that they are trying to say something about human slave trafficking, child sex abuse and general crappiness of human nature but they never raise the twins to anything above a two dimensional cut out for me to care about. The twins are so flat and lifeless I might as well be watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon while listening to a rant about violence.

The first song is an excellent mixture of love, rage and frustration between two people who literally can't be separated, the rest of the album is a snooze fest laundry list of societal evils. Seriously if you want to fight child sex abuse join an organization and do it... don't write cutsie songs about it.
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