Song of the Day #1,567: ‘Crazytown’ – Aimee Mann

A month ago, I focused on Aimee Mann as part of my genome project, declaring her the most melancholy of all the melancholy artists I love.

A couple of weeks later, she surprised me by releasing her poppiest, most upbeat album since her Til Tuesday days, or at least since 1995′s alt-pop I’m With Stupid.

Charmer is heavy on synths and heavier on hooks, a real triumph of pop songwriting and a great next step for Mann, who might have been accused of treading water had she released another album in the vein of her last few.

Now don’t get me wrong… this isn’t an album of peppy love songs. Mann is still mining her usual territory of life’s losers, and God bless her for it. It’s just the music that’s more upbeat.

Take today’s SOTD, ‘Crazytown,’ which opens with a line about a girl threatening suicide but tells her story against a musical backdrop that’s pure ear candy.

That’s the rule for most of Charmer‘s eleven tracks. Only two (‘Slip and Roll’ and ‘Barfly’) slip into the mid-tempo groove that Mann has made her specialty, and here they serve as effective changes of pace.

I can’t think of many singer-songwriters on as impressive a streak as Mann. Charmer is her eighth solo studio album (including her 2006 Christmas record) and every one of them is superb. She’s consistently working on a level that most artists never reach once.

I guess this movie must’ve opened wide
another girl who threatens suicide
you called the cops but then she denied every word
and you know you’ll be the one who’s paying the tab for her
you’re out there trying to flag a cab
and for who?

a girl who lives in Crazytown
where craziness gets handed down
Who? whoever’s gonna volunteer
will only end up living here

A plot like this will always have a twist
the girl’s a dream who never did exist
just like the last one, and she enlisted a fool
and you thought, Oh, it’s all fun
when you’re writing songs for her
but now son, you’ll be posting bond, and for who?

a girl who lives in Crazytown
where craziness gets handed down
Who? whoever’s gonna volunteer
will only end up living here

and you don’t want to go that route
cause that’s not what you’re all about
but you just can’t seem to get out of it
you’re still out there, raising a doubt,
and for who?

a girl who lives in Crazytown
where craziness gets handed down
Who? whoever’s gonna volunteer
will only end up living here

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,567: ‘Crazytown’ – Aimee Mann

  1. Dana says:

    Nice to hear Mann change it up a bit. Sounds like an album I would enjoy.

  2. Amy says:

    And just when you got a Melancholy category on Song Pop to further defeat all of your opponents!

    I like the sound of this song a lot. Nice to hear the change of pace (though I still find her voice rather downbeat regardless of the peppiness of the music behind her).

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