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Make A Killing: Aimee Mann, song-by song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Why must I. Very interesting song, best on the album, imo. 5/5
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  2. HuntingBare

    HuntingBare Well-Known Member

    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.
    Bill007 and Lance LaSalle like this.
  3. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    "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.

    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  4. 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.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  5. tenor1

    tenor1 Forum Resident

    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.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  6. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident

    I like this - 4
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "Why Must I"

    Average: 4.4
  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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.

    : Fairly obviously, the song was inspired by Aimee's relationship with Jules Shear.
    groovelocked and Patanoia like this.
  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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.

    BZync and groovelocked like this.
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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:
    1. Rip In Heaven
    2. (Believed You Were) Lucky
    3. Long Gone (Buddy)
    4. The Other End of the Telescope/Why Must I (not sure which is first of these two)
    5. Why Must I/The Other End of the Telescope
    6. Limits To Love
    7. Everything's Different now
    8. how Can You Give Up
    9. J For "Jules"
    10. Crash And Burn
    groovelocked likes this.
  11. captouch

    captouch Forum Resident

    Bay Area, CA
    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.

  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Yes, there is this recurring theme here about love not really being enough to make a relationship work.
  13. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    "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.

    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  14. Spacer22

    Spacer22 Forum Resident

    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?
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  15. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    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.
    BZync and Lance LaSalle like this.
  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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.
    BZync and robcar like this.
  17. groovelocked

    groovelocked Forum Resident

    Columbus OH (USA)
    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
    Lance LaSalle and captouch like this.
  18. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    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.

    Details here:
    Aimee Mann – Rarities (2009, 256 kbps, File)
    captouch likes this.
  19. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    No money, no friends: but you have us, Lance.
  20. groovelocked

    groovelocked Forum Resident

    Columbus OH (USA)
    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.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  21. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    robcar and groovelocked like this.
  22. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    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!
  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for "J For Jules"

    Average: 4.875
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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
  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    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
    tenor1 and groovelocked like this.

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