Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crictics and Hipsters, Have You Heard the New Disc By the Evelyn Sisters?

EvelynEvelyn Album Review

Once again, my nice, professional, well-written review will be posted and linked at a later date on a different site. But I think this is the more interesting review anyway. Here are my notes, my initial thoughts, upon first listen to EvelynEvelyn's album, the joint project of Amanda Palmer and Jason Wembey.

Evelyn Evelyn – Classical piano, string section, depressing music, sad, gorgeous. “This is our birthday, so why are we weeping?” The lyrics are perfect, “I want to be famous, they’re watching us anyway.” Sadness together, anger between. I love the strings at the end, the tragic circus intro and outro.

A Campaign of Shock and Awe – Grotesque circus, freakshow, EvelynEvelyn na├»ve again, a sideshow waltz, “Critics and hipsters, have you heard the new disc by the Evelyn sisters?” The sideshow is the music business, the scene. Great metaphor.

The Tragic Events of September – 1985 newsreel of the Evelyn birth, if it wasn’t heavily influenced or written by Gaiman I’ll eat my Bavarian mountain hat. Disturbing, horrific, tragedy. I’m confused as to what must have been going through the mind of whoever wrote this, worried for them, but I love it.

Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn? – Talk about comedic relief. This is the cute Evelyn Evelyn song we’ve all loved for a while. This should have been played in the 1920s to smoking flappers in a run down club, accompanied by half sloshed dancers and a drunk piano.

Chicken Man – An accordion. A bit of the circus flair returns. And then they start singing “chicken man” over and over. I don’t love this one. Um. No. I get that this ties in with the story of the tragic events. I think this is the theme as the chicken man drives away with the twins. Then it turns into a drinking song. Then it switches back. Not my favorite.

Tragic Events Part II – 1991 newsreel. This song is 11:11 long. Make a wish. Alfred McCluck is a successful chicken farmer. He raised the girls like chickens. Then he dies. I’m ruining this story by creating a cliff notes version, but I must note that the first candy they eat is poetic. Are… are they being sold into the child porn industry? Oh my god. They are. This is where they meet Sandy Fishnets. “Jean Luc” the sailor – Star Trek reference. This story is awful, horrible, in a train wreck sort of way, the way that you always want to see a plane crash, just to see what would happen. But it’s good. And then it becomes happier through music and elephants. And now I think the elephants are dying. I… I can’t even.

Sandy Fishnets – Sad, not super interesting musically. About halfway in it switches to something a little more grand and angry. Then it switches back to sad circus. God this album is depressing.

Elephant Elephant – Well at least they recognize when they desperately need comedic relief. Accordion song about elephants, classic EvelynEvelyn. Okay, smiling again. Oh! This version has big brass and elephant noises! Love it! Oh this is fun again! Okay, alright! Tthere is so much you can learn when you’re on a pachyderm!” A happy, witty, little song. Good!

You Only Want Me ‘Cause You Want My Sister – I love this. It’s like a classic rock song. It’s exactly what the title says. It’s very… Tom Petty? I can’t believe I just made that comparison. A bit of a country twinge. A broken hearted twin, it’s perfect. Plus whistling! It’s the very perfect song for anyone who loves someone taken, the song where you know you love him more than his girlfriend. Haha, except then she kills the lover with draino in her coffee. Which… I’ll overlook the conjoined twins bit here for the greatness that this song is.

Tragic Events Part III – 2004 newsreel. They’ve left the circus. I still don’t want to ruin it by taking notes, but it describes them finding myspace and it’s a great story.

My Space – Guest vocals by everyone ever expected. The song isn’t stunning yet…It’s like cheesy early 90s music. I expect a laser background music video. Guitar solo. Cheers song reference. I’m waiting for those guest vocals… making fun of MySpace. Okay, guest vocals are a crowd group. I can pick out Gerard Way and maybe Andrew WK doing the “woah ohs” but everyone else is a crowd. I was under the illusion the guest vocals would be more prominent, which has me torn. Awesome that all their friends wanted to help, and cool that this is the group of people they hang with, but I feel that the press hooked onto it a bit too hard and made it a marketing ploy.

Love Will Tear Us Apart – This is a pretty little ukulele cover of this song. Just a quiet, soft song to end the album. It’s a nice way to round it out. A little piano thrown in for good measure.

Overall? I'd say 3.5 conjoined elephants out of five.

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