Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra - Theatre Is Evil (4 stars)

Gloriously poppy, expressive, tender and lyrically inventive

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Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra - Theatre Is Evil

(8ft Records)

Her first studio album in four years, Theatre Is Evil is a big re-entrance from former Dresden Doll singer Amanda Palmer. If it has the air of a big production, that’s because by indie standards it is – Palmer raised in the region of £800,000 through crowd-funding site Kickstarter to make the album. No pressure then.

As it happens, this is some of Palmer’s best work to date.

From the crashing, fuzzy sprawl of opening track ‘Smile (Pictures or It Didn’t Happen)’ through to the jerky Britpop catchiness of ‘Olly Olly Oxen Free’, Palmer has pulled off an album that’s gloriously poppy, expressive, tender and lyrically inventive. The standout track is soaring piano ballad ‘Trout Heart Replica’: it’s Palmer at her raw, exposed, theatrical best.

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