Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Feb 21, 2021.
Why must I. Very interesting song, best on the album, imo. 5/5
For me Bachelor No. 2 is the peak, as I know it is for many. It's a huge pity that the recent double vinyl was only available on RSD in the US, not the UK. Lost in Space is a close second, for me. And I will always have enormous affection for Whatever as it was my first and I played it relentlessly. I'm With Stupid was a bit of a disappointment for me at the time, it was bright and poppy but felt a little formulaic. I hated The Forgotten Arm on release; I have since reassessed it but it's still not a favourite. I enjoyed Smilers (and saw her on the UK tour), and Charmer was ok, but those feel like diminishing returns, the latter in particular. I haven't assimilated Mental Illness yet. Mann's albums tend to be growers, so maybe those I like least need more listening time.
"Why Must I" is a rather intense song of self-examination with a lilting mid-tempo melody. Something about the musical arrangement seems a little too slick/AOR for the lyrical content, but it certainly goes down easy. It's another strong song that falls a little short of hitting the bullseye dead on.
I am a huge fan of Aimee Mann's solo work, which is why I’m extremely embarrassed to admit that I’ve never listened to ’Til Tuesday before! But I’m a newbie to this forum and I’ll never turn down an opportunity to hear one of the best voices in music. The lyrics, as others have emphasized, are excellent. I don’t love the production and don’t feel that it adds much to the track. I’d definitely listen to it again, but it’s not going to go on my “Best Of” playlist, if you catch my drift.
I’m going to give this a solid 4.0/5.
Why Must I is another great song. As others have mentioned the lyric about "It's the way that I'm made / Do you think I enjoy it?" is one of her best. I don't love it as much as some others on this album but it's still marvelous.
I like this - 4
Our votes for "Why Must I"
Today's song is "J For Jules", written by Aimee Mann; produced by Rhett Davies.
Aimee Mann: vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
Robert Holmes: guitars
Michael Hausman: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Michael Montes: keyboards
Harry Ung Shin: violin
Peter Abrams: French horn
This song (and "Why Must I") were also released on Coming Up Close: A Retrospective in 1996.
Note: Fairly obviously, the song was inspired by Aimee's relationship with Jules Shear.
Simply put, an amazing ballad, and one of Aimee's best, if you ask me. And I'm not usually a huge fan of the ballad but she really excels in them.
By the way anybody who has the CD might have noticed that the lyric sheets have the songs in an alternate order. I wonder if this represents an alternate tracklisting?
The order is:
Rip In Heaven
(Believed You Were) Lucky
Long Gone (Buddy)
The Other End of the Telescope/Why Must I (not sure which is first of these two)
Why Must I/The Other End of the Telescope
Limits To Love
Everything's Different now
how Can You Give Up
J For "Jules"
Crash And Burn
J for Jules
Another classic song off this album. I find it interesting how transparent she was about who this song is about. I mean you can’t be any more direct, which is pretty brave to lay it all out there.
More great lyrics:
“Count my blessings on my thumbs”
“There's no way a country like that could die
Told me that they drift away
But that's a lie”
and the chorus
“You know I'll miss you
And thus it begins
But I'll release you
And thus it continues
Someday we'll be happy again”
Sung with emotion, the music fits the mood and lyrics. Even though it’s very specifically about Aimee’s relationship gone bad, we can identify because we’ve all had relationships that fade and wane, yet we still care about the person, will miss them, and really hope for happiness for us both.
Yes, there is this recurring theme here about love not really being enough to make a relationship work.
"J For Jules" is wonderful. The first of Aimee's many great and sad ballads. I'm not in love with the drum machine and synth backing - when she returned to the ballad form on her solo debut, it would come with more organic instrumentation - but everything else here is truly excellent. It's moving and elegiac in the manner of the best breakup songs.
Sorry to cut into this thread in a non-chronological way. I'm looking for "Swanee River," which is a Mann original that has only appeared as a bonus track for the "Charmer" album. Has anyone actually heard this? Would anyone be willing to share it?
I remember Rolling Stone at the time said that the album was so personal in was like you were intruding, citing J 4 Jules as a prime example.
Sometimes ultra-personal songs make me feel excluded: I can admire them but can’t fully feel them. This is an exception: somehow the very specificity of the verse lyrics coupled with the universality of the chorus transcends the purely personal basis of this song: basically she nails this whole emotion so strongly that you can’t help but relate and be moved to tears....if you are me.
Why Must I:
I wish I could write as eloquently as others here. I used to write reviews for a column and an email list, had a 5 page spread published as a feature article in a music magazine. I used to be able to put thoughts together in a way that conveyed what a song meant to me and highlight its intricacies.
I can’t write like that anymore, but I can say brilliant when there’s even subtle brilliance.
There is timeless music, and there is music of its time- which Til Tuesday definitely falls into the latter, but this album falls more in the middle. There are timeless songs here, even with production of its time, though marred far less than the previous albums.
J Is For Jules:
The melody, the lyrics, the mix of vulnerability with the conviction for a happier time ahead perfectly portrayed in Aimee’s vocal, this is also one of my favorite AM songs of her career and this song defines this point in her career.
Both are 5/5
Aimee Mann actually did her own rarities comp (download only) that was available on her website for years (but, alas, no longer). I never bit the bullet because I thought I had all the tracks, but looking over it now I think there are a few I missed.
Aimee Mann – Rarities (2009, 256 kbps, File)
No money, no friends: but you have us, Lance.
My old fashioned mind doesn’t consider download-only as true official product (Prince’s Internet-only releases are another). In Aimee’s case though that would be better than nothing, but why not press up some CDs to sell online and at shows? I dunno.. frustrating.
I still can't stop playing Charmer...this may be may favorite! BUT I still love all of her albums immensely! well maybe The Young Snakes not as much as the others...glad she lost that voice!
Our votes for "J For Jules"
Today's song is "Limits To Love", written by Aimee Mann and produced by Rhett Davies.
"Limits to Love" was also released as the B-side on the (Believed You Were) Lucky single. It was also released on Coming Up Close: A Retrospective in 1996.
Aimee Mann: vocals, acoustic guitar, bass
Robert Holmes: guitars, backing vocals
Michael Hausman: drums, percussion, programming
Michael Montes: keyboards
Peter Abrams: French Horn
Haery Ung Shin: violin
This seems to be about the same messed up character that "Will She Just Fall Down" was based on.
Here we get a strikingly clear portrait of a messed up girl who relies on others for her upkeep; and the fear and sympathy that characterized the other song has now been replaced by a sort of weary resignation: the girl is never going to change, but she's always going to find someone to rely on. "Limits to love"is a bigon this album -- this is the third song in a row in which the theme as cropped up: this doesn't seem to concern the romantic love of the last couple of songs or the fall-out of Aimee's failed relationship with Jules Shear, though. But part of maturity is being able to move past love and see things as they are.
Musically, it's a bit of a Brian Wilson/Penny Lane march, with a nice walking bass-line and a lightness that is emphasized by the chiming keyboards and gentle French horn.
Another great song: 4.7/5
Separate names with a comma.