Song of the Day #4,367: ‘Mr. Harris’ – Aimee Mann

My #2 album of 1993 is Aimee Mann’s solo debut, Whatever. This record followed a five year absence from recording for Mann as she battled legal issues with the label of her former band Til Tuesday.

Mann recorded three albums with Til Tuesday in the mid to late 80s, the best of which is 1988’s Everything’s Different Now. The band broke up after that release, largely because Mann wanted to take her music in a more acoustic, less New Wave, direction.

Whatever sounds a lot like what you’d expect from that evolution. Half of its songs have the general shape and sound of Til Tuesday’s best work, while half are quieter, more introspective and melancholy.

Though Mann’s work would grow increasingly sophisticated over the eight studio albums following this one, right out of the gate she was a gifted storyteller and melody-maker. She’s the rare artist whose output is so consistently good that ranking her albums is practically impossible.

I could make a case for Whatever as her best album or her worst. Either way, it’s clearly one of the finest releases of 1993.

[Verse 1]
So he’s retired
Lives with his sister in a furnished flat
He’s got this suit that
He’ll never wear outside without a hat
His hair is white but he looks half his age
He looks like Jimmy Stewart in his younger days

[Chorus]
And honestly
I might be stupid to think
Love is love, but I do
And you’ve waited so long
And I’ve waited long enough for you

[Verse 2]
My mother’s calling
From where she’s living up in Troy, Vermont
She tries to tell me
A father figure must be what I want
I’ve always thought age made no difference
Am I the only one to whom that’s making sense?

[Chorus]
And honestly
I might be stupid to think
Love is love, but I do
And you’ve waited so long
And I’ve waited long enough for you

[Bridge]
The day I met him he was raking leaves
In his tiny yard

[Verse 3]
Of course I know that
We’ve only got ten years or twenty left
But to be honest
I’m happy with whatever time we get
Depending on whichever book you read
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to get what you need

[Chorus]
And honestly
I might be stupid to think
Love is love, but I do
And you’ve waited so long
And I’ve waited long enough for you

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,367: ‘Mr. Harris’ – Aimee Mann

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Was this album your entry point for Mann? Curious whether the theory holds when there is no major distinction between her albums in your rankings.

    • Clay says:

      No, my entry point was her second solo album, I’m With Stupid. I probably got this one second and everything else as it came out.

  2. andrea katz says:

    Gee, totally unfamiliar but I LOVE this song! Thanks Clay 🙂

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