Amanda Palmer - 'There Will Be No Intermission'

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Amanda Palmer - 'There Will Be No Intermission'

Only time will tell if the almost seven years spent making this will pay dividends.

I first saw Amanda Palmer as one half of The Dresden Dolls where she was playing Black Sabbath songs on her keyboard with just the accompaniment of drums... which you don't see very often. Now mainly solo and free of record company mechanics by way of financial support from Patreon (or as it used to be called crowdfunding), this is her first major solo album since 'Theatre Is Evil' in 2012.

One thing about Palmer is that she always has something to say about most things happening around us today – check out the video for her cover of Pink Floyd's 'Mother' – and this release continues in that tradition. The album contains twenty tracks with a total running time of over seventy-eight minutes; however, ten of these (all the odd numbered ones) are small instrumental breaks of which most are around thirty seconds long. When you have listened to the whole release you will think "Why are these so familiar?" That is because most, if not all, are orchestrated bits of the actual songs. The best title belongs to number fifteen, which is wonderfully called 'You'd Think I'd Shot Their Children'.

The main songs are about things that have happened to or affected Palmer from her past. Most guys will know about some of the subjects, but ultimately most females (though not all) will understand better. For example, possession of objects that can represent evil ('The Thing About Things') which starts very basic with voice and ukulele but builds to a dramatic crescendo in the middle section. Palmer also covers abortion ('Voicemail For Jill'), the hardships of Motherhood ('A Mother's Confession') and 'Death Thing' which is about having a miscarriage, although it's almost the same as tracks four and nine yet with a more powerful ending.

I was originally going to say that due to most of the songs primarily featuring voice and piano (or ukulele) the album is mainly on one level, but eventually the melodies settle and it does become more accessible. The main disappointment is 'Bigger On The Inside' which is basically the same vocal stanza for eight-and-a-half minutes with bass and drums added eventually – it's just too long for a track like this.

As I said, all the songs are deep, personal, and very lyric intensive which may be a little heavy for some people. Only time will tell if the almost seven years spent making this will pay dividends.

Andy Brailsford

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