Aimee Mann - Charmer

Mann has an uncanny ability to make you feel guilty about something you’ve never even been involved with

Aimee Mann - Charmer

www.aimeemann.com

For a male, listening to an Aimee Mann album can, at times, be like being on the receiving end of a lecture. The honesty and directness of her lyrics get straight to the emotional heart of whatever subject she’s outlining and Mann has an uncanny ability to make you feel guilty about something you’ve never even been involved with.  What’s quite astonishing about her is that there’s a good chance you’ll still fall in love with her anyway. Aimee Mann’s music is like catnip to me and I get a real thrill every time a new album of hers appears – I’ll be honest, even her Christmas album is embraced wholeheartedly in this household – and Charmer contains more than enough Mann-erisms to keep fans happy.

Charmer does have a different feel to many of her albums though because here I think the sound and dymanic of the band are as important, if not more than, the songs themselves. Mann has always had a precise grip on the space and ambience of a song. Bachelor No. 2 and Lost In Space, in particular, are both records in which the quietness surrounding and indeed infiltrating different songs play a vital role in building up the shape of those albums but here, it’s all about the group. The gaps are filled in this time around and there’s a loose, relaxed vibe to the whole record that suggests that Aimee and cohorts had a blast recording it. It’s a fun record  - just listen to the guitar solo in Soon Enough!

Charmer finds Mann letting her hair down, musically speaking, and getting back to just feeling part of a band again. You’ll welcome it. It may not break your heart as much as some of her earlier work, but you’ll still get a good telling off every now and again. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Great stuff.