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Aimee Mann - Lost in Space Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 August 2002

Aimee Mann
Lost in Space
format: CD
label: SuperEgo Records
release year: 2002
performance: 8
sound 7
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageAimee Mann is both fiercely independent and enormously talented. She’s sometimes also a maddeningly depressing realist, and her music many times alternates between a mope fest and an anger management session. Thankfully, Mann is a woman who becomes even prettier when she starts to get angry.

Being a realist, Mann populates “Lost In Space” with some fairly unusual commentary on the complexities of love. And just to be politically incorrect, drugs turn up often as a handy metaphor. In “High On Sunday,” she sings: “Let me be your heroin/hate the sinner but love the sin.” Then on “Invisible Ink,” she begs: ““Kiss me like a drug that will last forever.”

This album mainly sounds like the softer psychedelic side of The Beatles. “Humpty Dumpty,” for example, rolls with George Harrison-like chime-y guitars, while “Today’s The Day” floats upon a cloud of children’s music-ready tinkling keyboards. Then on “Real Bad News,” space-y synths, a time signature and a sunshine pop chorus are just a few of the pieces to its puzzle. Rhythmically, nothing here veers any place close to anything with a good beat that will make you want to dance. Vocally, Mann never screams or growls. Instead, she mostly sounds sadly resigned.

If you come to this release expecting to follow some sort of linear lyrical reasoning, you may likely be lost in space yourself. Whether Mann is singing about “Humpty Dumpty” or reacting to “Pavlov’s Bell,” her words often fade away like so much “Invisible Ink.” It could be about lovers, record companies or lovers from record companies. In other words, it's anybody’s guess.

Mann could have also used the help of a few outside ears for the pacing of this disc. Its dreamlike sound makes some of its songs indistinguishable from others. Varying the tempos might have turned “Lost In Space” into a much more adventurous listening experience.

But because the really smart girls can get away with being a little stubborn, Mann is excused for getting her way, whereas less talented artists might quickly lose listeners with such a single-minded artistic approach. Aimee Mann may be lost in space, but she’s certainly no loser.

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