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Aimee Mann
Charmer - SUPEREGO
FILTER Grade: 84%

By Adam Pollock on September 19, 2012


Aimee Mann

To announce that the new Aimee Mann album is “a collection of perfectly composed and performed ruminations on various, subtle miens of the human condition” will come as a surprise to no one. Her oeuvre, including the Grammy- and Oscar-nominated work on Magnolia, and even the early ’Til Tuesday stuff, has been pretty much blemish-free for over three decades. Why then would we expect anything less than excellence from her new offering, Charmer?

Our nonchalance is heartily rewarded; Charmer is charming. What distinguishes it from Mann’s more recent work is the energy: the artist is running on all, albeit 51-year-old, cylinders here, and the brightness and propulsion of the work is exciting. (Only one of the 11 songs breaks the four-minute mark.) Technically, the album has a theme to it: the concept of charm and the intentions behind such an affectation. But you could also say that Charmer is another obviously LA-based album. There’s little doubt where the location for the song “Crazytown” might be, and when The Shins’ James Mercer duets on “Living a Lie,” one can perfectly picture the sun-dappled domestic dysfunction. Thirty years in, Mann continues to charm, a hidden glint in her eye.

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