Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm

I'm convinced that there is no such thing as a "bad" Aimee Mann album but it does seem that the law of diminishing returns is applying itself to her career since the wonderful soundtrack to the film Magnolia. Her last two efforts (Batchelor No 2 and Lost In Space) were good, but not in the same class as Magnolia or Whatever or even, the much unfairly maligned, I'm With Stupid. And whilst The Forgotten Arm doesn't reach the peaks of her earliest work, it is still her strongest effort since Magnolia, and has much to reccommend it.

Loosely, the concept of the album is of a boxer returning from the Vietnam war, but really any close inspection of the album as a whole shows up many flaws in the "story". It's saved by the fact that the best tracks work best as stand alone songs. Two great examples are Dear John and Goodbye Caroline, which both stand comparsion with her old favourites.

However there is the feeling that whilst this is a good album, it contains nothing that we haven't heard before from Mann on previous releases. If you like her, then you'll like this. If you haven't been convinced by her previously, then you won't be convinced by this.

Icon's View - 3 1/2 out of 5.

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