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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1999 | Reprise

For Aimee Mann, the soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia was her first opportunity to release new material since 1995's I'm With Stupid. True, some of the songs are a few years old, but this is their first release, and each of her nine songs for the film seamlessly fit together, achieving a perfect blend of musical and lyrical tone. They feel like a miniature album, and while some of these tracks are on Bachelor No. 2, the way they flow and play off of each other makes Magnolia feel like a unique, individual work. Of course, it helps that Mann is at a peak in her craft, creating songs that are not only beautifully melodic, but musically and lyrically rich. Sonically, they're of a piece - even her cover of Nilsson's "One" fits perfectly -- but there's a lot of variety here, from the bouncy, irresistible "Momentum" to the gorgeously melancholic "Deathly." Mann has shined before, but never quite so consistently. It's easy to get lost in her music, which is why it comes as a bit of surprise to hear a gameshow bell ring at the conclusion of "Save Me," cleanly dividing Mann's songscore from the oldies that are also used in the film. Essentially, the two Supertramp songs ("Goodbye Stranger," "Logical Song"), Gabrielle's "Dreams," and Jon Brion's theme for the film act as a bonus EP after Mann's mini-LP. They don't sound out of place, but rather act as a reminder that Magnolia is not a proper Mann album, but a soundtrack. It's a testament to Mann's strengths as a songwriter and pop craftsman that during those first nine songs, it's hard to think of Magnolia as anything other than a Mann album, and her best one to date, at that. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 31, 2017 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released September 17, 2012 | Proper Records

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Rock - Released January 25, 2000 | Super Ego Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1993 | Geffen Records

On her solo debut Whatever, the former vocalist for Til Tuesday cements her position as a center-stage artist and top-notch songwriter, and Aimee Mann's blend of wit, smarts, cynicism, and downright humability make for a wonderfully pleasing collection of catchy songs. Musically, the jangle-pop feel of Whatever harkens back to the Beatles and the Byrds but without forsaking its contemporary origin. Lyrically, it is often hard to know whether Mann is spilling her guts out over a love or a deal gone bad. In fact, it is often a combination. But the seamless ease with which she tells the tales, moving from her head to her heart and back again, exposes her mighty talent. Teaming with some of her former bandmates, including longtime collaborator Jon Brion, gives Mann a comfort and a sure footing from which to climb and stretch, which she does with certainty. "I Should've Known," "Could've Been Anyone," and "Say Anything" get the heads bobbing, while the more somber "4th of July" and "Stupid Thing" will beckon forth even the loneliest of hankies. And how many artists pay tribute to Charles Dickens? (Witness "Jacob Marley's Chain.") Talk about literate songwriters and you have to speak of Aimee Mann. The dismissive tone of the title belies the time that was put into this album, for even after its recording, it took Mann quite a long while to find a home. Initially released on Imago Records, Whatever was later reissued by Geffen Records. © Kelly McCartney /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 27, 2002 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released November 2, 2004 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released March 26, 2007 | LUAKA BOP

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Rock - Released June 3, 2008 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released May 3, 2005 | Super Ego Records

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Pop - Released September 18, 2012 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released December 9, 2003 | Super Ego Records

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Rock - Released June 3, 2008 | Super Ego Records

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Christmas Music - Released October 24, 2006 | Super Ego Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2020 | Super Ego Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released February 7, 2018 | Hollywood Records

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Rock - Released February 1, 2014 | Aimee Mann

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Folk/Americana - Released January 13, 2017 | Super Ego Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 20, 2017 | Super Ego Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | Geffen

From the opening of "Long Shot," with its rolling hip-hop-derived beat and its nonchalant profanity, it's clear that Aimee Mann is trying to appeal to a wider audience with her second solo album, I'm With Stupid. Taking her cues from Liz Phair and Beck, she adds alternative rock flourishes to her music but never abandons her love of the basic, three-minute pop single. Mann builds from the more pop-oriented songs on Whatever, incorporating her confessional singer/songwriter instincts into the pop songs while working with a more adventerous production and instrumentation. Occasionally, the fusion is a bit awkward, but the best moments on I'm With Stupid -- the sighing "Choice in the Matter," the nearly perfect "That's Just What You Are," featuring backing vocals by Glenn Tilbrook, and the Bernard Butler collaboration "Sugarcoated" -- surpass even the best moments on Whatever. However, I'm With Stupid falls short of matching Mann's debut for consistent song quality -- there are several tracks that are pleasant but simply don't lead anywhere. Nevertheless, the album confirms that she is a distinctive, talented songwriter. At her best, she is as capable of melding melody with intelligent lyrics as her idols Elvis Costello, Difford/Tilbrook, and Ray Davies. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo