Date: Thursday, February 8, 1996

Source: Mark Caro.
Section: TEMPO
Column: Recordings.

Aimee Mann
I'm With Stupid (DGC) (star) (star) (star)

She hits you with the "f" word in the album's first line, but most of the soft-spoken daggers that follow are less a bow to fashion than the product of a sharp singer-songwriter's mind. Mann, in her second solo effort since disbanding 'Til Tuesday, provides a cool counterpoint to more overtly angry female performers, as she sings in such sweet, intimate tones that you can practically feel the breath on your ear. Yet her depictions of broken-hearted bitterness, frustration and disappointment continue to carry a sting, whether she's lamenting a lover's inconsideration ("Amateur") or declaring an affair to be "All Over Now." Although the musicianship could use a tad less polish, her melodic gifts remain strong and the rhythms are livelier than on 1993's "Whatever," with syncopated dance beats driving the irresistible "That's Just What You Are" (featuring Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford).