Aimee Mann: Nothing To Cry About

Photo by Sheryl Nields

When you speak to Aimee Mann for the first time, you tend to notice a few things about her right off the bat. She’s unfailingly friendly and puts you at ease; she made this interviewer feel like he was doing his job right by responding to questions with the phrase “That’s interesting.” She’s extremely self-deprecating, as evidenced by her stunned remark when it was pointed out to her that NPR once named her one of the ten best living songwriters: “I almost don’t believe you.” She’s funny, insightful and modest, basically everything you would hope a ridiculously talented musician would be.

What she’s not is a downer in any way, which might be surprising to people who are familiar with her music, or at least the image of it. Maybe this image was solidified by her 2000 masterpiece Bachelor No. 2 Or, The Last Remains Of The Dodo, which harrowingly detailed the hypocrisies of both love and the music industry. It could have happened when Paul Thomas Anderson used her songs to drive the plot of one of the most depressing movies in modern cinema history (Magnolia.) Heck, perhaps it was the first time we heard her, shouting about her boyfriend who told her to shut up and warned her that “Voices Carry.”

Mann can’t put her finger on this perception of her, if it even really exists. “I assume it’s the cliché about me but I don’t really even know,” she told American Songwriter in a lengthy interview. “Certainly I’m right in the middle of a fairly typical singer-songwriter style. Mostly acoustic guitar and really introspective songs. Nobody’s going to put me in a... Sign In to Keep Reading

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