Strange as it may seem, this third album from Boston singer/songwriter Aimee Mann was originally rejected by her record company Interscope for being “not commercially viable”. Mann therefore bought it back from the record company and released it herself. Now common sense has prevailed, and V2 has released the album for Mann’s British fans to enjoy.
Although this may have originally been deemed “uncommercial”, this isn’t a thrash version of Metal Machine Music. Rather, what you’ll find in here is a set of beautifully crafted songs, a few of which were featured in the film Magnolia. If you’ve heard that soundtrack, you’ll know what to expect. Opener How Am I Different kicks off the proceedings, with a lazy acoustic guitar and Mann’s warm vocals a standout.
Other highlights include The Fall Of The World’s Own Optimist, a collaboration with Elvis Costello which has the latter’s trademark cynicism stamped all over it, and It Takes All Kinds, a sidesweep at an “old friend, Ron” who has “become everything you’ve hated”.
It’s difficult to find fault with this – some may find the production a bit too polished and a couple of the songs may lean towards blandness – but this is mostly quality stuff from an inspired songwriter.