Remember when you used to get a new album and savor it. Listening to it over and over again. One song would catch you and then, accidentally listening to another more closely, you realize that another and then another became more important. This recording will fulfill all of your needs.
I like hard edged pop/rock but I am also drawn to music by women as their lyrics often top men as they sing about important things. From Joni Mitchell to the Raincoats to Sleater-Kinney their music is somehow more substantial. I am a relative newbie to Aimee Mann. I saw Magnolia and frankly thought it was pretentious and overbearing and yet the music (which it is an ode to) kept haunting me. I had read reviews of Aimee Mann's work which complimented the song work but criticized her even keel vocals. Finally, I bit the bullet and bought the cd. I didn't play it for a while. After I did, Red Vines stood out and then, one by one, I got new favorites. I am now devouring her work and buying all of it.
The music is impeccable. In fact, my only criticism is that the songs are a little too perfect. (overproduced). I would love to see the process of her writing and arranging these songs. They are incredibly thought out and arranged. I would bet though that the earlier versions or accoustic demos would be gems.
If I had to compare Ms. Mann to anyone, I would say she is the next generations Joni Mitchell. Her albums are artistic works of the highest merit. It is added glee that she is totally independent. It would make the world seem a little nicer if she would get the audience or even airtime on the horrible radio landscape that would make the major labels beg for her return. And then say "No!"
By the way, she also is excellent in concert. I just saw her in Tucson a couple of weeks ago. Carry on Aimee!!