I know, I know. I should probably be writing about the new Kendrick album instead of a month old Aimee Mann album. Oh, see what I did there? This album isn’t even a month old yet and feels way older. In fact, it’s not even three weeks old (our culture is screwed btw). But either way, these past couple weeks, Mental Illness has been a great “early morning” album for me, as it makes no attempt to hide its melancholy, but for that reason is a nice warm-up for whatever anxiety each day may bring.
I don’t know that there’s been an artist that I’ve “known of” with out ever really digging deep into their music as long as I have Aimee Mann. I suppose this is because she’s not only been around for a while, but also has lots of loose ties to comedy people people I like, in addition to being responsible for the immortal ’80s hit “Voices Carry”. I even listened to her side project with Ted Leo, The Both a couple years ago, but without having listened to a single one of her solo albums.
But by listening to Mental Illness on many a wet Spring morning (in addition to one of her ’90s and 00’s albums apiece), I can say Miss Mann likes singing a particular type of pop song that I enjoy. “Pleasantly depressing” is the way I would describe her best songs, which is a bit of an oxymoron, but makes sense to me, man. Wow, that was an unnecessary and stupid pun. Why am I even writing this review? Probably because I should keep up this post a day thing, right?
Not really. Since I’m probably not giving Aimee Mann the props she deserves for putting out an album that builds so nicely on the aesthetic she’s carved out a remarkably long career with. She has specifically said in interviews that this album was an attempt to just embrace every softer, more acoustic instinct she’s ever had, as well as the sadness that has always been there, but was often tempered by some kind of sunniness. Which might sound like a bummer, but for the kind of rainy April we tend to get here in the Pacific Northwest, feels just right.
Favorite Tracks: “Goose Snow Cone”, “Lies Of Summer”, “Philly Sinks”