Album Review: Who Killed Amanda Palmer by Amanda Palmer
Excellent, Based on 2 Critics
The Guardian - 80 Based on rating 4/5
For a songwriter who, at her best, can split the difference between PJ Harvey, Randy Newman, Kurt Weill and Dorothy Parker, Amanda Palmer of Bostonian cult duo Dresden Dolls doesn't get the attention she deserves. With luck, this robustly melodic, Ben Folds-produced solo debut will change that. She is drawn to spiky misfits, whether they be paranoid pill-poppers (Blake Says), school shooters (Strength Through Music) or Palmer herself (Ampersand), and she paints them with arrestingly vivid strokes: Strength Through Music's teenage killer sees the internet as "a web of answers and cumshot girls".
Amanda Palmer made a name for herself as one-half of punk-cabaret act The Dresden Dolls, but never have her songwriting and vocal talents been put to better use than on her debut solo album Who Killed Amanda Palmer. Produced by Ben Folds and recorded in his Nashville-based studio, the album features lush instrumentation and a wonderfully eclectic slate of guest artists. Palmer has always been an unapologetically personal songwriter (she penned a Dresden Dolls tune called “First Orgasm”), and this album continues in that vein with songs exploring rape (“Oasis”), dysfunctional families (“Runs in the Family”), broken relationships (“Astronaut”) and loss (“Have to Drive.