For those who can’t countenance them, the prospect of three hours of live songs and stories by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer goes beyond overkill. For their devoted following, it’s not nearly enough.
“An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer” is quite obviously for the latter group, three discs – solo Gaiman, collaboration, solo Palmer – offering in many ways the clearest distillation of the kernel of each’s staggering talent. Gaiman’s disc should convince those who might not know, and reinforces to those who do, that he’s a born storyteller, in both senses of the word; his twinkly English lilt and sure sense of timing are just as crucial to “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” and “The Day The Saucers Came” as his words. It’s no surprise, then, that his singing voice, while small, is effective and occasionally unsettling, nailing the worry and disturbance in “Psycho.” That song, like “I Want You, But I Don’t Need You,” “I Google You” and many others, is about a determinedly constructed façade crumbling under the weight of genuine emotion. Palmer’s weary “I Don’t Care Much,” meanwhile, is either all façade or all crumbling, though her disc is largely skewed toward spirited exhortations to create and tips of the hat to the forces that made her. It’s terrific, but Gaiman has already stolen the show in her own medium. That could very well be why she married him. (Out Tuesday)
Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.