Copyright 2000 The Jerusalem Post  
The Jerusalem Post

April 11, 2000, Tuesday


LENGTH: 808 words

HEADLINE: Patti Smith's rejuvenation

BYLINE: David Brinn



AIMEE MANN Magnolia Soundtrack (Hed Artzi)

YOU MAY remember Aimee Mann as the spiky blonde new- wave kid leading the Boston base 'Til Tuesday in the 1980s and scoring endearing but minor hits like "Voices Carry."

Well, over the years Mann has developed into a topnotch singer/songwriter, and her songs appearing on the soundtrack to the film Magnolia are proof positive. The latest Paul Thomas Anderson vehicle was developed hand in hand with Mann's songs for the film. "Save Me," the song nominated for an Oscar, and performed by Mann during the show last month, doesn't even come close to topping the best-song list here.

Like a less countrified Lucinda Williams, Mann writes deceptively simple songs that articulate human feelings. And the melodies to songs like "Driving Sideways" and "Momentum" are burned into the memory like a cowboy brand. You'll be humming them when you wake up, they're that good. Husband, and no songwriting slouch himself, Michael Penn is among the luminaries accompanying the acoustic-based pop- country folk fusion, but this is Mann's show all the way.

A couple of needless add-on oldies by Supertramp disrupt the momentum, but luckily they're placed at the end of the disc. Not since Elliot Smith jump-started his career with the eerily original folk-pop music for Good Will Hunting, has a musician used a soundtrack to seize the moment so grandly.