I came to this album by an odd route - a good review in Q Magazine plus a nagging suspicion I'd seen the name somewhere before. Couldn't retrieve the source until after I'd bought the album, then suddenly...Yes! It was the woman I'd last heard singing haunting backing vocals on "Time Stand Still" by...Rush. WHAT?!! This is not usually thought of as a good career move by sensitive female singer/songwriters, but there's a great deal more to Aimee Mann than that. This album is an extraordinarily diverse brew of delicate ballads and bursts of wonderfully crunchy rock. How to describe? Well, let me put it this way. Although she sounds nothing like Del Amitri (being female, American and critically acclaimed), she somehow shares a kinship with them. Her songs tend toward introspective tales of doomed relationships sung in a breathy, breathtaking voice over delicious, rousing melodies that you simply cannot get out of your head. And just when all the relationship disasters might start to get a little too much, just when you find yourself thinking "Oh for goodness' sake, woman, find yourself a decent man for a change" she does exactly that with "Mr Harris", which is simply one of the sweetest, most un-cynical songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Oh, by the way, she's amazing live.