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Yes, Virginia

The Dresden Dolls

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Album Review

The Dresden Dolls could never be accused of being shy and retiring, but on their second full-length, Yes, Virginia, they sound more confident than ever, igniting their cabaret-rock with more crazed inventiveness and you-are-there immediacy. While there's nothing as instantly captivating as their first album's winsome "Coin-Operated Boy" or the defiant "Girl Anachronism," Yes, Virginia is a more powerful and consistent set of songs overall, moving from musically and emotionally complex ballads like "Delilah" and the album closer, "Sing," to shouty, forceful numbers such as "Necessary Evil" and "Sex Changes." Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie's production adds to the bigger, more rock-inspired sound of the album, which invigorates Amanda Palmer's character sketches. While the highly theatrical, stylized sound of the Dresden Dolls might seem to be the substance of their music — and, admittedly, it does draw the listener in right away — it's the strong songwriting that makes the band truly impressive. Palmer's lyrics have a mix of sympathy and disdain for the people and subjects in her songs that makes them seem very honest in spite of, or perhaps because of, their theatricality. On "Backstabber," Palmer dismisses a "greedy little fit-haver" with a "God, I feel for you, fool" that's a perfect blend of fury and pity. She goes after and celebrates uncomfortable moments, whether it's cataloging the drunken haze of "My Alcoholic Friends" (which is one of the jauntiest, poppiest distillations of the Dolls' sound to date) or "First Orgasm," a bleak and almost creepily intimate ballad that's not at all jokey despite lines such as "I'm taking matters into my own hands" and "there won't be any second coming." Full of ambitious twists and turns, equally vulnerable and sarcastic, Yes, Virginia alludes to the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial that reassured a little girl that Santa Claus exists for a reason: as arch and ironic as the Dresden Dolls might seem on the surface, inside their music, there's a surprising amount of hope and heart. [This is the clean edition of the CD.]

Customer Reviews

Unbelievablely Talented

Rarely does a band have such a way with words and music that they get me giddy just waiting to hear the next song. The Dresden Dolls are such a band. Every single second of this album is pure gold. I've never seen any kind of music like this before, they manage to say things without ever saying them-the lyrics to their songs are absolutely astounding, each line more poetic than the last. The melodies too are great. I can't get enough of the Dresden Dolls, they sing and write with pure emotion, their obvious love of music is fantastically evident in this amazing album.

breath of fresh air

seriously, this stuff will change ur life and ur ideas about what it music. if u dont want to buy the whole thing please just download "necessary evil." i PROMISE you will love that song, the chorus is so powerful. that song keeps me going some days. thanks amanda for everything

Once Again, Punk Cabaret=Freedom

The Dresden Dolls are an amazing band for several reasons. First of all, they have not gained mass popularity. This means their fans are more loyal, and a different kind of base. Also, they don't have any need to change their music style at all. So many great bands have fallen victim to drastic changes (My Chemical Romance, Marilyn Manson) but The Dresden Dolls have kept up their great, unique style of music in their second album. Nothing could change it, either. At least that's how it appears. Their second album, Yes, Virginia... is not only as good as their first, but more organized, and you can see that they have really got their stuff together now. It's almost as if Amanda Palmer has put even more of herself into this music. It's honest, raw, and makes an impact.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A variety of noteworthy groups were active on the Boston music scene in the late '90s and early 2000s — groups ranging from retro-soul/funk band Superhoney to the quirky, '80s-minded synth pop/new wave trio Freezepop to the hard-to-categorize Moonraker (who have since moved to New York City). But the most unique and intriguing group to come out of Boston during that period may very well have been the Dresden Dolls, a highly unorthodox duo consisting of lead singer/pianist Amanda Palmer (who...
Full Bio