Song of the Day #5,321: ‘Could’ve Been Anyone’ – Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann’s 1993 Whatever is one of the great debut records, a dazzling collection of smart, emotional pop songs. It began a three decades and counting run of wonderful output by one of music’s most underrated songwriters.

While this was Mann’s solo debut, it’s easy to draw a line to Whatever from ‘Til Tuesday’s final album, 1988’s Everything’s Different Now. That record, for which Mann wrote or co-wrote all but one track, has all the hallmarks of her solo work only in glossy New Wave packaging.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,938: ‘Whatever’ – The Beths

One of my favorite recent finds is the New Zealand indie pop band The Beths, who released their first full-length album last year.

Led by lead vocalist and sole songwriter Elizabeth Stokes, the band The Beths most reminds me of (in spirit, if not in sound) is Ben Folds Five. Stokes is the driving creative force of a musically tight trio that brings a melodic, punk-light energy to songs about modern relationships. And they have great backing vocals, too.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #2,018: ‘I Could Hurt You Now’ – Aimee Mann

whateverToday’s track is from Aimee Mann’s first solo album, 1993’s Whatever. 1993? Has it really been 20 years since Aimee Mann embarked on her solo career?

If there’s one thing this blog does on a regular basis, it’s remind me of how freaking old I’m getting.

I love how this album really sounds like a bridge between Mann’s work with ‘Til Tuesday and the much more polished sound of her later records.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #482: ‘I’ve Had It’ – Aimee Mann

whateverDue to a dispute with her ‘Til Tuesday label, it took five years for Aimee Mann to release her first solo album, Whatever. Her new label, Imago, then promptly fell into financial crisis and dissolved. As a result, Whatever received very little promotion and sold very few copies.

That’s a shame because it’s a fine album, a big step up from her work with ‘Til Tuesday. I included one of its songs, ‘Fourth of July,’ on the blog more than a year ago and it remains one of the best songs I’ve featured here.

Continue reading