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The Forgotten Arm


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The Forgotten Arm + Lost in Space + Bachelor No.2
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.95


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 4 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0007YLLK2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dear John
2. King of the Jailhouse
3. Goodbye Caroline
4. Going Through the Motions
5. I Can't Get My Head Around It
6. She Really Wants You
7. Video
8. Little Bombs
9. That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart
10. I Can't Help You Anymore
11. I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas
12. Beautiful

Product Description

Product Description

'The forgotten Arm' is Aimee's 5th solo album and is a concept album, a musical novella : a dozen songs that tell, rather loosely, the story of John and Caroline as they meet, fall in love and road trip across America. Set in the 70s - the record's music reflects this period, sounding in Aimee's own words 'Mott The Hoople meets alt country'. Produced by Joe Henry. Super Ego Records. 2005.

Amazon.ca

Marked by a distinctly more middle-aged melancholy than her previous releases, Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm is a successfully conceived story album, following a couple through the life of their relationship. There is much for old and new fans here, as Mann lifts vignettes from the love-and-hate affair of a boxer and his girlfriend like sepia-toned snapshots from a county fair. In fact, it is in just one of those sticky, hot fairground parking lots where the romance blossoms and progresses "in the back of a Cadillac, that's her asleep in the mirror in back." The syncopated, bluesy melodies and strong ensemble of musicians make for a polished effort, and Mann’s gimlet eye doesn’t miss much--from the seductive pain of addiction, bout-induced memory loss, and finally to the inevitable discussion about having (or not) a baby. If indigo is the mood for most of Mann's work, then The Forgotten Arm may be closer to lavender, given the seasoned humor and perspective evident in standout tracks such as "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" and "She Really Wants You." This one's a keeper. --Megan Halverson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By heresay on May 6 2005
Format: Audio CD
Aimee Mann is absolutely one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our generation. Her 4 previous albums have been mainstays in my CD player, and I can say without hesitation that this album will be as well. Presented in the form of a novella, complete with chapters, The Forgotten Arm (a boxing terminology), is an album that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of thoughtful, literate music and who enjoys listening to music that really makes you think. It is a very rewarding album to listen to, so do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm. If you are new to Aimee's music, then I would recommend starting your collection with the stunning Bachelor Number 2 and the intense Lost In Space. You will not be disappointed.
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By Louis TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 24 2005
Format: Audio CD
Let's just say from the start that I have given up trying to be objective about Aimee Mann a long time ago. I fell in love with the woman's voice and songwriting abilities the minute I first heard "Voices Carry" in 1985 (which she recorded with her former band Til Tuesday) and followed her around ever since, through thick (the long overdue success of the "Magnolias" soundtrack) and thin (the strangely impersonal and generic "I'm with stupid", her only small misstep in a 20 year career as a recording artist). Her recordings have never ceased to amaze me for two very simple reasons : 1) This woman can WRITE songs that are at once compelling, memorable, catchy and deeply emotional 2) This woman has a singing voice that doesn't sound like anyone else's - the minute you hear her, you KNOW it's her.
This said, anyone who'll take a close listen to her latest album "The Forgotten Arm" will know that Aimee is still one of the most arresting artists of her generation. The album loosely follows the ordeals of two lovers on their path through addiction and alienation, and the music is the key that holds it together : a straightforward, earthy production that echoes vintage rock and roll, all the while sounding totally contemporary. Aimee has stripped down some of the chubbier production tricks of her previous solo albums, and delivered an album that's both richly textured and minimalistic. Of particular interest is the fact that she has been using the piano a lot more than before, and not just on ballads, giving back this underrated instrument its rightful place.
The songs are all amazing, but some of them are of particular interest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 89 reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The Forgotten Art May 5 2005
By popjunkie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Remember when singer/songwriters used to write about beautiful losers instead of singing entries out of their diaries? Aimee Mann returns to this tradition with "The Forgotten Arm" (a reference to a boxing move, which seems too complicated for a non-sports person like me to explain, but from what I gather, the gist of it is this: an boxer is knocked out by the deliberately unused or apparently non-dominant arm of his/her opponent).

This CD, as mentioned in other reviews, is very much akin to the novella form. Its packaging supports the comparison in all areas, including breaking the song lyrics into chapters. One page of the insert contains a "chapter" (song lyrics), and the opposite page contains the associated illustration & caption (gorgeous, by the way. Aimee Mann picked the perfect artist, Seth, for "Lost in Space," and has once again picked the perfect artist for the moody depiction of the two lost souls in "The Forgotten Arm").

While much has been made of her influences on this CD, none of the names that I've read come to mind when I listen to this CD. Aimee Mann said the setting of the "story" is the 1970s, and the music follows this theme. But, the artists that come to mind when I listen to "The Forgotten Arm" are Jackson Browne, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell - all who in the '70s hit their strides singing about impossible love affairs & the resulting heartaches. Beyond the lyrics, the musical style also seems to harken back to those three artists, too (for me, anyway).

Yet this is not just a period piece. While "I Can't Get My Mind Around It" sounds like it would be at home alongside Jackson Browne's "These Days" or "Fountain of Sorrow," "Going Through the Motions" is most definitely 21st-century Aimee Mann. "Little Bombs" sounds like high-Joni Mitchell to me (although I don't think Mann consciously borrows anything from Mitchell), and "She Really Wants You" could be the untold, true feelings of the woman who sings only her anger in "You're So Vain." But Aimee Mann stakes her own original claim to this sort of genre. "King of the Jailhouse" and "Beautiful" are true pop/rock masterpieces, sort of in the vein of Neil Young, yet remind me only of Aimee Mann and her careful, impecable perfectionism with lyrics, melodies, and arrangements.

This release is something different, something people may not be used to. Aimee Mann has achieved a unique, concept-driven, and altogether successful album here. There is not a single "skip-over" on this rich and nuanced CD. (Hit the applause button here and scream "encore" for Aimee Mann!!)
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The unique Aimee Mann has done it again. May 24 2005
By Louis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let's just say from the start that I have given up trying to be objective about Aimee Mann a long time ago. I fell in love with the woman's voice and songwriting abilities the minute I first heard "Voices Carry" in 1985 (which she recorded with her former band Til Tuesday) and followed her around ever since, through thick (the long overdue success of the "Magnolias" soundtrack) and thin (the strangely impersonal and generic "I'm with stupid", her only small misstep in a 20 year career as a recording artist). Her recordings have never ceased to amaze me for two very simple reasons : 1) This woman can WRITE songs that are at once compelling, memorable, catchy and deeply emotional 2) This woman has a singing voice that doesn't sound like anyone else's - the minute you hear her, you KNOW it's her.
This said, anyone who'll take a close listen to her latest album "The Forgotten Arm" will know that Aimee is still one of the most arresting artists of her generation. The album loosely follows the ordeals of two lovers on their path through addiction and alienation, and the music is the key that holds it together : a straightforward, earthy production that echoes vintage rock and roll, all the while sounding totally contemporary. Aimee has stripped down some of the chubbier production tricks of her previous solo albums, and delivered an album that's both richly textured and minimalistic. Of particular interest is the fact that she has been using the piano a lot more than before, and not just on ballads, giving back this underrated instrument its rightful place.
The songs are all amazing, but some of them are of particular interest. The debut single, "Going through the motions", is a clever and catchy pop-rock affair; however the real potential smash single is "I can't get my head around it", a song that will lodge itself in your brain forever. "I can't help you anymore", "King of the jailhouse" and "I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas" are just as deserving, and the album finds its emotional core with the one-two punch of the achingly beautiful "Little bombs" and "That's how I knew this story would break my heart". "Dear John" and "Goodbye Caroline" are strong rockers and "Beautiful" concludes the album with lyrics that are both mournful and hopeful, leaving the listener to make up their own mind about the way this story ends.
Some will find that this album lacks the emotional depth and sonic adventureness of "Lost In Space", its predecessor; and while it's true that nothing here quite rivals songs like "Invisible Ink" (Aimee's crowning achievement as a songwriter), "It's Not" or "The Moth", this album succeeds exactly by NOT trying to imitate what has already been beautifully recorded. Aimee is a truly challenging artist and "The Forgotten Arm" is a great reminder of that.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Cotton Candy Knockout May 17 2005
By Derek Spencer IV - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"The Forgotten Arm" has a melodic and harmonic beauty matching Aimee Mann's all-time best offerings.

There is a real sense of time and place to the sound here. The songs flow. If "I'm With Stupid" was a wintery Londonesque album this is a summertime Americana album, harking back to her Virginia roots, evoking a time and place with both the sounds and the imagery she employs right from the opening line: "Cotton candy was king on the midway that spring..."

Her voice has never been richer, delivering those trademark "low notes" right when it counts and showcasing her heavenly upper range on "Beautiful" and "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" - one of the most quietly tender and beautiful ballads she has written since "No One is Watching You Now" or "Ray."

Joe Henry deserves a lot of credit as well for his imagination in helping shape the sound. The injection of a little new blood makes a world of difference on "The Forgotten Arm," with great guitar work from Jeff Trott, punchy drumming at faster tempos, and a very tight core band that you can tell has been touring together for a while. The mix is fantastic with some extremely bold, shimmering, explosive sonics for a "stripped down" album.

For all the justified attention Aimee Mann's lyrics get, her music might just be even better. Nobody is writing catchier songs, and she is often at her best here. Though her songs are mostly about off-kilter relationships, even the cynical observations are wrapped in layers of humor, vivid imagery and sticky sweet music. The difference is in her cleverness and details. Nobody delivers a musical and lyrical combo punch as well as Aimee Mann.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Not Easily Forgotten May 3 2005
By demonbox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Forgotten Arm is a striking, awesome album. The songs are strong- bluesy, poppy melodies that string together story after story of human failure and desperation. And yet, the album is a beautiful take on love and the value of individual experiences. Absolutely her best work since the Magnolia soundtrack (Lost In Space had some wonderful moments, but was filled with too many half-baked songs), the music in The Forgotten Arm is catchy, melodic, and (at times) haunting. How many artists have the faith in their album to host the entire thing, song by song, on their website for their fans and critics to listen to first? Not many, it takes a lot of faith in their material.

Here's the write-up in this month's issue of Esquire (by Andy Langer):

"Concept records are like Operation- they take an awfully steady hand. And Amiee Mann's The Forgotten Arm (May 3) is actually a double concept: It's as much about a drugged-out Vietnam vet as it is about the sound of the 1970s era he's stuck in. The incredibly consistent Mann pulls it off with sharp stories, a sharper voice, and li'l bit country, li'l bit rock `n' roll landscapes that are undeniably vivid.

Don't take my word for it, or Andy Langer- listen to a few clips from the record and you'll likely want to hear more."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Musical Bestseller!! June 24 2005
By Jef Fazekas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Intelligent and articulate, Aimee Mann's new album THE FORGOTTEN ARM is more a literary masterpiece set to music than a simple CD. I was a little concerned at first when I heard Mann was doing another concept album....her last release, 2003's LOST IN SPACE, ultimately got bogged down under a similar idea...but I had nothing to worry about - THE FORGOTTEN ARM is nothing short of brilliant, all nuanced and deep, heartfelt and passionate. So intertwined are the disc's twelve songs that it's hard to think of them individually, but I'll give it a shot! The opening lines of the first track - "Dear John" - perfectly set the mood for things to come: "Cotton candy was king on the midway that Spring/When I saw you in the ring on the lawn...dear John." Just those few words introduce us to our two main characters, John and Caroline, in an attention-grabbing fashion, augmented by a sturdy backbeat, ringing guitars, tinkling piano and an almost sultry, yet shy, lead vocal from Mann. Next up is the melancholy "The King Of The Jailhouse." With it's almost plodding arrangement, you can't help but feel the weight on our hero's shoulders. And when he utters the words "I'll tell you a secret that I don't even know (Baby, there's something wrong with me)", well, your heart just breaks! Mann delivers the song in a crystal clear vocal that beautifully offsets the song's somber tone. "Goodbye Caroline" has a sweeping 60's feel to it, with the drums, guitars and piano blending together perfectly. Mann adds a huskier, deeper edge to her vocal on this cut, and it works well...VERY well! Then there's the album's first single, the lilting "Going Through The Motions." The flipside of "King Of The Jailhouse", this track is all bouncy and light...and, yet, it's about the trials and tribulations of living day to day with an addict. Over chiming guitars and some tasty drumming, Mann lets us know it's not easy: "I feel like I'm in jail with you and Mr. Hyde(a guy who leaves a trail about a mile wide" and "but when the trumpets fade, you'll go down like a submarine - and you won't see it coming." Only an artist of Mann's talent and magnitude could turn such a downer song into a radio-friendly Summer hit! Amazing! "I Can't Get My Head Around It" is told from the other side of the coin - the junkie's. This is someone who wants to quit...but just can't. Or, possibly, just doesn't think he can. Starting out with some nice acoustic guitar, the track segues into a churning piano-driven rocker (Piano plays a BIG part on THE FORGOTTEN ARM, and it's WONDERFUL!!). Another of TFA's gems! "She Really Wants You" could easily have been a Beatles cover, with it's sparkling vocal, economical instrumentation and honest lyrics. "Video" has to be another one of my favorite tracks off the album; there's something hypnotic and almost other-worldly to the song. Jebin Bruni's keyboards are so player-piano perky that they have to be masking something, while Jeff Trott's mandolin is both comforting and eerie, all at the same time. Add an ethereal lead vocal and haunting lyrics ("Like a building that's been slated for blasting, I'm the proof that nothing is lasting....counting to eleven as it collapses")and you have a hard-hitting story about a sad loser that'll leave you aching. There's a hushed acoustic quality to "Little Bombs" that is both smart and searing. By song's end it's made clear that one can easily be a prisoner, even when there are no bars involved ("Life just kind of empties out, less a deluge than a drought, less a giant mushroom cloud than an unexploded shell"). "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" is a gut-wrenching ballad, 3/4's of which is nothing more than some gorgeous piano and a killer lead vocal. This is a break-up song to the nth degree, and when Mann utters...no, confesses...the words "Because baby, that's all I know - how to open the door. And though the exit is crude, it saves me coming unglued" it's like a punch in the stomach. "I Can't Help You Anymore" chugs along, all sexy/slinky in spots, soaring in others. The arrangement is particularly infectious, with the piano and drums beautifully weaving in and out. Definitely a strong candidate for THE FORGOTTEN ARM'S second single! Piano also plays a big part on "I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas", anchoring a lyrically heavy song with an almost good-time vibe. The rollicking, barroom joviality is in direct contrast to lines such as "Because I can't live loaded and I can't live sober", "And I know enough to know: that, baby, when it's over, it's over. And it's over" and "..tell you I'm sorry that I made you a witness to my moral decay. And that once upon a time I believed it was a victimless crime", but the fact that it works so well is just additional proof as to why Aimee Mann is considered by many to be one of the best songwriters of the past two decades. Things wrap up with the hopeful (yet guarded) "Beautiful." In summarizing things up, I just want to say that, after the hit and miss quality of the aforementioned LOST IN SPACE, it's good to have Aimee Mann back in fighting form with THE FORGOTTEN ARM, a true contender for 2005's Album of the Year (As with all my reviews, I'm giving the disc an extra half a star for including the lyrics, PLUS I'm giving it ANOTHER half a star for the amazing art direction and concept. If this CD doesn't win a Best Packaging award at next year's Grammys....!).


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