Aimee Mann – Mental Illness: solitude, sadness and how love can drive you demented
Super Ego Records
Singer / Songwriter
Slyly referencing the perceived fragility of the melancholic singer-songwriter with the title of her new solo album – her ninth – Aimee Mann is making a relevant point: falling in love, falling out of love, being with someone, being alone, can drive some people seriously demented.
Mann has been a solo chronicler of such altered states since her 1993 debut, Whatever, yet she takes it up a notch here with her strongest collection of songs since 2000’s Bachelor No. 2. This time around – sensing, perhaps, that her precise, character-driven lyrics required extra sensitivity – Mann replaces pop/rock crunch with the warmest of Laurel Canyon acoustics.
The results are silky earworms of the highest order, with Mann admirably making solitude and sadness entities that should be inhabited instead of spurned.