New Aimee Mann "@#%&! Smilers" - 6/3

Discussion in 'Music' started by Ron Reda, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Yep, I'm there with you. I'll even wear my favorite Mann tee-shirt in honor (illustrated portrait by Seth).

    The Forgotten Arm was sort of a slow burn for me. Now it's my first choice when I want to listen to her. I'm sure I'll be wearing out the new one too.

    Next month, the shows!
     
  3. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Just got back from Best Buy ($9.99) and popped it in...I'm already hooked on "Freeway!"
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I went for the Deluxe Edition.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I have it on order; also deluxe.

    M.
     
  6. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I probably should have gone deluxe...not sure why I didn't.

    I'm really liking it so far. While I don't yet own "The Forgotten Arm" it sounds akin to "Lost In Space" to me. It moves pretty quickly too...out of the 13 tracks, only 3 tracks are longer than 4 minutes.
     
  7. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I have the Special Edition on order at Amazon, the damn thing still hasn't shipped. [​IMG]

    Been listening to the pre-release for a couple weeks and it's a very solid effort. I really don't think Aimee Mann can make a bad CD.
     
  8. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    It got a 4/5 stars at allmusic.com but the review has not yet been posted, only the rating.
     
  9. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Review just posted at Allmusic.com - allmusic ((( @#%&*! Smilers > Overview )))

    Arguably, Aimee Mann hasn't released a simple collection of songs since her 1999 breakthrough with the Magnolia soundtrack and its cousin, Bachelor No. 2. Her releases since then have been prominent and respected, yet they played as explorations, with 2003's Lost in Space floating in the ether and 2006's The Forgotten Arm qualifying as an outright concept album. With @#%&*! Smilers, she returns to simply writing and recording songs, a back to basics that isn't quite so basic, as it finds Mann livelier and snarkier than she's been in a while. That censored profanity in the record's complete title -- it's easy to see but not say or write -- is a tip-off that Smilers has a defiant cynicism rippling throughout the record, something that's welcome after the careful craftsmanship of The Forgotten Arm and the spacy sleepiness of Lost in Space. Although this could hardly qualify as a bold departure -- there is nothing surprising about the arrangements, which still bear the ghost of Jon Brion although he is long gone -- Smilers pops with color, something that gives it an immediacy that's rare for an artist known for songs that subtly worm their way into the subconscious. That still happens here, of course -- one of Mann's greatest strengths is that her songs unfold slowly, seeming indelible after a few listens -- but Smilers grabs a listener, never making him or her work at learning the record, as there are both big pop hooks and a rich sonic sheen. At its heart it's just a collection of songs, but it's that rare thing for a songwriter: it works as a piece of writing and a sterling pop album of its own.
     
  10. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Very cool Ron. I just ordered the Lost in Space mofi SACD last night. Now I have another to get...too bad it is not hirez. Maybe mofi will do it at some point.
     
  11. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    LiS is one of my favorite MoFis, Lee...good choice! It sounds superb.

    I agree, I hope to see "Smilers" out on SACD someday as well. MoFi always seems to do well by AM's albums.
     
  12. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Ditto. I'm digging what I've listened to so far.
     
  13. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I have to say that so far, I'm really disappointed.

    I've been a big Aimee fan ever since Magnolia and am primarily drawn to the catchy aspect of her song writing. She usually pulls this off without sounding too poppy. Following two listenings, I have yet to discover a catchy song.

    Hopefully this is a slow burn thing and I will end up loving it. We'll see soon enough.
     
  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I haven't been able to get Freeway out of my head...

    Ballantines is also easy to recall without any assist.

    Isn't that contradictory - slow burn and soon? [​IMG]
     
  15. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I find with my first listen to her new CDs I immediately like half the songs while the other half don't make much of an impression on me. After 5-10 spins of the CD the second half of songs that originally didn't do much for me wind up being my favorites and I always wonder how it didn't suck me in on the first listen.
     
  16. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I'm usually pretty similar, but so far with this album nothing has stuck. Maybe I'm just not in the right mood. I've been listening to lots of Metal lately.
     
  17. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    WHA-WHAT?!?!?! Wow, I thought there were catchy songs au plenty right off the bat...31 Today, Freeway, Ballantines, Borrowing Time just to name a few. As per your other post, you're just in the wrong mood...going from metal to AM sounds like a tough transition! [​IMG] In fact, I'm pleasantly surprised that it grew on me so fast...I wasn't sure how an AM CD released in the summer would hit me, but I'm digging it big time. I guess when I think of her stuff, I think autumn and winter due to the nature of the lyrics and the sparseness of some of her arrangements.
     
  18. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Looks like she's on Leno on Monday.
     
  19. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I missed Leno, gonna have to check it out on Youtube. I also missed her at Bonnaroo (was a tough sell getting 3 dudes over to see her), but I will check her out when she comes to ATL in September!
     
  20. Blair G

    Blair G Second Unit

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    Saw her, she was good.

    Really liked the song she played (Freeway?)
     

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