Theatre Is Evil - Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra
Theatre Is Evil Image

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third solo studio album for the former Dresden Doll singer is her first with her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra and was recorded in Australia with producer John Congleton.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. In every sense, Theatre Is Evil sounds like a million dollars.
  2. Sep 18, 2012
    This record isn't simply a record, it's an emotional, intricate experience that keeps on after the instrumental break.
  3. Sep 6, 2012
    The faithful will lap up every eccentric note, of course, but there's much here for the uninitiated to delight in as well.
  4. Sep 14, 2012
    Theatre is Evil bristles, crackles, aches, and moans with surprising efficiency considering its 15-song length, pairing fractured synths and staccato guitar riffs with Palmer's throaty, untamed pipes, sounding for all the world like a brazenly cool, alternate-universe version of No Doubt.
  5. Sep 11, 2012
    Kitsch aside, Amanda Palmer is one hell of a musician and lyricist, and this album, thankfully, makes good on its million-dollar expectations.
  6. Sep 18, 2012
    This isn't a record you dismiss on one spin and parts require some work from the listener, but given proper attention Theatre Is Evil unfolds into something multilayered and quite lovely.
  7. Sep 6, 2012
    The gut-wrenching moments are too often usurped by lost wallets, Instagram photos, and tales of songs on the radio--none of which add up to anything greater than the sun of their parts. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.113]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Sep 13, 2012
    this. is. her. best. album. yet. there's so much right with this album that i just can't fathom how anyone can not like this album. from the second track (the first is a silly little intro) to the last, you just cant turn it off. i find myself listening to it and being like "i don't really need to go to class". The melodies are there, the lyrics are brilliant and the band is perfect. Expand
  2. Oct 30, 2013
    Amanda delivers her finest album yet. It covers a wide space, but is consistently great at whatever it tries. The progression of songs is a nicely tuned rollercoaster and while a good chunk of the lyrics are not immediately clear in and of themselves, in combination with the music, delivery, and some introspection, they have more meaning than per syllable than most other albums out there.
    Amanda may be the first to admit she does not know how to sing, or at least know how to sing like some specific other people, the style grows on you and does not seem at all amateurish, quite the opposite.
    While I think the album compares favorably to earlier Dresden Dolls fare, be aware that the style has changed and expanded.
    If you buy an album today, let it be this one.
  3. Sep 17, 2012
    it's worth every penny.
    honestly I didn't expect anything like this at all.I was expecting something familiar like "Dresden Dolls" , a "Liza
    Minnelli-Dark Cabaret" album,but the songs are well written and moreover perfectly arranged.she tried so hard to de-familiarize her earlier works,and she did it absolutely great. "A Grand Theft Intermission" will be a great surprise for sure about it.
    in the end,Ben Fold is right; "You're going to **** when you hear it."
  4. Dec 17, 2012
    When I first this I thought 'What an overproduced monstrosity' after a few listens its 'What a brilliant overproduced monstrosity' Now it is granted that you may have to have a sense of humor to fully appreciate the slanted wonder of this album but individually the songs are strong, memorable and Ms Palmer's delivery perfect. Expand
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    Amanda Palmer cannot sing and despite her histrionic delivery, she has no sense of musicality. I find it astounding that she continues to peddle such badly drawn songs. Rather than learn her craft, Palmer piles on musicians and sounds drawing even more attention to the inherent emptiness of the each track. The songs are bad on two levels, the insensitivity of her voice and the shallowness of her lyrics. The harder Palmer tries, the more apparent it becomes that she is deeply untalented. I have heard people at karaoke bars with better technique. Avoid at all costs. Expand
  6. Sep 12, 2012
    Amanda Palmer turns in a dreary, childish effort. The lyrics are nonsensical. The anger is a narcissistic demand for attention. The one thing Amanda Palmer seems to be consistent about is to never learn about her craft. This record is completely amateur. The production values make the - drama kid freaking out and showing her poo panties- quality, even more obvious. A complete waste of time. Expand

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