Ex-Dresden Dolls star Amanda Palmer made news this year when she raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter, but her third solo album dispels all thoughts of revenue streams. You could call it retro: the synths, tensile guitar riffing, and hiccupping Lene Lovich vocals are pay homage to late Seventies-early Eighties New Wave and Goth-pop. ("Melody Dean" is straight-up "My Sharona" tribute.) But Palmer’s sharp songwriting and inventive arrangements transcend pastiche. It's one of the year’s best rock records – $1.2 million sounds like a bargain.
Listen to 'Theatre is Evil':