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One More Drifter in the Snow

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Album Review

There's not much in Aimee Mann's past that would suggest that she would record a holiday album. Ever since launching a solo career in 1993 with Whatever, she's steadily built a reputation as a consummate singer/songwriter, renowned for her intelligent craft, which perhaps peaked around the turn of the century when she provided songs for Paul Thomas Anderson's third film, Magnolia, which led to her excellent third album, Bachelor No. 2. Since that project, Mann's work remained at a typically high level, but her subsequent albums — 2002's Lost in Space and 2005's The Forgotten Arm — were a touch too studied and deliberate, certainly not the kinds of records that would point the way toward a holiday excursion like 2006's One More Drifter in the Snow. Not that this Christmas album is far removed from the music Mann has made over the past decade: it's hushed and intimate, filled with antique keyboards that occasionally exude a mildly carnivalesque vibe, so it does feel of a piece with Mann's last few albums, yet the tone is different. Of course, part of the change in tone is that this is a holiday album, and Mann clearly intends for One More Drifter in the Snow to be played alongside classic '50s Christmas albums from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. This album has a similarly appealing, warm and lazy, jazzy vibe — a sound that evokes the holiday season for millions of listeners, and Mann should be commended not only for nailing that sound, but writing an original called "Calling on Mary" that fits comfortably next to "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" (her husband Michael Penn's "Christmastime" also fits nicely). So, the album feels right, but even better for Mann fans — especially those skeptical about a Christmas record — One More Drifter in the Snow finds the singer/songwriter in top form as a performer, turning in the loosest, friendliest recording she's made in years. There's little of the self-consciousness that hampered Lost in Space and The Forgotten Arm; she sounds as if she's having fun making this music, which not only makes for a good Christmas record, but bodes well for her next proper pop album.

Customer Reviews

Amen

If you want a lounge style holiday album with none of the irony you might expect, this is a great pick for the holidays. The best track though is pure Aimee, "Calling on Mary." I can listen to this song year around and sonically and especially lyrically, is one of her top songs ever. (Not so) Happy Holidays!

Essential

This has a great dreamy vibe. A classic.

Biography

Born: September 8, 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...
Full Bio