Album review: AIMEE MANN – Mental Illness

AIMEE MANN - Mental Illness

SuperEgo/Membran [Release date 31.03.17]

Not exactly an uplifting title for an album?  But then Aimee Mann’s never exactly been what you might call a happy singer, or a “heaven is a place on earth” composer.  No, Aimee was born looking at life though the other end of the telescope.

After the more pop orientated Charmer (2012), Mental Illness finds Mann back to her acoustic, observational, and depressing best.  Deliberately stripped back, and downbeat, support is limited to acoustic guitars, piano, harmonium, a string quartet and an unobtrusive and barely used rhythm section.  It’s what suits Mann best and lyrical content aside – songs of bi-polarity, sociopaths, and the just plain crazy – Mental Illness is a very beautiful record.

Despite indulging her bleaker side, and setting out to write the saddest, slowest, most acoustic record she could, Mental Illness is musically inspired by the ‘easy listening’ sounds of the ’70′s, the sparse arrangements supplemented by vocal ‘ooh’s’ aplenty.  Sonically, it’s irresistible.

One smart cookie, Mann’s wicked sense of humour is laced through the songs that make up Mental Illness which, despite their melancholic lyrical content, are indelibly catchy and must be regarded as one of her most consistent (and perhaps best) piece of work to date.  *****

Review by Pete Whalley

The Best of 2017




 

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

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