'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.
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 Manns gimlet eye doesnt 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