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4.8 out of 5 stars
24
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 29 March 2017
Amanda Palmer's first solo album and it's a strong LP. Highlights are Have to Drive, Guitar Hero, Astronaut.
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on 20 September 2008
This is a fantastic album!

As a long time fan of Palmer's work in the inspired 'punk cabaret' duo The Dresden Dolls, I was initially disturbed by her decision to produce a solo album. Any fan of the 'Dolls will agree that their success lies in the raw minimalism of their music - it is that DIY cabaret ethic that makes them both unpredictable and hugely exciting.

'Who Killed Amanda Palmer' (WKAP) is very different - firstly, although it is a solo project, the album features a great many guest musicians and music is of a considerably greater depth and intricacy. Ben Folds' `more is more' approach to production is perfectly matched to Palmer's trademark theatricality; the best example might be the epic, sinister choir on `Have To Drive' or the glacial backing echoes on `Blake Says'.

Palmer's song-writing is on top form and the songs here are extremely varied in style, subject matter and tone. There are moments of high energy, such as `Runs In The Family', `Guitar Hero' and the live favourite `Leeds United' which features a fantastic backing brass section (interestingly credited as "The Born Again Horny Men of Edinburgh".) `Oasis' runs in the same vein as `The Jeep Song' (The Dresden Dolls) but its twee, Americana-influenced sound backs some gorgeously sinister lyrics.

`Ampersand' and `Point Of It All' reveal Palmer's genius for lyricism; a personal favourite is this cutting lyric: "The ghetto boys are catcalling me/ As I pull my keys from my pocket/I wonder if this method of courtship/ Has ever been effective. / Has any girl in history said/ Sure, you seem so nice, let's get it on? / Still, I always shock them when I answer/ Hi my name's Amanda"

To truly dedicated fans this album will provide few surprises as Palmer chose to make many of the songs available long before the album's release (one surprise, however, might be the bizarre, perhaps ill-advised cover of `What's The Use Of Wond'rin?' which features Annie Clark of St. Vincent.)

To current and fans of Amanda Palmer and to those unfamiliar with her work there is no way that this album could disappoint, it is a great record and should be in the collection of anyone who appreciates truly brilliant song-writing.
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on 28 November 2009
I'd never heard of Amanda Palmer before yesterday, or the Dresden Dolls. Now I have, I'm wondering how I ever lived my life without her.
There are a lot of female singer-songwriters around this year, it seems, mostly taking the same easy-listening folk trail as each other. And that's all fine.

But here is Amanda Palmer, whose music is loud and punky and aggressively sexual. This is not a woman who is waiting around for some beau to sweep her off her feet, rather one who has already finished with him and moved onto several other ones. Her voice is deep and growly and knowing, a wine-addled sixty-a-day roar, her music is replete with pianos, guitars, violins, trumpets, shouty exuberance, and much else besides. And she sounds like she's having just a great whale of a time, and inviting us along for the ride.

There is not a single bad song on this album. Seriously. How rare is that? An album without a single duff track. Even the slow ones, where you're thinking, "Uh-oh, here comes the token ballad". The token ballad is mint. All the token ballads are mint.

And this is all before you reach the track "Oasis". Which is something of a revelation in itself. Listen to the sound of your own jaw hitting the table as you think, "How on earth can she be singing about this? And how can she be making it so much fun?"

No, this is not an album for the Laura Marling/Lisa Hannigan crowd, this is for people who like a bit of good bloody meat on their music. An album for those whom like their women a little bit scary and a little bit out there.

Me, I'm completely in love...
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on 15 September 2008
This is a fantastic album!

As a long time fan of Palmer's work in the inspired 'punk cabaret' duo The Dresden Dolls, I was initially disturbed by her decision to produce a solo album. Any fan of the 'Dolls will agree that their success lies in the raw minimalism of their music - it is that DIY cabaret ethic that makes them both unpredictable and hugely exciting.

'Who Killed Amanda Palmer' (WKAP) is very different - firstly, although it is a solo project, the album features a great many guest musicians and music is of a considerably greater depth and intricacy. Ben Folds' `more is more' approach to production is perfectly matched to Palmer's trademark theatricality; the best example might be the epic, sinister choir on `Have To Drive' or the glacial backing echoes on `Blake Says'.

Palmer's song-writing is on top form and the songs here are extremely varied in style, subject matter and tone. There are moments of high energy, such as `Runs In The Family', `Guitar Hero' and the live favourite `Leeds United' which features a fantastic backing brass section (interestingly credited as "The Born Again Horny Men of Edinburgh".) `Oasis' runs in the same vein as `The Jeep Song' (The Dresden Dolls) but its twee, Americana-influenced sound backs some gorgeously sinister lyrics.

`Ampersand' and `Point Of It All' reveal Palmer's genius for lyricism; a personal favourite is this cutting lyric: "The ghetto boys are catcalling me/ As I pull my keys from my pocket/I wonder if this method of courtship/ Has ever been effective. / Has any girl in history said/ Sure, you seem so nice, let's get it on? / Still, I always shock them when I answer/ Hi my name's Amanda"

To truly dedicated fans this album will provide few surprises as Palmer chose to make many of the songs available long before the album's release (one surprise, however, might be the bizarre, perhaps ill-advised cover of `What's The Use Of Wond'rin?' which features Annie Clark of St. Vincent.)

To current and fans of Amanda Palmer and to those unfamiliar with her work there is no way that this album could disappoint, it is a great record and should be in the collection of anyone who appreciates truly brilliant song-writing.
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on 9 September 2009
If you are a fan of Amanda Palmer please buy directly from HER her website, or in person at one of her shows.
The record company company is withholding all of the profits if you buy this anywhere other than directly from her.
Please re-post this review any where see any of her products for sale."

Please click "Yes" for "Was this review helpful to you?" at the bottom of the review (you have to log into Amazon to do this)--by voting it the most helpful, it brings that review to the top. Feel free to use the same language to post to other online stores that are not Amanda's.
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on 18 June 2009
I bought this album after hearing one track (Leeds United) on the radio. I had never heard Amanda Palmer before, nor the band she fronted, the Dresden Dolls. This is one of those albums that takes a little persistence to get into, but rewards you by getting better every time you listen. The tracks are varied in style, going from Patti Smith sounding songs to something from Noel Coward, and the lyrics, though not always clear, allow for interpretation and so inspire some thought as to their meaning. An excellent album that is challenging and rewarding.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2008
This is an excellent album that works its way under your skin the more you listen. The decision to move away from Dresden Dolls and go solo may have shocked fans, but they needn't have worried as this is just as good as, if not better than, anything the Dolls have put out. The sound is slightly different with Ben Folds producing - more symphonic and full - but the edge and the wit, the darkness in the lyrics, all of the elements you'd expect from something by Amanda Palmer is present.
The perfection comes from the rawness in the lyrics and their delivery; Amanda's voice expresses so much emotion and feeling that you can forgive her for not hitting every note; if anything it makes the record more sincere. There's a great mix of tracks, from slow-burners such as 'Ampersand' or 'Blake Says', to more rocking tracks such as 'Leeds United' (which is amazing, one of my favourite things she's written - there's even a cheeky snippet of a Blondie song midway through) or album-opener, 'The Astronaut'. She has an uncanny sense of melody so even when the lyrics are dark and disturbing, somehow the music is up-beat and the tracks will stick in your head. 'Oasis' is a particular example, where the song is about rape and abortion but put to a catchy piano rhythm with 'doo-wop's that the Beach Boys would be proud of.
There's great replayability in the album since her quirkiness never fails to put a smile on your face, and all of the songs are so well-written and played. The only disappointing track is 'What's the Use of Wond'rin' which doesn't have the same energy as the other tracks and sounds a little twee (it's worth noting that she doesn't sing much of the track so in that respect too it sounds a little out of place), but everything else is brilliant. Amanda sounds glorious with a few more instruments backing her and this album will be appreciated by old and new fans alike.
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on 22 September 2008
Even from the first track Amanda proves that she is a force to reckoned with; 'Astronaut' is edgy, lyrically brilliant and hauntingly provocative as Amanda's characteristic growl tells of the doomed fate of her astronaut. With superb guest cello from Rasputina's Zoe Keating and a pounding beat throughout, Amanda introduces us to her solo effort in style and the rest of the album does not disappoint. You've barely caught your breath when 'Runs in the Family' blasts your eardrums with a sharp, cynical look at hereditary failings. Wonderfully catchy and again showcasing Amanda's lyrical skill she delivers three minutes of foot-stomping Dolls-esque melody which will delight old fans and new listeners alike. With her third track, 'Ampersand', Amanda tones it down but does not spare on the beautiful piano work. Lyrically, this is a stand out track, be sure to listen carefully. If you're after another fast-paced track, 'Leeds United' is a knock out. Accompanied by an unusually jazzy sound which complements her voice fabulously Amanda belts out a bitingly witty tune of love, southern comfort and law and order. The album takes a stranger turn next with 'Blake Says', an empathic tale of a pill-popping loner with talent but surreally unsettling piano work. As usual Amanda creates beautiful if odd characters enthused with her own quirks and signature individuality. This one grows on you, so it's worth a few listens if you dismiss it as a weaker track immediately. If you thought 'Blake Says' was weird, 'Strength Through Music' is downright disturbing. From the opening commentary (no idea what that's about!) to the strong piano chords and whisper of 'tick, tick, tick, tick' this story of the Columbine student shooter will leave you reeling. And now for my favourite track of the moment, the spellbinding, thumping 'Guitar Hero'. What can I say? This is an unmissable track, guaranteed to hold your attention as Amanda snarls "what's the point of going outside, it's so depressing when people die in real life". Insanely catchy, blackly humorous and typically controversial (the war references are very dark), this is Amanda at her best. Guaranteed to have your toes tapping and with enough musical twists to excite the listener, this track is a winner. I love it, love it, love it! Another slowie up next with the haunting and somewhat depressing `Have to Drive'; this track builds to an impressive crescendo and showcases the vulnerability of Amanda's voice very well; this girl just cannot be pigeonholed. The piano here may be simple, but it's astoundingly beautiful. `What's the use of Wond'rin?' is the only track on the album that I'm not crazy about. Others may disagree, but for me this doesn't show off Amanda's skill adequately enough. The weakest track on the album in my opinion, but it doesn't matter since the next track `Oasis' more than makes up for it. When I first heard this I was gob smacked that lyrics so dark could make for such a cheery and damn bouncy tune! To Amanda's joyful teenager issues like rape, abortion and molestation don't seem to matter that much because she got an autographed photo from Oasis. This track is even suffused with a delightful chorus of `doo-bop-do-bahs' reminiscent of any Beach Boys classic. What a summer song, and truly a great tribute to Liam and Noel. `The Point of it All' is another standout (though it seems I've said that about every track!) a heartbreakingly sad tale of friendship and drug addiction which is lyrically perhaps the best of the album. My favourite are the lines "well it's better to waste your day watching the scenery change at a comatose rate, than to put yourself in it and turn into one of those cigarette ads that you hate". A wonderful, touching song that will leave you feeling warm and cold at the same time. The last song of the album, `Another Year' sees Amanda reflecting on her career, her love life and her friends as she pledges to wait another year before doing something momentous. The opening piano work of this song is wistfully sad and tender, perhaps some of her best slow work yet, and her vocals are imperfect but this only serves to make them warmer, characteristically endearing. With this last effort the life of Amanda seems to open up in front of the listener, and this song proves to be as intimate as a teary chat and a hug from the great woman herself. People put her on a pretty high pedestal, and it's easy to see why. Amanda Palmer is an inspiration, and another batch of unique, superbly written and touchingly personal songs sees her rocket from cult classic member of the Dresden Dolls to a soloist superstar. Well done, Amanda. An unforgettable album.
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on 19 June 2009
I wasn't really aware of the Dresden Dolls and bought this album on the strength of hearing "Leeds United" on the radio. It's brilliant and I'm now a big fan of AFP and am looking back at previous stuff she's recorded. Buy this album, you won't regret it one bit.
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on 18 October 2008
This is Amanda Palmer's first solo record (the first of many, I hope) and it's a great showcase for her range of styles. Songs of joy and sorrow, laughter and melancholy, they're all here with Amanda's marvellous voice and words, all piano based but often enhanced with strings and brass and guitar. The production is spot on with some great string arrangements that bring a bit more light and shade to the songs but it's very delicately handled and not intrusive at all.

There are manic stompers like 'Leeds United', 'Runs In The Family' and the mad 'Guitar Hero' alongside more introspective and calmer songs such as 'Ampersand', 'The Point Of It All' and 'Blake Says'. Drama and frivolity, it's all here. And it wouldn't be an Amanda album without some oddities like 'What's The Use of Wond'rin'' and the juicy 'Oasis' that tells of schoolgirl rivalries in the '90s. Images tumble from the record along with sensuous melodies and some wonderful piano passages, particularly the beautiful introductions to 'Ampersand' and 'The Point Of It All'.

If you want a class record, buy this one. If you then want more Amanda, then pop over to The Dresden Dolls. You won't regret it.
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