Concept Albums Explained

by Paul-Newell Reaves

Emilie Autumn

Enter Ophelia [distracted]… (She sings.)
— Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5

It’s 2006: black is in, Industrial music is having a moment, and– 10 years after the Baz Lehrmann’s blockbuster film “Romeo+Juliet”– Shakespeare is still pretty cool. 

And child violin prodigy Emilie Autumn has a sickness.  She might be a hypochondriac, she might be an insomniac, she’s definitely a megalomaniac– as she proudly claims in the “Interview With EA” appearing at the end of the album.  However, for this album she has a more literary diagnosis in mind: Opheliac– a direct reference to the Ophelia character in the Shakespeare play Hamlet.

Just as a refresher, Ophelia is the love interest of the young Hamlet. They’re both going through some tough times, poor kids, and Ophelia goes mad, then drowns herself. So as we journey through Emilie Autumn’s masterwork– track by track, lyric by lyric– let us pay special attention to what Autumn does with her water imagery. [read more]

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