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26
4.3 out of 5 stars
Charmer
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2012
A fairly uptempo guitar pop album interspersed with twinkly synth and piano. I detected hints of Blondie, The Cars and even Supertramp ('Crazytown') here while still sounding like Aimee Mann.

Standout tracks for me are 'Labrador', 'Living a Lie' featuring James Mercer of The Shins, and my the closing track 'Red Flag Diver' which would make a good road movie song, and is too short.

Occasionally the words are lost in the mix. Some of the hooks are stronger than others, the choruses are not all that easy to sing along to, and as always with Aimee, we have our own personal faves. 'Gamma Ray' is probably the weakest track here. It's quite a short album too, only 38 minutes or so.

Having said all that I really like it and feel it's worth five stars. A feelgood album in a grown-up stylee, and free of conveyor belt processing. Treat yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2013
I'm a big fan of Aimee Mann, and was really excited that she was releasing a new album- the first since 2008.

Having listened to it thoroughly, I have to say I really it. Most of the songs are her usual catchy style, with clever, witty and dark lyrics. I think the single Labrador is great, although I think my favourite song on the album is Gumby!

Having said that, I'm not a massive fan of the first single, Charmer. It's catchy, but still probably the least interesting song on the album, despite it being the least like much of her previous work.

Overall, it's definitely an enjoyable album with some great songs, although I would say she's done some better albums that this one.

If you're new to Aimee Mann, I'd probably pick a different album to start with, but as a fan of hers already, I like it a lot. I don't suppose it'll attract many new fans, but for her current ones, I reckon many will enjoy Charmer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simply put, another in a long line of quality albums from Aimee Mann. Melodic, chiming, piano and guitar-led, upbeat classic rock/pop with intelligent, amusing lyrics. My favourite tracks on this album are "Labrador", "Crazytown" and "Soon Enough" which are, strangely enough, all sequenced one after the other in the middle of the album. "Crazytown" reminds me a little of the synth-augmented sound of Rilo Kiley's last album, Under The Blacklight. That's a good thing, by the way. "Soon Enough", especially, is classic Aimee and has become one of my firm favourites in her catalogue. It builds up to a phenomenal ending with absolutely incredible guitar work and is worth the price of the album on its own. Thankfully, there's plenty to love here and, with every listen, it simply sounds better and better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2012
This is definately not a brand new direction for Aimee, as she was hinting towards a synth, keyboard and pop edge on her previous masterpiece, Smilers. While I still think Smilers is superior, Charmer does have some of Aimee's best lyrics therefore it is worthy of it's five stars.

The title track, Charmer, is great. It demonstrates her ability to still create fun pop tunes set with deep and meaningful lyrics. The album slows a little on Dissapeared, though again the track is great and a nice interlude before my favourite song, Labrador, begins. The music video (a remake of Til Tuesday's Voices Carry) is also fantastic.

The opening synth of Crazytown is hypnotic and beautiful, really suiting the album art and themes, as well are the lyrics. Soon Enough is a soft, crooning tune that sails by beautifuly before Mann's duet begins. James Mercer brings a great strength to the song, as it suits Mann perfectly, providing another standout track. Slip and Rolls is one of the strongest slower tracks and has more of Mann's perchant for using boxing as a metaphor.

Gumby is another catchy and fun pop number, and I really like the lyrics in this one, especially on the chorus. Gamma Ray is the weakest track, the guitar riff is good but doesn't really seem to go anywhere, but it is rescued by the bluesy Barfly, probably the most different of all the tracks in terms of sound. The final track, Red Flag Diver, is the shortest, but sublime ending to this sublime album. All I can say is that I hope Aimee still has a few more albums left in her, and I'm even tempted to get this on vinyl because this package looks so great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2012
It's Great! So many standout tracks. Enjoyed the video for Charmer too, worth a watch (on youtube). Really looking forward to the European tour shows in Jan. Hope the LP will get decent airplay on BBC 6 Music and Radio 2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2012
Aimee Mann's albums all have the same core ingredients and that is what keeps her fans coming back for more. pop tunes, cutting lyrics and that slight air of melancholy are a winning formula - but sometimes they just feel formulaic and that's the problem with Charmer. It has been a long time coming and offers nothing new though the title track is a gem. That Charmer comes in at under 39 minutes feels like a bit of a con. When I want to listen to Aimee Mann this won't be the cd that I pick up. That'll be The Forgotten Arm.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 September 2012
Four years after her last release, Aimee Mann returns with Charmer. Like all niche artists she has her devoted core audience who will buy anything she releases, but does Charmer have wider appeal?

Yes, I think it does. It's true to say that the palate of sounds on display here is not dissimilar from her previous albums, but she does what she does so well, that it's hardly a criticism. Her usual blend of pessimistic lyrics featuring characters suffering pain and despair which are then wrapped around bright and poppy music is present and correct. And although her lyrical subject matter is often dark, the music helps to counterpoint this, so it never makes for a depressing listen.

At just eleven tracks, Charmer doesn't outstay it's welcome, and it's helped by the fact that all the songs are strong. The title track, Aimee's duet Living a Lie with James Mercer, Crazytown and Red Flag Diver are all particular highlights.

Anybody new to Aimee Mann could start here and get a decent overview of her strengths as an artist. It's good to have her back.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2012
I've been a fan of Aimee since I saw her perform 'I should have known' on some tv show years ago. Since then, I've bought all of her albums and found at least 3 gems on each one, but not this time. It's somehow got an unfinshed feel about it, as if the ideas are drying up. Certainly nothing new on here - that's not a bad thing with someone as talented as Aimee - but nothing that reaches out and gives you a goosebump moment. Oh well, back to 'I'm with Stupid' and 'Batchelor No3'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2013
I feel this is Aimee's best since Bachelor No2 but it took a few plays to get there. I've been a fan since the 1st album and seen Aimee live on several occasions so if you are having doubts take a gamble. A previous reviewer complained about not finding 3 great tracks but try the fisrt 3 !
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on 27 September 2012
i have all of her albums, and always look forward to new releases. And this does not dissapoint. i am on my fourth or fifth listen and lots of excellent songs emerging. Definate echoes of Batchelor No 2 on the song Soon Enough which for me the standout track (Batchelor is one of my all time favourite albums). Living a Lie is another current favourite.........but the whole album is growing on me fast . i have to admit to have bought mine as a download from itunes to get the exclusive bonus track Brothers Keeper , which is a very good song and worth getting for sure.
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