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I'm With Stupid

Aimee Mann

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Album Review

From the opening of "Long Shot," with its rolling hip-hop-derived beat and its nonchalant profanity, it's clear that Aimee Mann is trying to appeal to a wider audience with her second solo album, I'm With Stupid. Taking her cues from Liz Phair and Beck, she adds alternative rock flourishes to her music but never abandons her love of the basic, three-minute pop single. Mann builds from the more pop-oriented songs on Whatever, incorporating her confessional singer/songwriter instincts into the pop songs while working with a more adventerous production and instrumentation. Occasionally, the fusion is a bit awkward, but the best moments on I'm With Stupid — the sighing "Choice in the Matter," the nearly perfect "That's Just What You Are," featuring backing vocals by Glenn Tilbrook, and the Bernard Butler collaboration "Sugarcoated" — surpass even the best moments on Whatever. However, I'm With Stupid falls short of matching Mann's debut for consistent song quality — there are several tracks that are pleasant but simply don't lead anywhere. Nevertheless, the album confirms that she is a distinctive, talented songwriter. At her best, she is as capable of melding melody with intelligent lyrics as her idols Elvis Costello, Difford/Tilbrook, and Ray Davies.

Biography

Born: September 08, 1960 in Richmond, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

During the '80s, Aimee Mann led the post-new wave pop group 'Til Tuesday. After releasing three albums with the group, she broke up the band and embarked on a solo career. Her first solo album, Whatever, was a more introspective, folk-tinged effort than 'Til Tuesday's albums, and received uniformly positive reviews upon its release in the summer of 1993. However, the album was just a small hit, spending only seven weeks on the American charts, where it peaked at 127. Nevertheless, Whatever rejuvenated...
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