Aimee Mann, S+D

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Often appears as a punchline to "guess what's in the sock drawer of the young upwardly mobile professional who wants to appear hip, yet finds genuine hipster music too 'difficult'." So what does ILM make of Ms. Mann?

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i quite like her.....i think she has a grate voice and writes some damn catchy songs.

" Everything's Different Now" has some real heart-ache lyrics too .

william harris, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"That's Just What You Are" is one of the greatest pop songs of the last decade, easily--and her last album has got some great songs too. As always, Jon Brion is a mixed blessing--sometimes he does the most killer accompaniment, other times it's a little too much.

My problem is that everything else is chopped from the same block--I could write a gazillion "Mann" songs as I'm falling asleep, given how many times she reuses the same structures. Funnily enough, Ron Sexsmith has the same problem, but him I don't mind. And Elliot Smith does it, and I do mind. Ah, art.

Mickey Black Eyes, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

voices carry was great but her solo stuff is like a mix of suzanne vega and meridith brooks. sounds like she should be guest performer on dave matthews records.

keith, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I must admit she is my favourite female songwriter nowadays. In the past it was Joni Mitchell and Aimee does maybe not reach Joni but she comes quite close. Catchy tunes, clever lyrics and a wonderful very clear and crystal voice. Bachelor #2 is a gem and was one of my favourites this year (I was a late buyer). I've seen her live and though she is a little timid, she has got a lot of humour and is absolutely adorable on stage.

alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I quite like her. The stuff she does on the Magnolia soundtrack is great, especially her cover of Harry Nilson's 'One'. She has a nice voice and the arrangements and stuff on that record are pleasant.

However, I bought "Whatever", her first solo album (?), and it is shite on a stick.

DV, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Whatever" = shite : I used to think that too when I first bought it and so just tucked it away in the cd stack. Then I bought 'Bachelor #2' and enjoyed it so much that I went back and listened to it again... and have enjoyed it more than I felt I should have. There's a few excellent songs on it and the rest is just ok. The quality seems generally higher than "I'm With Stupid" to me nowadays. B#2 is probably the best of the lot with some tender moments that don't stick in my throat and some lovely tunes. She's one of those singers whom I listen to compulsively - on rotation until I get quite sick of the songs. I agree with whoever said it above about the production - sometimes it works well but I often want it a bit more stripped back. It seems that this is the bane of releases by female singer songwriters in recent times - heavy handed, all tricks to the fore production by some sort of svengali / lover / friend. See Abra Moore's 'Stangest Places' for a good set of songs that have been almost completely overblown by a producer who thinks it's HIS record, not hers.

philT, Sunday, 2 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I like her - she's probably the least nauseating singer to ever play Lilith Fair. And I'm downwardly mobile. I'd like her more if she wasn't used as a device with which to say something preposterous like "Hey! Proper songwriting isn't dead! Look at Aimee Mann/Elliot Smith/whoever-jumped-up-snotty-twats-are-touting-this-year". Proper songwriting is such a dodgy concept and I hate it and the fact that Ms Mann isn't exactly shifting mega-units probably means she's a) not hip, and b) a proponent of a genre in its death throes anyway.

Having said that Bachelor #2 is a good album, if you like that sort of thing. I like I'm With Stupid better because it has "Long Shot" on it. And zero points for dropping "Driving Sideways" off some releases of B#2 in favour of (ugh) "Save Me".

Search: Long Shot, Driving Sideways, That's Just What You Are, It's Not Safe, Satellite, Backfire, and her cover of Nobody Does It Better. Destroy: Save Me (repeatedly).

EdwardO, Monday, 3 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Doesn't Bernard Butler play on "I'm With Stupid", possibly even co- writing songs? Any obvious signs of him there?

DV, Monday, 3 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Nothing obvious. Co-wrote one song, played on two. If there's any obvious Bernard-ness, it's probably closer to solo Bernard.. certainly not as obvious as the Squeeze connection.

EdwardO, Monday, 3 December 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Just got the live at St. Anns warehouse DVD.

Aimee Mann is just too too cool for words.

papa november (papa november), Thursday, 25 November 2004 01:39 (sixteen years ago) link

i like her too

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Thursday, 25 November 2004 03:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Bernard Butler co-wrote and plays on "Sugarcoated" -- great song.

I've seen her a few times, and one time she said she would take requests from the audience. So everyone screamed and yelled, while I waited for it to die down. Then when it did, I shouted, "SUPERBALL!!!" -- one of the funnier (and prob. misunderstood songs) on IWS. So, she spent, like, 3 minutes trying to remember the song, couldn't and apologized. It was cute.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 25 November 2004 04:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Often appears as a punchline to "guess what's in the sock drawer of the young upwardly mobile professional who wants to appear hip, yet finds genuine hipster music too 'difficult'."

Is the teller of this joke often a snotty prick?

asdf troll, Thursday, 25 November 2004 04:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Often appears as a punchline to "guess what's in the sock drawer of the young upwardly mobile professional who wants to appear hip, yet finds genuine hipster music too 'difficult'."

Is the teller of this joke often a snotty prick?

Yeah, I thought the answer to this one was Tricky's Maxinquaye.

papa november (papa november), Thursday, 25 November 2004 04:13 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I was checking to see if there was an Aimee collection, because an in-law was asking me about her and I figured it would be a good Christmas present. I looked on Amazon and found this, a spotty grab-bag with Aimee herself as the very first, very pissed-off commenter.

The tirade is from 2001, but still sort of entertaining.

Doesn't look like there's a good collection yet, tho. I guess maybe licensing is a hassle with all those different labels.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 06:08 (fifteen years ago) link

six years pass...

New Mann in September, called "Charmer." Features, um, Tim Heidecker.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 20:20 (nine years ago) link

i met aimee mann last week.. they were shooting a video in the store i work at. she was quite nice.

one dis leads to another (ian), Tuesday, 26 June 2012 21:21 (nine years ago) link

She's super nice. And tall.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 21:51 (nine years ago) link

Eh, this new one is just OK. Pretty pro forma Aimee Mann, not some big, bold post-six year wait statement.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:28 (nine years ago) link

kinda how i felt about the last few -- nothing particularly wrong with them, just not as strong as those records from the late 90s/early 00s. i'll still check it out though.

tylerw, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:30 (nine years ago) link


You've heard it already?

to welcome jer.fairall, pie is served. (jer.fairall), Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:35 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, now I've heard it. It's just OK. Too many farty new wave keyboards, a lot of weird double tracked vocals, mostly the usual mid-tempo stuff, though a song called "Gamma Ray" is pretty rocking.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 17:50 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

i have the same problems w/ her as a lot of other folks: her songs all seem to have the same tempi, the arrangements too tend to be frustratingly similar and "tangy" in that jon brion way i find kind of bloodless, etc. although her songs from it are pretty good, i can't abide the movie magnolia so that's not exactly a plus for me, either.

but damned if this new track isn't a crazy earworm:

and it doesn't really seem to grow stale with repeated listens. needless to say the jon hamm and tom scharpling appearances in the video are a bonus.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 October 2012 06:17 (eight years ago) link

am i wrong in finding the way the piano is treated in this tune sort of reminiscent of new wave arrangements? or is it just that the retro video is influencing me?

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 October 2012 06:20 (eight years ago) link

I am super duper into this song

bell biv devo (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 4 October 2012 16:06 (eight years ago) link

i didn't really care for "charmer," the chorus is so staid and inert, but "labrador" is gorgeous and reminds me of how much time i'd spend in high school listening to bachelor no. 2 and lost in space

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Thursday, 4 October 2012 16:17 (eight years ago) link

i bought this new one and... like most aimee mann records, i didn't really care for it on first listen. going to see her in jan though and i figure i will come to love it by then. it just seemed even more aimee mann-y than the other aimee mann-y records.

a hoy hoy, Thursday, 4 October 2012 16:20 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Labrador is definitely great, pretty sure it's calling back musically to her Til Tuesday days (if the video didn't make that incredibly obvious already), but with her older improved songwriting chops

Have you guys seen the video for Soon Enough? One of my favorite songs on the album and it turns out it was cowritten by Tim Heidecker??

Nhex, Monday, 12 November 2012 19:45 (eight years ago) link

Pretty intriguing that she's taking Ted Leo out on tour. I'm catching her on Wednesday.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 12 November 2012 19:50 (eight years ago) link

Caught them at Town Hall a couple weeks ago, they were both good. I dig the kinda-spacey submarine stage setup they have with the lead guitarist on one end and Doctor Who at the other.

(Spoiler alert - Leo does a better job on "Living A Lie" than James Mercer, IMO)

Nhex, Monday, 12 November 2012 20:06 (eight years ago) link

eight months pass...

still don't understand what the heck MediaNet is

Nhex, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 19:12 (eight years ago) link

six months pass...

Finally, someone who has kicked Mann out of her perma mid-tempo rut.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 25 January 2014 00:52 (seven years ago) link


Nhex, Saturday, 25 January 2014 03:38 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, she's too good to be pigeonholed.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 January 2014 19:06 (seven years ago) link

To do it to herself that is...

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 January 2014 19:06 (seven years ago) link

Her bass playing is pretty wicked on this!

Three Word Username, Sunday, 26 January 2014 19:30 (seven years ago) link

yeah, i'm excited for this. is it possible Mann has a stronger ILM following than Leo?

one second I'm a goons, then suddenly the goons is me (some dude), Sunday, 26 January 2014 20:02 (seven years ago) link

Ok, so this is a pretty solid cross between the two songwriters. Interesting to hear the effect each has on the other, melodically, musically, lyrically. Sounds like a true collaboration. Tempers Ted Leo a bit, pumps up his power-pop, grits/perks up Mann, lets her explore more rough edges. They're both singing on every song, but generally one takes lead while the other plays support/harmony. Brightening this endless winter right now.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 February 2014 22:38 (seven years ago) link

Sounds good, can't wait

Nhex, Saturday, 8 February 2014 00:21 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

Man, "Lost in Space" is such a great record. She leans a little too hard on drugs (which she has conceded is a shorthand metaphor), but it's just such a dark, beautiful record.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:03 (seven years ago) link

No doubt! It's wonderful

You get The Both? Definitely some good tracks, "Milwaukee" still probably the best track, weird/fun how Ted brings Aimee back to her '90s mode a little.

Nhex, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:08 (seven years ago) link

Lost in Space is her best album by some margin, I think.

akm, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:12 (seven years ago) link

Best Al-Anon record ever. The drugs can be shorthand for any addiction, and being in the orbit of someone with an addiction (and loving/resenting it).

That's So (Eazy), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:07 (seven years ago) link

if i had to pick one album, it would be bachelor #2. i think it is one of the most perfect female singer-songwriter albums after the classic joni mitchell records from the seventies. lost in space i never really got into, i was really disappointed after bachelor #2. it seemed so middle of the road, so unimaginative. maybe i should give it a spin gain.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:28 (seven years ago) link

LiS is a subtler record than B#2 but, I think, a more rewarding one.

Inside Lewellyn Sinclair (cryptosicko), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:44 (seven years ago) link

Only reason I wouldn't pick B#2 is that it followed Magnolia and obv overlaps a lot with it, which made it a bit anti-climactic, imo. Also, lacks her cover of "One" from the aforementioned.

So: what's up with "Lost in Space" being so thick with drug-stuff, and then that album being followed by "The Forgotten Arm," which is also thick with drug stuff?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 April 2014 16:31 (seven years ago) link

is it from a forthcoming album? I don't know. all kinds of people put out songs in that campaign

akm, Tuesday, 17 January 2017 23:48 (four years ago) link

it is not on the new album

which is called mental illness and which is out in march

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 00:08 (four years ago) link

an actual song from the album can be heard here

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 01:37 (four years ago) link

There are few artists in the world that I love more than Aimee Mann, but I found that Trump song super clunky and obvious.

The one from the new album sounds much more promising.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 01:48 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

JoCo's on it, something good came out of that oddly-conceived cruise!

Nhex, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 00:08 (four years ago) link

I don't know why it never occurred to me before that James Urbaniak was born to play a character in an Aimee Mann song.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Thursday, 9 March 2017 16:34 (four years ago) link

good song

Nhex, Friday, 10 March 2017 06:37 (four years ago) link

just casually getting crushed by "you never loved me"

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:43 (four years ago) link

.... album of the year?

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:47 (four years ago) link

lmao i'm obviously overstating it but this album is really strong and also devastating

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:48 (four years ago) link

So far I'm finding it a bit too same-y whenever I listen to it straight through, but the highs are definitely high.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Monday, 3 April 2017 02:25 (four years ago) link

yeah, I bounced off this hard, which is my reaction to almost everything Aimee Mann's recorded

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Monday, 3 April 2017 02:45 (four years ago) link

I like this v much, after not really responding to the previous records

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Monday, 3 April 2017 02:57 (four years ago) link

always loved her songs on the magnolia soundtrack. save me, wise up, momentum, her cover of one is the loneliest number...

flappy bird, Monday, 3 April 2017 03:38 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

solid album, a few stand-outs ("Goose Snow Cone" and "Patient Zero") and other mostly pretty good tracks, kind of what i expect from her albums at this point. feel much of it growing on me over time

some live radio performances

Nhex, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 23:49 (four years ago) link

Solid, but a little too midtempo subdued for me, especially coming from someone for whom "midtempo subdued" is generally the default. Like the piano.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 18 April 2017 23:55 (four years ago) link

I would have also liked more variety, but I'm finding parts of it are really sticking with me, "Stuck in the Past" especially.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 19 April 2017 01:01 (four years ago) link

i like it quite a bit, my favorite of hers since lost in space.

akm, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 04:19 (four years ago) link

I've been on the wagon for the most part since / Bachelor / but yeah, this one kind of hits the spot

calstars, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 11:57 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

the npr tiny desk concert was great, the background vocals are all over the place:

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 27 June 2017 13:10 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Aimee interviewed about literary influences:

Police, Academy (cryptosicko), Saturday, 1 September 2018 03:22 (three years ago) link

That was interesting, thanks

The Great Atomic Power Ballad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 September 2018 10:19 (three years ago) link

seven months pass...

been digging on Bachelor No. 2 a lot recently. what a great record.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Sunday, 28 April 2019 09:37 (two years ago) link

“Ghost world” is in my head all the time. The syncopation of “finals blew, I barely knew, my graduaaation speech”

calstars, Sunday, 28 April 2019 11:32 (two years ago) link

There are so many great lines on it.

Such weirdly dated late '90s/early '00s musical tropes — specifically the way the guitars are strummed and drum beats played — in it too, but the songwriting stands up so well.

Always dug the Sgt Peppers trumpets on Calling It Quits also.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 30 April 2019 14:03 (two years ago) link

Case in point the heavily filtered drumming playing an indie take on The Funky Drummer Beat behind the lines "12th of June, a gibbous moon, was this the longest day?" around 2 minutes into Ghost World.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 30 April 2019 14:05 (two years ago) link

Brion gonna Brion

Plinka Trinka Banga Tink (Eliza D.), Tuesday, 30 April 2019 15:09 (two years ago) link

Hah. Though to be fair, the album credits five producers!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 30 April 2019 15:19 (two years ago) link

love that mid '90s-early '00s, Brion sound, shamelessly

Nhex, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 02:33 (two years ago) link

Me too! I like Froom, but Brion comes off like Froom with perhaps fewer gewgaws. (I also love Jon Brion the performer, and also songwriter, which he does not seem to do that often anymore.)

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 02:59 (two years ago) link

Now you’re running round the parking lot til every lightning bug is caught. Punching some pin holes in the lid of a jar while we wait in the car.

calstars, Wednesday, 1 May 2019 03:07 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

happy 60th

mookieproof, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 20:18 (one year ago) link

I am scared literally any time a thread with a proper name of someone I like in it pops to life.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 20:24 (one year ago) link

I saw somewhere yesterday that she was going to be 60 and I went through my now-normal routine of "how can that be/oh wait I'm old." Aimee has always been 10 years older than me, that just didn't used to sound so old.

Seriously. The last time I saw her perform more or less the same thing occurred to me. I'm definitely at the stage where I'm the age of or older than people I once thought of as old. And they're still old, except now I'm old, too!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 21:15 (one year ago) link

Coincidentally, also the release day of Rush's "Hold Your Fire"

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 21:19 (one year ago) link

now that i've met you
would you object to
never seeing each other again

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 September 2020 03:27 (one year ago) link

Why hasn’t her cover of Avalanche been released yet?

akm, Thursday, 10 September 2020 05:01 (one year ago) link

It's out today:

A White, White Gay (cryptosicko), Friday, 18 September 2020 17:31 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Happy birthday!.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 September 2021 11:47 (one week ago) link

I'll be the first to admit I take her for granted, but she's great. Reading the comments on your (other) thread I've got to admit I never considered the/a Bryan Ferry comparison. She's certainly got the right cool and sense of craft, but there's always a heartbreak/ache lurking beneath the surface of her songs that someone like Ferry is too stylized or affected to allow.

Speaking of taking for granted, I used to think she was one of several like-minded Beatles etc. indebted singer-songwriters, but now that I think about it more it's probably my fault for not keeping up with her peers. Though as far as I know they've all retired or moved on to other things, at least as likely as them continuing on certain cult-y paths that I've missed. Jason Falkner, Joe Pernice, um ... Marshall Crenshaw? I'd love to hear her do a duo record with Neil Finn (who had a headstart in the biz but is just two years older than Mann).

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 12:06 (one week ago) link

Inspired by Alfred I've been re-listening to all her stuff, and it makes me feel conflicted, because it's all so good and ... all kind of sounds interchangeable. But not always in a bad way, just in tempo and feel and melody and instrumentation. But that's not bad, because the songs are all good!

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 23:35 (one week ago) link

always kinda thought that aimee mann would have been (more) amazing if she had been in a good band
(a better band than Til Tuesday)
in the mode of REM or i dunno, Wilco

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 8 September 2021 23:44 (one week ago) link

Maybe if she’d joined Rush

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 9 September 2021 02:22 (one week ago) link


So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 9 September 2021 02:44 (one week ago) link

Goal was wide open.

What Does Blecch Mean to Me? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 September 2021 05:10 (one week ago) link

and time stood still

assert (matttkkkk), Thursday, 9 September 2021 06:59 (one week ago) link

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