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The Forgotten Arm

Aimee Mann Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Forgotten Arm + Lost in Space + Bachelor No.2 Or the Last Remains of the Dodo
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  • Lost in Space CDN$ 13.57

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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


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

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

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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Exceptional Aimee Mann Album May 6 2005
By heresay
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The unique Aimee Mann has done it again. May 24 2005
By Louis TOP 500 REVIEWER
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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  85 reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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."
57 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great CD with a knockout punch! May 3 2005
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Aimee Mann blesses us with this fantastic new CD release! The title The Forgotten Arm is actually a reference to Aimee's ability to box and to use a particular move in boxing; but I suppose given the situations the CD involves it could also refer to an arm that hasn't been used to inject drugs into one's self! This is a collection of songs that, when put together in order, tell the story of how a young woman's boyfriend returns home from war addicted to drugs. Then both her and her boyfriend undergo excruciating therapy and a rather abnormal though loving domesticity. Aimee sings so soulfully of the pain and the suffering that even though the subject matter is so serious and painful the songs and musical arrangements are totally beautiful. At the end of listening to the CD tracks I just wanted more! (And so I played it over-twice!) One critic thought so highly of this CD he wrote that "It is the musical equivalent of a novella." He couldn't be more right.

While on one level Aimee sings about their painful relationship with its extra heavy share of problems they both face; the songs are ordered so that they can be seen as a way to tell a story about the two lovers taking a long journey together. The fact that Aimee Mann can work on both levels here is made all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that this album was recorded over a mere five days (yes, five days) last summer! There are her ballads not only about love but also about the tough times she and her man face when addicted to heroin. People have also added that this album has a 70s feel to it-and you can believe them. For 70s lovers these ballads and heartbreaking lyrics bring an added bonus.

A critic for another online music vendor (similar to Amazon) writes that Mann sings her songs "in a devastatingly affectless deadpan" way. I disagree! I think she sings so soulfully you can literally watch and even feel her bleeding from the angst and the emotional turmoil the man and woman have to go through. These are people struggling just to stay in some sort of control over their lives. Yes, her words are direct and she doesn't mince words in her lyrics. But isn't the honesty refreshing instead of "affectless?" I would say yes.

The album starts off strong with a great-but brief-musical introduction that begins the first track, "Dear John." Great guitar and Aimee sings this so soulfully! Then comes the song "King of the Jailhouse." This is a noticeably slower song, thoughtful, singing about her relationship with a man, singing of her pain, confusion, "and they don't give the answers at the end of the test." Great lyrics! "Goodbye Caroline" is an excellent song about ending relationships and not knowing who is in her future. If you follow the theory that this collection of songs is about a road trip then this song could be about saying goodbye just as she and her man depart. Although the problems get worse in "Going Through The Motions," it is in the song "I Can't Get My Head Around It" where we really see how bad things can become. She and her man are in a world where "kicking is hard, but the bottom is harder." You can feel her excruciating angst! The music has a beat to it that highlights their journey and the passage of time in their relationship. The songs "She Really Wants You," "Video," and "Little Bombs" are all insightful and thoughtful. Notice how Aimee uses the video as a reference to her own memories of their past times together-both good and bad. "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" offers up a beautiful musical arrangement! Aimee's lyrics are again reflective as she sings to show her extreme sadness. "I Can't Help You Anymore" involves just what the title says she's singing about-she can no longer help her boyfriend addicted to drugs; she herself needs to get out now or "it will drag (her) under." She knows she can't do anything to help her man. What an incredibly sad song--but beautifully written and sung. "I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas" is about trying to get off drugs but failing because of the lack of strength to kick the habit-this song gives us a fantastic beat, too. The CD ends with the stunning track entitled "Beautiful." Aimee Mann sings of how they both just want to make their problems go away, to make each other happy with a single wave of a magic wand. The questions of whether or not they need others to help them through their messy problematic lives is not clearly answered; this gives us one final push of the agony that ensues when drugs and relationships get tangled-and people lose control of their lives-which is what Mann tries to display throughout the album.

Mann not only sings on this album; she also plays electric guitar and even acoustic guitar! She works well with her peers: look for Jeff Trott playing electric guitar, baritone guitar, and the mandolin! Victor Indrizzo plays drums, cowbells, and percussion; Jay Bellerose helps out also on drums and percussion. Background vocals are performed by Julian Coryell and Paul Bryan.

All in all, Aimee gets a great score for releasing this awesome CD with hauntingly beautiful lyrics and musical arrangements that will leave you wanting to play it over again several times! It's a concept album, a musical type of novella that is truly memorable, touching, and flawless. The songs themselves are fresh, new, exciting because of their total honesty, and very captivating.
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