The Forgotten Arm
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|5. I Can't Get My Head Around It|
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|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|
'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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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 me...it'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.
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.
Or... I have no idea what I'm talking about. Definitely a possibility. So there.
Maybe you should just decide for yourself. Nawlright?