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The Forgotten Arm

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B0007YLLK2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,663 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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.

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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Alpina Roadster-S TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 13 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In line with Aimee's style but not as good as most.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 93 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Musical Story April 24 2016
By Ian Stajduhar - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Aimee Mann's "The Forgotten Arm" has a great sound that finds the singer/songwriter in a storytelling mood with plenty of insight and drama to keep the listener engaged. The songs are so lyrically perceptive and detail-oriented that you feel like you are right there alongside the characters in this musical story. This album contains one of my all-time favorite Aimee Mann songs, "King Of The Jailhouse." This song, with its great piano-playing and observant lyrics, is in a class by itself. There are plenty of other standout songs on here as well, such as the uptempo "Goodbye Caroline," the sorrowful "Video," and the instrumentally superior "I Can't Help You Anymore." If you enjoy Aimee Mann's other records, you will definitely find something to like here as well. If you're a new fan, you can't go wrong with buying "The Forgotten Arm" as your first Aimee Mann album.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Bestseller!! June 24 2005
By Jef Fazekas - Published on
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, 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....!).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly good... June 10 2005
By Jeremiah McManus - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is rare that I give such accolades to new music these days since most of it is forgettable, but this new cd from Aimee Mann is really, REALLY good. I have all of Mann's albums and what is exceptional about her work is that each offering is better than the previous- an amazing feat considering most artists decline in creativity after achieving great success. Forgotten Arm is Aimee's best yet though- although some tracks are better than others, it is a nearly flawless musical production from start to finish. The seamless flow of tracks throughout the cd and the harmonious balance between Aimee's voice and the addition of a piano on nearly every song creates a truly professional sound- something that was not always consistent on her previous work.

It's hard to pick the best track on this one- they are all done so well- but King Of The Jailhouse and Goodbye Caroline are personal favorites. The band is exceptional also on this cd as every musician is top shelf and the arrangements and solos are nearly flawless. Aimee's voice is as good as ever and the emotion she communicates through her singing is even more evident than ever on this cd. Aimee Mann may be the most underrated female vocalist in music today (along with Dar Williams)- why this cd isn't at the top of the charts is completely beyond's a shame when such greatness goes largely unnoticed. Overall, this is easily the best album of the year and Aimee has raised the bar even higher with it which may be to her chagrin as it will be nearly impossible to make a better album than this one. Thank you Aimee...for keeping creativity alive and refusing to offer anything but your best.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, Liked Lost In Space a lot more Sept. 11 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've listened to this a dozen times or so now and while I do find the themes/tunes memorable, it starts getting a bit bland by the 4th or 5th tune. The problem is that all of the songs sound so similar in composition that no one track really stands out on it's own.

A good example to show the difference is to go back and listen to Lost In Space. "Invisible Ink" is a slowish pop song - and a very likeable one at that. The very next track, "Pavlov's Bell" has a much harder sound with distorted electric guitars, heavier beat, and a faster tempo. In contrast when I listen to TFA, I hear the same mix of instruments and similar tempo in nearly all of the songs. It's that lack of variety that, for me, makes this CD not as good as Lost In Space.

I might yet grow to really like this CD, but it's probably going to take a lot more listening for me to get to that point.
3.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten arm Aug. 1 2005
By the chnclr - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Purchased Aimee Mann's latest sound-unheard. I'm a big fan, and will keep it in rotation, but it's not her high water mark as far as the writing goes. I'm not hearing her georgeous Bacharach-esque pop melodies. The melodies that make you hum along to a song about someones twisted pathos. I'll hang in there, and listen some more. It's just not the instant gratification I return to her other records for.

Or... I have no idea what I'm talking about. Definitely a possibility. So there.

Maybe you should just decide for yourself. Nawlright?