Copyright 1996 BPI Communications, Inc.  
The Hollywood Reporter

February 26, 1996

LENGTH: 306 words

TITLE: Aimee Mann The Roxy, West Hollywood Thursday, Feb. 22

BYLINE: Darryl Morden

If the Grammy folk continue to keep those eyes and ears open to pop musics full breath of creativity, Aimee Mann should be a shoo-in for at least several nominations next year. The singer-songwriter delivered a steady stream of crafted, slightly edgy songs carrying themes of disappointment and resilience in her first of two shows Thursday evening. Still best-known for her 80s band til tuesday, Mann's 1993 solo bow Whatever was an impressive collection, receiving critical nods, but it never caught on in the commercial arena. Following label turmoil the past few years, shes surfaced again on Geffen and in her new album, I'm With Stupid, she continues to mine in a musical vein similar to late 60s Beatles and Badfinger to the likes of Squeeze (whose Difford and Tillbrook appear on her latest album). Courageously, Mann took to the stage with a new, unrecorded ballad, "It's Not Good to Stop," her voice a blend of nervous quiver and inviting coo as she drew on both solo albums. While she carries a huge chip on her shoulder toward the record biz she took several swipes, though she was sure to thank her new label several times Mann rises above in the buoyancy of her music, with melodic sarcasm a specialty. She easily moved from hummable ill-fated ironies such as her Melrose Place soundtrack hit, "That's Just What You Are," and the tuneful psychedelic swirl of "All Over Now" to her puffed-up anthem of resiliency "Superball" and glistening "Could've Been Anyone." The slow-building d ballad of sighing resignation, "Par for the Course," could be a left-field hit. Mann's closing numbers included another new song, indicating shes in creative overdrive, followed by the Geffen discs scabrous lead-off track, "Long Shot," something she may not be anymore.