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amandapalmer therewillbenointermission
Artist: Amanda Palmer
Title: There will be no intermission
Genre: Alternative / Independent
Release Date: 8th March 2019
Label: Cooking Vinyl


Album Review

American musician AMANDA PALMER, the multi-talented artist is known for many ways of expressing her art, as a living statue ‘The eight foot bride’, as one half of the Punk Cabaret duo THE DRESDEN DOLLS, as part of the band EVELYN EVELYN with Jason Webley. With the release of her album, ‘Who killed Amanda Palmer’ in 2008, she started her solo career. She celebrated her victory of getting out of the contract with her former label by releasing an album ‘Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele’ in 2011 and released two albums under Creative Commons. With the help of Kickstarter, which was a huge success, she produced and released her album ‘Theatre is evil’. The amazing success of her Kickstarter project lead to an invitation to the TED talk which also, amongst all the talks she had with fans and friends in real life and online, gave her the inspiration to write a book (The art of asking) which quickly became a bestseller.

Nowadays she is on Patreon, a platform where an artist gets money from his / her patrons every time something new was created and released - an opportunity to make a regular living from ones art and gives the artist freedom to create. With this backing she was able to spontaneously release a tribute EP for the late DAVID BOWIE together with ANNA CALVI, JHEREK BISCHOFF, NEIL GAIMAN and others as well as an EP for the late PRINCE and an album with EDWARD KA-SPEL (THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS, THE TEAR GARDEN), a collaboration which was for a long time on her bucket list as she is a huge fan of his bands. However this album now is her third solo album.

With all the different releases, mainly in form of collaborations with other musicians, you almost didn’t notice that quite some years have passed since her last solo album. Amanda’s lyrics are known for not being that kind of talking round corners. She speaks her mind but always in an empathically way. And she is extremely brave by sharing her experiences, feelings and vulnerability with her fans, the listener, the audience. But what she shares with us should also be understood in the context of her self- perception as a lifelong feminist and as engagement and fight for women’s and human’s rights. Quite remarkable is that whatever action she is taking or supporting she always chose the peaceful way, showing empathy, compassion and love, always communicating with people and despite of getting bitter just trying to stay human.

So, let’s talk about the album. The tracklist shows 20 titles. Well, actually it is 10 songs and 10 instrumental interludes. The interludes are mainly in a classical garment arranged and mixed by JHEREK BISHOFF, a musician Amanda is working together since she started her solo career. There is also something special about these interludes as they are all allusions to the songs of the album but in a different succession. The songs are a quintessence of what happened during the seven years between her last album and this one or to put it differently: her life during these seven years with highs and lows, abortion, miscarriage, the birth of her son, the struggle of being a mum / parent, cancer, the losses of her brother and her best friends and all what happened politically, be it the election of Trump, the rise of the alt- right / right wing people, politically tendencies to restrict women in their personal choices, global warming, but also the #metoo movement.

While ‘Theatre is evil’ was more opulent regarding the instruments here it is more unobtrusive with the piano or the ukulele as the main instruments and all others to bring out the main points and stressing more certain emotions especially with the strings. ‘The ride’ describes life in general where everybody deals with all kind of fears, pain, sorrows and all that moves you emotionally, where connecting and exchanging with other people, who suffer from the same feelings or go through similar situations, would be helpful so that you can say that life is just a ride and the ride goes in a three-third waltz beat. ‘Drowning in the sound’ is a reckoning with the hypocrisy of the media. In ‘Judy Blume’ we learn that the controversially discussed author of children’s and youth’s literature accompanied, formed and influenced the musician in her young life more lasting than what happened in some years at school.

‘Bigger on the inside’ is a song that brings tears to my eyes close to the end. Being deeply misunderstood and heavily criticised for her poem and her attitude to stay peaceful after the deed of the Boston marathon bomber she describes how she felt when she was verbally attacked and how she tried to shake off all this negativity despite the fact that so many sad events were raining down on her in her own life leaving her feeling exhausted and sad and then getting an alarming email from a boy, raped by his father, who asked her how she keeps fighting and her answer reflects what a compassionate human she is. ‘Voicemail for Jill’ is a brave but compassionate analyse of the experience of having an abortion. It’s a consolation to another woman who is going through this, understanding what feelings a woman has when she has made the decision to terminate a pregnancy, the sadness and loneliness that is involved.

But being a young parent is also not happy-go-lucky as well and with her ‘A mother’s confession’ Amanda clears up with the image of a perfect parent as she dared to tell about all kind of mishaps that happens to a tired-out and sometimes overcharged mum, who of course feels guilty at the same times for these things happening and questioning herself if she’s a good mother but at least the baby didn’t die. Being a mum myself I could relate to so many of these situations as well that I spontaneously joined the chorus in the end while listening to the song. ‘Look mummy, no hands’ is a reflection how we change when we grow up from being carelessly and less afraid, ignoring the fears of our mothers, into a person / a parent who then becomes anxious, too, when it’s about our own kids as well as for ourselves as we now know about all kind of risks. The album ends with a solemn and touching song about how to deal with it when so many dear people in your life die one after the other in a short period.

‘Bigger on the inside’, ‘The thing about things’, ‘A mother's confession’, ‘Machete’, ‘Drowning in the sound’ and ‘Judy Blume’ were already released as singles. ‘Judy Blume’ and ‘Look mummy, no hands’ were previously included on the 2013 live album ‘An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer’. ‘The Ride’ was originally released as a Patreon-exclusive video on the 26th October 2017. ‘Drowning in sound’ was the first single that was released from this album while ‘Voicemail for Jill’ now is the second single launched in February followed by the official video release in March.

The album is extremely personal as well as emotional. There is no hiding behind some catchy phrases. It is AMANDA PALMER who dares to show her feelings and vulnerability but also her strength and compassion. And with all this she is giving many people the courage to speak out. And the arrangement of the songs and the way she sings underline this - not with a big tam-tam but in a subtle way. The album is available as CD and vinyl.


Tracklist

01. All the things
02. The ride
03. Congratulations
04. Drowning in the sound
05. Hold on tight, darling
06. The thing about things
07. Life’s such a bitch isn’t it
08. Judy Blume
09. Feeding the dark
10. Bigger on the inside
11. There will be no intermission
12. Machete
13. You know the statistics
14. Voicemail for Jill
15. You’d think I’d shot their children
16. A mother’s confession
17. They’re saying not to panic
18. Look mummy, no hands (DILLIE KEANE)
19. Intermission is relative
20. Death thing


Line-up

Amanda Palmer - Lyrics, vocals, piano, ukulele, organ, synths


Website

http://amandapalmer.net / https://www.facebook.com/amandapalmer


Cover Picture

amandapalmer therewillbenointermission


Rating

Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10




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