The Bitter Elegance | Twisting the Fairytale

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Twisting the Fairytale

by The Bitter Elegance

Dark and Brooding. Catchy and Modern. Pop without being sugary. Heavy without being chaotic.
Genre: Rock: Goth
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Rabbit Hole
0:42 album only
2. Malice in Wonderland
3:33 album only
3. You Had Me at Goodbye
3:26 album only
4. I Gotta Bounce
2:31 album only
5. Mirror / Mirror
3:16 album only
6. (Trapped In) the American Dream
3:02 album only
7. Downhill
3:20 album only
8. Drama Queen
3:01 album only
9. 4give&4get U
3:14 album only
10. We're All Mad Here
3:00 album only
11. This Dark Carnival
3:01 album only
12. Don't Need a Fairytale
3:08 album only


Album Notes
Kind of a musical cross between Evanescence and Muse if Shiny Toy Guns had a love child with Taylor Swift that was adopted by Marilyn Manson ...but with lots of kittens



to write a review

John Hasdovic

Disneyland after Dark - MY Kind of Park!
The Bitter Elegance is, in essence, Sacramento's Cream - a collaboration of some of the best musicians and vocalists the Sacramento scene has to offer - with many decades of performance and studio work under their belt.... and it REALLY shows on this, their sophomore effort.

TBE pulls from a wide variety of influences because of the musical depth of its talent - so it's sound isn't EASY to pin down... it's familiar and fresh all at once. Merlot's vocals bounce from Evanescence to Tori Amos with a bit of Reznor anger, thrown in (her metal roots show!); Bractune's percussion - both electronic and acoustic - evokes the crunchy, time-perfect thunder of the glory days of Industrial rock; Michaelandrew's bass work is subtle - there's MUCH to distract the senses in each track on this album away from its consistently creeping and escalating bass lines - he plays with the pop sensibility of John Taylor, but takes the bottom end in some very unpredictable places which makes me think of a more subtle, deliberate Entwistle; Jeffry-Wynne takes that hat trick and sends them over the edge with both sensitive backing chords and sizzling, sincere riffs that takes me from Corgan and Thayil to the playful delicacy of Warren Cuccurullo or Chris Stein - he's also a pretty darn good vocalist in his own right and helps fill out Merlot's lead work, the two have terrific pipes and are appropriately mixed right up front and center.

Twisting the Fairytale is an ambitious concept album about the pursuit of what seems to be a dream, only to find the reality you had in front of you all along was the best of all possible worlds. Each song delivers a poignant take on this theme. Aesthetically, "Disneyland after Dark" is the best way I can succinctly describe this sound - as TBE's music is HIGHLY pop-infectious, and if it weren't for the more mature tone of its lyrics, you'd almost expect Jack Skellington and his crew to be rocking out to this music after The House of Mouse closes for the night. There is a lot of sonic diversity on this album - from the threatening growl of Malice in Wonderland to the sweet syrup of the Top 40 friendly pop of "I Gotta Bounce". The band lets its love for theatricality on the near-spoken word piece "The Dark Carnival" ... "Don't need no Fairytale "sounds like it could have been ripped out of the Missing Persons' catalog... but that band never wrote music as broad and deep with such provocative and witty lyrics. The music is consistently fresh and the variations in sound from song to song make the length of this album seem shorter than it really is. Play this disc on a loop and you'll get lost in a fun, introspective headrush of bubblegum-industrial-crunch.

My final focus of praise is the addition of dozens of countless samples and electronic fills that each member of the band contributed to different songs that not only add extra dimension to the music the musicians create, but also gives each song its own distinct ambiance.

There's plenty of local and national recordings out there where each song sounds like the next, making you wonder if listening to 45 minutes is worth it to find one or two aural gold nuggets... That is not TBE. Twisting the Fairytale entertains, the lyrics provoke and challenge, and the talent each musician brings shines through. Great album from a great band who has REALLY upped their proverbial ante this second time out!

Francisco Alvarado

This is alluring
From going do the Rabbit hole in the beginning, crashing through the madness...yes I can say that ending it with Dont need a fairytale...just totally divine. A genre all its own. The Bitter Elegance is here to stay. Enter the magical world if you dare.....

Aaron Eischens

Epic Madness
The Bitter Elegance is a three-headed monster. A friendly three headed monster, but I digress. Their music manages to mix Rock, Pop, and Electronic into a wonderfully unique sound, and their sophomore effort is no exception.

Their debut album, “Painting Over Your Ghost” was excellent, but their latest, “Twisting the Fairytale” is epic! Every song “twists” conventional phrases and ideas, making every lyric worth listening to. For instance, “(Trapped in the) American Dream” sounds like social commentary on the surface, but after listening to it, you realize it’s actually a love song.

I’d recommend listening to the entire album from start to finish (it clocks in at a tight 36 minutes, so there’s really no excuse not to). If you just want to dip your toes in, there are three songs that compete for my vote as best of the album: The desperate plea from a neglectful lover in “You Had Me at Goodbye”, the instantly infectious, and ooey-gooey delicious “I Gotta Bounce”, and the powerful “We’re All Mad Here”.

Philip Wright

The kind of album that only exists in fairy tales
In an era of single-serving music from artists and record companies, The Bitter Elegance delivers a full-length composition—a real and true album. This is the first time since I bought my last cassette tape that I’ve listened to an entire album a hundred times in a row, always from the first track, and never pressing skip. The crescendos and diminuendos are emotional as well as sonic, taking me on a roller coaster ride that starts off with a foreboding climb, plunges me into a drum and guitar fueled race through Wonderland, carries me through exhilarating straightaways and gut-wrenching twists, and at the end leaves me feeling refreshed and wanting to go around just one more time. The production value of the recording is off the charts and never detracts from its emotional core. I have always been a metalhead, but frequently come up for air with the likes of Dido, The Cure, and Pink. With Twisting The Fairytale, I get a complete musical experience—hard rock; breathy, sweet vocals; bouncing pop; and a perfect blend of dubstep tones that enhance and bind the collection together without overpowering it. While I certainly enjoy every track on their own merits, Twisting The Fairytale is a synergy of songs that keeps calling me back for another ride down the rabbit hole.