Aimee Mann -- The Forgotten Arm

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/05/04 02:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/05/04/414514.aspx


(There is no technical content in this post)

Aimee Mann's new album The Forgotten Arm is out!

The place you go to hear it and look into ordering it is on Aimee's official site and it is worth the trip, in my opinion. Between that and the links on http://www.aimeemann.com/ I found the whole album in QuickTime, Flash, WMA, and Real formats. No stone left unturned, you can pretty much listen with whatever program you have. :-)

The Forgotten Arm is a concept album. The title is a relatively obscure boxing term for a surprise punch (when I say obscure, I mean it was not mentioned in the Rocky movies; an actual boxer would probably be able to place it). It is a dozen songs that (loosely) tell the story of Caroline and John, a couple that meet at the Virginia State Fair in the early 1970s. John is a boxer who is fighting at the fair, ans Carolineis just a girl who wants to get out of town as soon as she can. They fall in love and take a road trip, not long before he is sent to Vietnam. Unfortunately, John develops a drug problem while he is there, and we get to watch him contemplate the relationship crashing and burning as he tries to find the courage to walk away. So there are many of the familiar Mann themes (addiction, dysfunctional relationships, etc.) but told with the experiences of this one couple, rather than in different situations.

I think it is really interesting, and I am liking it a lot. So far I have listened to the whole CD and not heard any songs I didn't really like, though I think I like King of the Jailhouse (the second track) best so far. It has a quality about it that only a few other songs have (for me) where I could put it on repeat and listen to it over and over again -- other songs on that list include Sin City by Meredith Brooks, The Scientist or Warning Sign by Coldplay, the ballad of jill hennessy by mollycuddle, Wonderwall by Oasis, The Divorce Song by Liz Phair, How Soon is Now by The Smiths, Ray or Invisible Ink by Aimee Mann, Tale O' the Twister by Chagall Guevara, and Farther Down (and well most of the rest of the catalog) by Matthew Sweet. Though I think I will still request Ray in Amsterdam.

I had the good fortune to get a nice oversized version of the illustrated book that is included in the CD. Both books have all the illustrations done by Owen Smith, and the photography done by Sheryl Nields. Including this photograph that is on the last inside page of the book, next to the credits:

The picture has a caption in the book of "Aimee Mann, California 2005". Kind of makes you wonder at the fact that she will be celebrating her 45th birthday in four months. Makes me feel much older, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, the track listing for The Forgotten Arm:

  1. Dear John
  2. King of the Jailhouse
  3. Goodbye Caroline
  4. Going Through the Motions
  5. I Can't Get My Head Around It
  6. She Really Wants You
  7. Video
  8. Little Bombs
  9. That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart
  10. I Can't Help You Anymore
  11. I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas
  12. Beautiful

One more interesting site:

Aimee Mann's list of Music You Should Hear

Most of them are albums that I would consider to be well worth the listen, with the possible exception of Rod Stewart, who I have been unable to really get into since 1981.

I have also really been enjoying Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947, the new Michael Penn album, though that is the only one on the list that is not available yet so you could consider that one to be the teaser of the list (though since Ms. Mann is married to Mr. Penn one would assume she has been able to listen to it now and again). I'll probably talk more about his album when it is closer to being released though, so stay tuned if you are a Michael Penn fan....

 

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# Rick Schaut on 4 May 2005 8:34 AM:

This album just showed up in iTunes as well.

# GlenGordon on 4 May 2005 10:06 AM:

Some of my favorite Aimee Mann songs were in the soundtrack for Magnolia...

# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 May 2005 11:45 AM:

I know what you mean Glen -- Deathly, Wise Up, and Save Me are all way up on my list.

# Mikhail Arkhipov on 7 May 2005 12:14 PM:

I never buy compressed low-res music, but there are two her SACDs available made by famous Mobile Fidelity: Bachelor #2 and Lost in Space which I recently purchased at Silver Platters.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 7 May 2005 1:10 PM:

Ah yes -- the SACD versions. I have heard a lot of people say good things about them, and about SACD in general.

But are they useful if you do not have the equipment for which they are intended? I mean, will they always be a better experience?

# Mikhail Arkhipov on 9 May 2005 8:38 PM:

Not really. They cost $30 each so if you don't have high quality equipment or you are only playing music as a background, don't bother.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 9 May 2005 9:20 PM:

Well, I may look into the high quality equipment at some point. I just don't have it right now....

referenced by

2005/08/08 Recognized in public by a reader of this blog!

2005/07/27 Aimee Mann is on David Letterman tonight

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