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ALBUM
Who Killed Amanda Palmer
WKAP COVER
Artist Amanda Palmer
Released September 16, 2008
Recorded 2007-2008 in Nashville, TN,

Seattle, WA, Cotati, CA, San Francisco, CA, and Edinburgh, Scotland

Length 53:12
Label Roadrunner Records
Producer Ben Folds & Amanda Palmer

Who Killed Amanda Palmer is the debut solo album from Amanda Palmer.

The album was largely recorded in Nashville, TN with collaborator Ben Folds[1] and was released on Roadrunner Records. The name of the album is a reference to the series Twin Peaks, which revolves around events surrounding the death of Laura Palmer.

BackgroundEdit

Certain tracks also featured Folds on percussion and keyboards and former Rasputina member Zoë Keating on cello.[2]

In 2007, Palmer self-released the song "I Will Follow You Into the Dark", a cover of the Death Cab for Cutie song, on her MySpace. The ID3 tags listed the source album as Nashville. Fans began discussing the possibility of the solo album being named such, but Palmer dispelled rumors on the Dresden Dolls' forum, The Shadowbox, stating:

"that was titled 'nashville' because that is the location that i am recording the solo album....in nashville, at ben folds' studio, with ben, who is producing the record and playing on it. [...] it will not be the album title unless i decide to confuse everybody and come up with an album title that will throw EVERYBODY ....ie 'nashville blues' in which case shoot me[3]

Palmer also revealed that the song would not be on the album, instead releasing it on Peace (for Mom) a compilation released by Brainwashed Recordings and on the alternate version of the album.

Palmer confirmed to the Boston Phoenix in April 2007 that the album was indeed titled Who Killed Amanda Palmer, although another working title was That's Amanda Fucking Palmer to You. She joked that the latter was unlikely to encourage being stocked at notably conservative media chain WalMart.[4]

On the overall feel of the record, Palmer said,

"A lot of the songs are piano ballads that never found a home on a Dolls' record, because I hadn't wanted to overload the record with slow material. But there's a really intense, exciting energy to the tracks at the same time. It definitely won't drag."[4]

Additionally, she has said,

"We've been adding everything from organs and Leslie cabinets keyboard speaker to strings, horns, and tympani. The final result should be biblical."[2]

In November 2007, members of Estradasphere started touring with Palmer,[5] as well as helping to produce this album.[6]

The magazine Alternative Press named this album one of the "Most Anticipated Albums of 2008".[7]

On April 20, 2008, Amanda confirmed in an interview with Penguins in the Desert on WHRW, Binghamton University's radio station, that the release date would be September 16, 2008. She also mentioned that the album would be remastered on April 25 because Ben was not happy with the original mastering job. (A later blog post by Amanda indicated that the album has been remastered at least three times.[8]) A companion book created in conjunction with Neil Gaiman was also mentioned, but very few details have come out since.[9] Roadrunner Records has since confirmed that the book will be a book of photography.[10] Photographer Kyle Cassidy confirmed on June 30 that the book would be written by Neil, with Kyle laying out, designing and supplying photography for the book.[11]

There have, to date, been videos released for nine of the tracks from Who Killed Amanda Palmer. "Astronaut", "Ampersand", "Runs In The Family", "The Point Of It All", "Strength Through Music", "Guitar Hero" and "Another Year" all formed part of the 'Who Killed Amanda Plamer' video series, directed by Michael Pope. These videos are all connected, and spoken word material can be heard at the end of several of the tracks. "Another Year" serves as the music for the credits, and there is also an introduction video containing music without vocals that does not appear on Palmer's album. Videos have also been released for "Oasis" (also directed by Pope) and "Leeds United" (directed by Alex de Campi). On Dec 24 the video for "What's the Use of Won'drin'" was released on Amanda's youtube page directed by Jenessa Joffe.

On September 5, 2008 Amanda Palmer revealed pre-orders for the album would begin on Monday September 8, 2008 via her new website, whokilledamandapalmer.com.

WKAPFMEdit

As a promotional game for the release of Who Killed Amanda Palmer, a fake radio site, WKAP has been set up with clues to her alleged disappearance.

Critical ReceptionEdit

Reception of Who Killed Amanda Palmer was generally positive. Joshua Klein of Pitchfork Media gave positive reviews of all tracks (with the exception of "Oasis"), and stated that "The Point of it All" "emphasizes [her] strengths as a lyricist".[12] MusicOMH reviewer Natasha Tripney described the album as "...exhilarating... It is a rather delicious confection; a cake iced with the darkest, bitterest chocolate", and ultimately gave the album 4 and half stars out of 5.[13] However, Allmusic only gave the album 2 and half stars out of 5, stating that "[The album is] a disc full of songs that originally didn't make the cut on the band's main albums. Most of these best alternate song ideas were already used up when compiling the track listing for the fantastic Dresden Dolls B-sides compilation, No, Virginia... released earlier the same year. So, what we're looking at here are C-sides, which despite any amount of studio polish and however great the contributions by Folds, don't quite stack up."[14]

Track ListingEdit

  1. "Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing" (ft. Zoë Keating and Ben Folds) - 4:37
  2. "Runs in the Family" (ft. Ben Folds) - 2:59
  3. "Ampersand" (strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster) - 5:59
  4. "Leeds United" (ft. the Born Again Horny Men of Edinburgh) - 4:55
  5. "Blake Says" (ft. Zoë Keating and Ben Folds) - 4:43
  6. "Strength Through Music" (ft. Strindberg and Ben Folds) - 3:29
  7. "Guitar Hero" (ft. East Bay Ray and Ben Folds) - 4:48
  8. "Have to Drive" (ft. the Via Interficere Choir of Nashville and Jack Palmer, strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster) - 5:50
  9. "What's the Use of Wond'rin'?" (ft. Annie Clark of St. Vincent; from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel) - 2:50
  10. "Oasis" (ft. Ben Folds and Jared Reynolds) - 2:57
  11. "The Point of It All" (strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster) - 5:35
  12. "Another Year: A Short History of Almost Something" (strings arranged by Paul Buckmaster) - 6:03

Amazon MP3/iTunes ExclusivesEdit

  1. "Straight" - 5:13
  2. "Leeds United [Lounge Version]" - 4:33
  3. "Guitar Hero [Alternate Version]" - 5:22

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