I figured I’d do a monthly ‘what I’m listening to’ kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it’s my blog! So there!
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk – just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else). Yeah, I’m a big fan of Aimee Mann – but not a huge fan of @#%&*! Smilers……and you just know I want to be.
Something about it isn’t pulling me in. Yes, there are certain songs I really like and play over and over, but then it hits a certain track or tracks an my interest wanes. That can’t be good – right?
I keep reading reviews (not the amazon ones, but trade publications) that say it is her best album yet – and I keep wondering ‘what am I missing here?‘.
Sure she switched it up a bit – gone are the electric guitars and more moogs, wurlitzers and strings, but that’s not making it a better album. To be fair, those items are not making it a worse one either. Actually, the synths make the disk have some Lost in Space tendencies – not such a bad thing since I like that disk a lot.
While there are really good songs on the disk, there is something on here I never expected: throw away songs. I can’t think of a disk she’s done (ok, maybe her debut one, Whatever) that had a song I would go out of my way to skip over. Smilers has a few of them (“Phoenix” or “Medicine Man” anyone? – and how does the latter song intro not sound like 1976 Elton John?). Not good.
I concede that some of this might grow on me over time, but I’ve had the disk in continual rotation for three weeks and not much is growing on me – past the keepers like “Little Tornado”, “Freeway”, “Thirty One Today”, “The Great Beyond” and “Borrowing Time”.
I still like Mann and think that she is a more than competent singer/songwriter/musician – but this disk isn’t displaying it.