Sound — 9
The Dresden Dolls return for their second record, which sports a definitely more Rock oriented sound than their more Cabaret-oriented eponymous album. Don't get me wrong, you won't find any electric guitar solos, but Amanda Palmer's piano is more aggressive than ever, notably on opening track "Sex Changes". There are some songs where she calms down, and while you're most likely to pay little attention to these on your first listen, they will definitely grow on you over time. Brian Viglione does an excellent job on the drums as well. He really helps to build the songs' intensity, and you hear him a lot more than in the Dolls' last album. To sum it up, while the Dresden Dolls have evolved into a more Rock-oriented sound, they still sound unique, and if you liked their earlier stuff, you'll probably enjoy their new sound too.
Lyrics — 9
But as unique as The Dresden Dolls may sound, their lyrics are equally important. Palmer knows no such things as taboos. Alcoholism, gender change, bipolarity, and more. But as touchy as these subjects are, they are handled with care by Amanda Palmer's writing. Both witty and mature, they hit the nail right on the head and you'll remember them for a long time to come. Of course, great lyrics wouldn't mean anything if the singer wasn't able to back them up. Fortunately, Palmer is in total control of her voice. She's not a diva, and she's fully aware of it. Rather than trying to sound as clean as possible, she found her very own path. There is no real way to describe it, although I can say there's a slight Morrissey influence in there. While her voice may annoy some people, there is no doubt about how well it fits the music and the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
There's nothing quite like The Dresden Dolls, and there's nothing quite like their latest album either. Immediately accessible on "Sex Changes", "Backstabber", "Dirty Business" and "My Alcoholic Friends", but also grows on you over time with "Delilah" and "Mandy Goes to Med School". There's something about the way Amanda sings, a complicity she establishes with the listener. The Dresden Dolls may owe some of their success to novelty, but for now "Yes, Virginia..." is an extremely fun and accessible record, and if you liked their earlier music or if you like your music dark and witty, you should buy it. Trust me, it'll stay in your CD player for a long time to come.