Various Magnolia

Critics have called P.T. Anderson's movie Magnolia everything under the sun — except a musical. Working with a line from singer/songwriter Aimee Mann’s "Deadly" — "Now that I met you, would you object to never seeing me again" — as his film's linchpin, the director proceeded to pepper his film with Mann's songs, often times in an effort to underscore what the characters are saying. In the case of "Wise Up," the film becomes one of the most glorious rock videos ever created, as each character lip-synch's Mann's tale of grace and defeat. Collected on the film's soundtrack, Mann's songs — seven originals, an instrumental and a sterling cover of Harry Nilsson's "One" — show that they are more than incidental music. Album tracks, especially the aforementioned "Wise Up" and "Save Me," even manage to soothe the pain of having to shell-out good money for a soundtrack that includes not one but two Supertramp songs — that's no small feat. These passionate songs should help Mann leave "Voices Carry" and her career in 'Til Tuesday back in the ‘80s, while she finally gets the recognition her well-crafted music so richly deserves. (Reprise)