AIMEE MANN – ” Mental Illness “

Posted: May 1, 2017 in MUSIC
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“The title of Aimee Mann’s latest solo effort, her ninth album release, registers like a punch to the gut. In a world full of self-consciously clever and willfully obtuse album titles,“Mental Illness” is the equivalent of washing someone’s mouth out with soap. Every three years or so, she releases an album’s worth of character sketches, laments, self-analysis, vignettes and musings, all branded by a kind of urgent hyper-literacy in which each syllable and every note carries outsize meaning.

It’s not something you mull over or analyze in search of some hidden subtext or meaning. Instead, it smacks of cold reality. In an interview with Rolling Stone in January, Mann called Mental Illness the ‘saddest, slowest’ record of her 35-plus-year career. She’s not kidding. Her latest collection finds her singing love-spurned tales of heartache, anger, and remorse, giving the emotionally loaded title some added weight. But that doesn’t mean that Mann the ex-Til Tuesday singer isn’t putting us on, at least a little bit. ‘I mean, calling it Mental Illness makes me laugh, because it is true,’ she said. ‘It’s so blunt that it’s funny.’ But while she might be having fun with us, she’s nonetheless created a remarkable character sketch. For 44 minutes, Aimee Mann slips into the skin of someone walking an emotional tightrope, and it’s an act she pulls off with grace and conviction. “Mental Illness” lays its hurt and sadness out so effectively that it’s hard to completely accept it as pure fiction. But even if we’re to take Mann’s word for it that these songs were created with some personal distance, it’s still no less powerful of a record” –[Limited color vinyl pressing also available.

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