No matter how many sub-genres the elitists (and pigeon-holing critics) create, there's always going to be a band that needs one created just for themselves. The Dresden Dolls are definitely one of those bands.
Just about the best description I've heard for them thus far is "cabaret-punk," which at least hints at the unique piano and drum sound created by Amanda and Brian. Their latest album, Yes, Virginia, builds brilliantly on the style they've cut out for themselves. With a little more of a produced and polished feel on this album, they've made themselves more accessible but never any less compelling. Amanda's lyrics don't back down, she's confrontational, she's spilling her guts, she hates you but she wants you and especially wants you feeling her emotions just as vehemently as she does. Sometimes with a haunting feel (especially with the first track "Sex Changes" opening with piano very much resembling the film Halloween's theme) or a romantic one, this album explores every part of the spectrum. Amanda's powerhouse vocals have a spectacular range and seduce you like a sexy jazz singer lounging across a piano ("Mandy Goes to Med School") or make you want to hug the little broken down girl she portrays herself as on "Me and the Minibar." Mental health, sex, drugs, and rock have always been frequent themes for the Dresden Dolls, almost as though Amanda tries to piece together the events of her seemingly traumatic life through her music. Yes, Virginia evokes the band's first taste of fame, with the first single "Dirty Business" showing Amanda's reaction to the recognition she's slowly gaining - not surprising for a band breaking out of the underground and becoming the next big thing.
Amanda's sexual prowess never ceases to be a driving force behind the music, with lyrics like "I'm trying hard not to know the name of who is waking up beside me," she captivates listeners but never gives away too many details. This album perfects the Dresden Dolls' sound, and I expected nothing less.