two of us, two by two
the double life we live...
Doppelgänger (The Alarma Chronicles Volume II) is Daniel Amoss fifth studio album, released in 1983. It continued the New Wave Music exploration from their previous album, but this time with more of an organic rock band sound: the low end is much thicker, and theres more emphasis on Jerry Chamberlains big guitar riffs and solos. Sonically, it was DAs darkest-sounding work yet—and in the years to come, only Fearful Symmetry would rival it in that regard.
Lyrically, Doppelgänger had two themes, appropriately enough. On the one hand, it continued ¡Alarma!s satire of American Christianity, this time focusing specifically on televangelists, criticizing their shoddy theology and predatory ministries. (And this was four years before the scandals that brought down Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and Robert Tilton—a time when very few Christians dared to publicly speak against any televangelists.) On the other hand, Terry Scott Taylor admits that he isnt much better than those hes making fun of. So all those criticisms of corrupt preachers are also confessions of his own darker half. And the story in the liner notes picked up where ¡Alarma!s story left off: in this installment, Taylors Author Avatar has a vision of himself, and hes horrified at what he sees.
This was followed a year later by Vox Humana.
Daniel Amos is:
- Terry Scott Taylor: rhythm guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals, percussion
- Jerry Chamberlain: lead guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on Little Crosses and Autographs...
- Tim Chandler: bass (guitar, 8-string, and fretless), backing vocals, percussion
- Ed McTaggart: drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Marty Dieckmeyer: bass guitar and keyboards on Hollow Man
- Alex MacDougall: percussion
- Bill Colton: saxophone
- a small army of keyboard players:
- Tom Howard on New Car!, The Double, Memory Lane, Angels Tuck You In, and I Didnt Build It for Me
- Rob Watson on Mall... Real Girls, Do Big Boys Cry, Youth with a Machine, The Double, and Here I Am
- Jeff Lams on Real Girls and I Didnt Build It for Me
- Mark Cook on Distance and Direction
- Additional backing vocals by: Randy Stonehill, Tom Howard, Derri Daugherty, Janet McTaggart, Dori Game Show Girl Howard, Mark Cook, The Three Women from Istanbul, and Emilia Emulator
- Hollow Man ( 2:15)
- Mall (All Over The World) (3:13)
- Real Girls (2:57)
- New Car! (2:00)
- Do Big Boys Cry (2:05)
- Youth with a Machine (2:42)
- The Double (3:50)
- Distance and Direction (2:48)
- Memory Lane (3:48)
- Angels Tuck You In (2:38)
- Little Crosses (2:35)
- Autographs for the Sick (1:40)
- I Didn't Build It for Me (2:48)
- Here I Am (3:18)
- Hollow Man (Reprise) (0:43)
- Concert Intro
- Real Girls (Live)
- Memory Lane (Live)
2014 Deluxe 2-Disc Collectors Edition: has the original album on disc 1. Disc 2 contains:
- Hollow Man [Alternate]
- Mall (All Over the World) [Alternate]
- Concert Intro
- Real Girls [Live]
- New Car! [Live]
- Do Big Boys Cry [Instrumental]
- Youth with a Machine [Toy Mix]
- The Double [Extended Rough]
- Distance and Direction [Alternate]
- Distance and Direction [Vocal Mix]
- Memory Lane [Live]
- Angels Tuck You In [Rough]
- Little Crosses [Fragment]
- Autographs for the Sick [Alternate]
- I Didnt Build It For Me [Alternate]
- Here I Am [Instrumental]
- Hollow Man (Reprise) [Alternate]
Provides examples of:
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Autographs for the Sick—a parody of Charismatic televangelists speaking in tongues and then translating the message—has four different speakers reciting French-, German-, and Spanish-sounding nonsense.
- Big Rock Ending: On I Didnt Build It for Me.
- Bookends: The album opens with Hollow Man, and ends with Hollow Man (Reprise).
- Call-Back: Hollow Man and its reprise are set to a backmasked version of Ghost of the Heart (from ¡Alarma!).
- Captain Obvious: The interpreter in Autographs for the Sick, who keeps translating even when the speaker is just singing in English. At the end:Speaker #4: Hahaha...
Interpreter: Ha ha ha.
[three drum beats]
Interpreter: Dit dit doo.
- Cherubic Choir: Sings briefly over the outro of Memory Lane.
- Chiaroscuro: The front cover, and some of the interior art of the mannequin, is marked by a high contrast between light and shadow. Theres very bright light visible through the venetian blinds in the background, but it doesnt really illuminate the room at all.
- City Planet: Implied by Mall (All Over the World).It spreads like the blob
It swallows your town
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: New Car! is a mockery of the health and wealth gospel, the idea that God rewards faith with material wealth—and conversely, if youre poor, its your own damn fault for not believing hard enough.
- Comically Missing the Point: On Autographs for the Sick.Phonographs for the deaf, they can't hear you
Gloves for the amputees, they can't cheer you
Down at the stadium they're waiting for the end of the age
You're praying for the healthy while the lame never get to the stage
- Concept Album: Dual concepts: 1. Televangelists are full of it. 2. To be honest, Im not much better.
- Corrupt Church: Half of the Central Theme of the album.
- New Car! and Angels Tuck You In mock the health and wealth gospel that the televangelists taught.
- Do Big Boys Cry calls them hypocrites who wont admit to their own wrongdoing.
- Autographs for the Sick accuses them of being more interested in collecting money than in helping anyone with their ministry.You're a bonfire lover, counting dollars in the afterglow
- I Didnt Build It for Me mocks a Real Life incident of blatant church fund misuse (if not outright embezzlement).
- Credits Gag: The liner notes credit Ed McTaggert with playing skins, tubs, and traps (say that five time fast!). They also credit the background clapping on Angels Tuck You In to The Eric Clap-Tons.
- Drone of Dread: About 30 seconds of wailing synthesizers fall between Hollow Man and Mall (All Over the World).
- Egocentrically Religious: Angels Tuck You In criticizes the belief that God owes his followers a life of ease, devoid of hardships.This cartoon world youve created
Its like Disneyland
Get out your golden ticket
The one they give you when youre born again
- Evil Twin: The other half of the Central Theme of the album, most explicitly spelled out in The Double. Everyone is half of a pair: a good self and an evil self. All of us here on Earth? Were the evil ones.I'm his injustice sometimes
I am his wrong
It will be right again when
Christ rules over
- Excited Show Title!: "New Car!" Because Johnny Jacob's announcement is so excited, the exclamation point is mandatory.
- Foreshadowing: Mall (All Over the World) discusses consumerism, and Youth with a Machine discusses dehumanizing effects of technology—both topics that would be further explored in Vox Humana.
- Glory Days: Memory Lane is about the danger of obsessing over the nostalgic past.You have gotten much thinner
You're lookin' like a shadow
It's from dwelling on the might-have-beens
Living in a time-warp
To whom am I speaking?
Some ghost from the past?
While you think about old glories
You're fading real fast
- Gratuitous German: The two sides of the original LP (and the two CDs of the special edition) are labeled ein and zwei. And on The Double, the backing singers count off the beat in German.
- Hypocrite: Do Big Boys Cry:Do big boys cry?
Are they a step beyond
Shouting bout right
But living wrong?
- Implausible Deniability: In I Didnt Build It for Me, the televangelist narrator builds an opulent mansion with his followers donations. When others call him out, he claims that God told him to build it, as a gift to the whole church.There's a plaque in the hall
My name's on the wall
And a statue of my family
It wasn't my decision
It was all in a vision
I didn't build it
I never would have built it
I really didn't build it for me...
- List Song: The verses of Real Girls are taken up by lists of... types of women, for lack of a better explanation.Girls! In ads...
Girls! With big wigs!
Girls! On display!
- Literal Split Personality: The Good Twins and Evil Twins (described above) are halves that will eventually reunite and become whole.
- As mentioned in The Double:I am his double here, I can expect
We'll be together when time is no more
- And also in Hollow Man (Reprise):For me, therefore, everything has a double existence
Both in time and when time shall be no more
- As mentioned in The Double:
- Lyrical Dissonance: Hollow Man (Reprise) promises that everything will get better, eventually—that the form of every single grain will be restored in glory. It sounds less uplifting than it reads, because it uses the same creepy backing music as the first Hollow Man.
- Officially Shortened Title: Around this time, even though they still used the full band name on the album cover, Daniel Amos started calling themselves just "DA" at live shows—as documented on the "Concert Intro" track from the CD reissues.
- The Merch: Little Crosses makes fun of the proliferation of Christian-themed merchandise.
- Miniscule Rocking: Hollow Man (Reprise) is less than a minute long, and Autographs for the Sick is under 2 minutes.
- Murderous Mannequin: Downplayed. The mannequin from the liner notes doesnt kill anyone, but his spookiness is definitely played up. You have to wonder where he got that real human face from, though...
- The New Rock & Roll: In Autographs for the Sick:Shes warning all her children about the horrors of rock-n-roll.
- Not So Different:
- Do Big Boys Cry wonders whether televangelists (the big boys of the title) ever admit their mistakes and make amends. The final line of the song is, What do I do? Im a big boy, too.
- Here I Am mentions having to watch a church service on the foyer TV (because the chapel was too crowded) and parallels that with the invisible wall that separates the band from their own fans.
- Offscreen Afterlife: In the liner notes story, the narrator briefly has a vision of Heaven, but declines to describe it in any detail—partly because God forbids him, and partly because his words cant do justice to what he saw.
- Other Me Annoys Me: In the liner notes story, the narrator sees himself from the outside—without realizing that it is himself—and gets so angry at his own flaws that he tries to attack himself.
- Parody of Evolution: The liner notes include an illustration of the evolution of mannequin, a parody of the March of Progress painting with four mannequins. Theyre identical, but with the leftmost one bent over at the waist, and each subsequent one standing up a little straighter. The final mannequin has sunglasses and a smarmy grin.
- Portal Door: The liner notes story ends with the narrator chasing his double through a mysterious door to parts unknown.
- Pun-Based Title: Youth with a Machine is a pun on the real-life group Youth With A Mission.
- Spoken Word in Music: Both versions of Hollow Man are monologues set to music, with some singing in the background. "Autographs for the Sick" has five different speakers talking over each other, while twisted Garage Rock plays behind them.
- Visual Pun: On the cover, the album title is stylized as DoppelgÄnger—emphasizing the band's initials in the word.