Music » Music Stories

The Dresden Dolls

Yes, Virginia (Roadrunner)


The Dresden Dolls come loaded down with an overabundance of shtick, from their self-appointed genre of "Brechtian punk cabaret" to their piano-and-drums set-up. Fortunately, Virginia proves that underneath the angst and stage makeup is a genuine songwriter: Amanda Palmer. The pianist-siren talks shit better than anyone this side of battle rap; "Backstabber," the album's best song, mixes wrath and hooks in equal measure. But there's less creepiness and more beauty than before (even though "Mandy's Gone to Med School" is an addition to the very small category of funny songs about abortion), which shows a gentler side of the band. Yet gorgeous songs such as "Delilah," "Shores of California" and "Sing" push drummer Brian Viglione farther into the background than he's ever been in concert or on earlier albums. Part of the Dolls' charm has always been how they make the drummer an equal within the band. Being ignored is a drummer's fate, but the band has been so good at confounding expectations that it would be nice to see them dodge this typical move.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.