Copyright 1993 Newspaper Publishing PLC
The Independent (London)
August 26, 1993, Thursday
SECTION: MUSIC PAGE; Page 19
LENGTH: 1015 words
HEADLINE: RECORDS / Aimee Mann
BYLINE: ANDY GILL
AIMEE MANN - Whatever (Imago 2787-21017-2)
THE former voice and creative heart of sophisticated adult-pop outfit 'Til Tuesday, Aimee Mann split from Epic Records after they managed to finesse the group's final masterpiece Everything's Different Now into a resounding flop. As she notes here in ''Put Me On Top'', a frustrated star's lament which she insists was not written about herself, but could have been, ''I should be riding on a float in the hit parade / Instead of standing on the kerb behind the barricade''.
This first solo album proper, made privately then leased to an RCA subsidiary label, is more of the same, only more so: quality pop songs given room to grow, embellished with outre musical details and weird Sixties tape-keyboard instruments - welcome back, mellotron and optigon - which give the album a distinct flavour, sort of slurred and woozy, like ''Walrus''- era Beatles.
The songs, as before, form a tailored birthday-suit of regret, deceit, and complaint, presented with such naked honesty you feel slightly intrusive just listening. But it's the tension between Mann's disarmingly direct, conversational lyric style and the complexity of her musical design that gives Whatever its peculiar charge. Highly recommended.