Aimee Mann @#%&! Smilers

Aimee Mann @#%&! Smilers
If there were one word to describe Aimee Mann, it would be dependable. Even since her early days in ‘Til Tuesday, it was clear that she was a very talented individual and she has never been involved in a poor record, and that continues with solo album number six. It moves away from the slight contrivance of concept album The Forgotten Arm and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a new collection of Aimee Mann songs. After all, during the past decade she’s carved out a comfortable niche for herself as the smart person’s singer-songwriter and she never strays too far from there. This is a very solid collection of songs, probably her best since Bachelor No. 2, and while there isn’t much in the way of absolute surprises there are some subtle shifts in the instruments she uses and the album has a welcoming, rich sound. The lyrics are her usual detailed sketches of folks who aren’t quite as ordinary as they seem, and are as compelling as ever. @#%&! Smilers is just business as usual, something that will likely not be met with many complaints. (SuperEgo)