Aimee Mann, "Mental Illness"
There is a certain Aimee Mann style that the former ‘Til Tuesday singer has developed over the course of nine solo studio albums: a minor-seventh key of sadness, mixed with humor and whimsy, layered over the pop sensibility of mid-‘60s Beatles soundtracks. Her new Mental Illness
collection is a conceptual rumination on depression, but, in typical Mann style, we encounter inside jokes and eclectic landscapes along with the sadness. It’s obvious from the child-like imagery of the opening track, “Goose Snow Cone,” that this album will not hold the unbearable weightiness of being that characterizes most other artists’ recent dalliances with grief. While songs like “Stuck in the Past” describe familiar behavioral conditions (albeit through the unique Mann filter), others like the closing “Poor Judge” take heartbreak further afield, into a random drive on rural roads.
File next to:
Neko Case, Liz Phair