Music Review - Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under

I love music. I really don't live without it. I write, A LOT! I read, A LOT! But I pretty much always have music on. For some stupid reason though I never really write about it. This changes NOW! Although perhaps just this once.

Amanda Palmer, wife of word-wizard Neil Gaiman, and musical juggernaut has released her newest album "Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under". An ode to her love for the country of Oz and all of us folk of convict lineage. Before we go forward, you can download the album now for just 69 cents! So before you hit the jump, go get it HERE!

Okay, now that you have it, let's continue.

My definition of music, at it's most basic level is this: a series of noises, melodic or otherwise, which are arranged in a manner so as to invoke a response or emotion from the listener.

I surprised myself with that line, it actually sounds quite good. I DIGRESS! This album is a triumph in that respect. Amanda MacKinnon GaimanPalmer manages to make you laugh and very nearly cry. I didn't cry of course because that's not what manly men like myself would do. At no point does "Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under" pretend to be something that it's not. Sure it's not as polished as the latest Justin Bieber album but it also won't make you want to microwave your head, if only you could get the door closed so that it would work.

The first single on the album is a surprising dance track from AFP and The Young Punx, an ode to the female nether-region titled "Map of Tasmania". Although a great, poppy tune full of thumping beats and tawdry euphemism Map of Tasmania goes further in casting conventional beauty norms to the wind, imploring women to embrace their lady-forest. A sign of femininity and empowerment layed down over a track of London house and ukulele.

Bound to make you smile are "Makin' Whoopie", "Australia" and a recording of Australia's official theme tune "We're Happy Little Vegemites" as performed by a crowd in the Sydney Opera House. It is during this recording that it becomes blatantly clear. Amanda Palmer gets us. Amanda Palmer gets us and she loves us.

Tom Dickins from the Jane Austen Argument makes a cameo on the album performing "Bad Wine and Lemon Cake". A beautiful yet humorous song about sex, life, death, and a shitty wake. Tom Dickins, previously unknown to me, blew me away with his beautiful voice.

Another cameo on the album is a dark and smutty little track called "Formidable Marinade" by Ms Palmer and Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen. I was lucky enough to see these gentlemen at the Mona Foma festival in Hobart and they were truly wonderful. A handful of unassuming Mediterranean fellows who would look just as comfortable behind the straps of an accordion or a tommy gun. Mikelangelo's unnaturally low voice gives the song an incredibly sinister feel.This song has everything, a marimba which sounds like it's being played on the sun-bleached ribcage of a long dead adventurer and a manic foot solo. Don't bother listening to this track unless you have a sense of humour and don't report him to the police, it's probably just a joke. Probably.

The album is wrapped up with a truly touching, eye wettening cover of Nick Cave's "The Ship Song". While listening to this track you can sense Ms Palmer's appreciation for the source material. An honest love for the song and it's creator.

This album certainly isn't for everybody. If you've ever uttered the words "Like OMG, Ke$ha is totes dope" perhaps you can give this album a miss. In fact the album will probably send you a letter in the mail saying "thanks for not sullying my integrity you vapid, soulless homunculus!". If you are an open minded individual who enjoys listening to music that conveys emotion while still getting your wing-tips tapping, this is for you. In fact, at only 69 cents, just download it and judge for yourself.


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