Copyright 1995 The Independent

The Independent

October 25, 1995

LENGTH: 204 words


HEADLINE: I'm With Stupid Review


Her first album for Geffen finds Aimee Mann in familiar territory,

endlessly dissecting a failed relationship through a series of

break-up ballads and tart analogies. In a perfect pop world, she would

get together with Jarvis Cocker just so they could split up and write

a matching pair of albums about the affair.


Unlike her previous work, however, I'm with Stupid is hard going and

rather difficult to like, both in terms of the arrangements, which

veer between the eccentric and the leadenly rocky, and the lyrics,

which are more confrontational than confessional: "Sugar Coated",

contrary to its title, is not so much a song as an harangue, purest

bile wrapped in a crisp, bitter coating.


The single "That's Just What You Are" is by some distance the best

track here, sounding almost even-handed at the side of the bleak

despondency of "Amateur" and the violent recrimination of "You Could

Make a Killing". But where the close proximity to emotional distress

might spur other songwriters to new feats of inspiration, on I'm with

Stupid the nakedness of the hurt poisons Mann's usual objectivity,

resulting in her least impressive work since the first 'Til Tuesday

album. It's not art, it's heartbreak.