Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD - playable on all CD players) pressing. Universal. 2008.
Dividing her time between waging war on the music industry and writing sublime pop songs, Aimee Mann shows on her fourth solo album that she is equally adept at both. "Let's hear it for guys like me," she sings over the lilting rhythms and stylish guitar work of "Guys Like Me." Her case for toppling the corporate structure is airtight; just check her Web site for the latest bulletin. Her music, meanwhile, keeps getting better. The success of the Magnolia
soundtrack may have restored her confidence following the record company strife that followed her first two solo releases--Whatever
and I'm With Stupid
--but the wounds have not healed. "All the perfect drugs and superheroes wouldn't be enough to bring me up to zero," the former 'Til Tuesday singer imparts over the layered, lush tones of the opening "Humpty Dumpty." Meanwhile, on the emotionally distressed "It's Not," she muses over a forlorn 16-piece string section, "I keep waiting for a change but I don't know for what." It could be the prettiest, most polite battle cry ever. --Aidin Vaziri