Music » CD Reviews

Aimee Mann

@#%&*! Smilers (SuperEgo)

by

comment
2245666.t.jpg

Aimee Mann has made her career championing the underdog and projecting herself as a woe-is-me singer-songwriter who has just as many problems as regular folks. To be fair, her much-publicized sour experiences with nearsighted music execs were rather shitty, and this was before the industry resembled the last remains of the dodo. Ironically, as Mann's profile increased, her lyrics went from pretty poignant to pretty trite. It was like she ran out of things to say by the time of 2005's conceptual drudge, The Forgotten Arm. Thankfully, she sounds like she's on the upswing on @#%&*! Smilers. Still, Mann remains obsessed with metaphorical buzz kills, tackling greed in "Freeway" and wandering aimlessly in "Looking for Nothing." But even when she's fretting over relationships in "Phoenix" and "It's Over," her voice is as elegant as ever — especially when it's augmented with a faint string section. On @#%&*! Smilers, Mann has stopped overexerting herself with cheap metaphors, returning to her forte: a polished glow of a voice that sounds even more fantastic when it's not spewing an insurmountable number of clichés.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.