Search - Aimee Mann :: @#%&*! Smilers

@#%&*! Smilers
Aimee Mann
@#%&*! Smilers
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Limited edition book packaging of her 2008 album, Aimee's seventh solo release to date. The album is a return to form after the artistic detours of 2005's concept album The Forgotten Arm and 2006's Christmas CD One More D...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Aimee Mann
Title: @#%&*! Smilers
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Superego Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 6/3/2008
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Adult Contemporary, Singer-Songwriters, Vocal Pop, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: @#%&*! Smilers (Special Edition)
UPC: 698519002624


Album Description
Limited edition book packaging of her 2008 album, Aimee's seventh solo release to date. The album is a return to form after the artistic detours of 2005's concept album The Forgotten Arm and 2006's Christmas CD One More Drifter in the Snow. Featuring thirteen new original songs, producer Paul Bryan describes the record as "deceptively powerful...very rich and grand-sounding." The songs range from the stripped-down-to-basics of "Columbus Avenue," to the almost Cars-esque synth-pop of "Freeway," alongside the classic Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell-era "Phoenix," and the hushed creepiness of "Little Tornado." The final song "Ballantines" is a duet with Sean Hayes complete with barroom piano and trombone section. All songs were penned by Mann with the exception of "True Believer" which was co-written with fellow singer-songwriter Grant Lee Phillips.

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CD Reviews

Another Excellent Release from Aimee Mann
TheTange | Winston-Salem, NC United States | 06/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Couldn't disagree more with the couple of folks who say this is "more of the same" from Aimee Mann, and who have given the album 3 stars (and sounds like, from their reviews, they're just bitter over a few extra tracks used to promote the album on I-Tunes).

"More of the same" (Whatever, IWS, Bachelor #2, Lost In Space, The Forgotten Arm) would be enviable by any other singer/songwriter. Mann's been nominated for Grammy's, Golden Globe, Academy Award (Mr. Oscar), and has literally been on most year end top ten album lists with each of the releases already mentioned. I'll take more of the same from Mann any day of the week.

Smilers is indeed "more of the same" in terms of quality songwriting. There's not a throwaway track on Smilers (which consists of 13 tracks). The folks moaning about Itunes having 2 extra live tracks and 1 bonus studio track? If the rest of the album was so disappointing, then it's unusual that one would clamor for live versions of 2 songs they already have, and 1 "more of the same" studio track. Aimee's self-described bitter album was I'm With Stupid......maybe these fans are stuck in that period of her work .

Smilers opens with Freeway, a song that has a sound not unlike something the Cars (the band) would have written in the 70s. I can't recall another Aimee Mann solo album with anything that sounds remotely like the Cars - but there's a coupla tracks on Smilers, due to the use of moog synths as a replacement for the electric guitar (another first on an Aimee release, even counting til tuesday).

Smilers also marks the first time I can recall that Aimee has used a brass section, which she uses on a number of the songs here to great effect. If she's used brass in the past, none of the songs on Smilers brings any of her past songs to mind. Momentum (the b-side to That's Just What You Are and also on the Magnolia soundtrack) has a playfulness that I suppose one could compare, but still sounds nothing like these new songs.

There's also the use of strings on songs like Phoenix (a personal favorite) as well as It's Over (another favorite). Phoenix is another hallmark Mann composition that really captures the essence of what the character in the song is feeling. This is accomplished without an ounce of melodrama. Her vocals are equal parts regret, resignation, and relief. Listening to this track is like being in the back seat of the character's car and empathizing as if you're right there.

I could go over every song on the album but I won't. It's an excellent album.

I've been a fan of Mann's since I was 16 (1986) with the release of Welcome Home. For me, most of her albums alternate between surprising me with how much she's grown from, say, the previous release, OR, strike me as strong continuations/explorations of the types of songs she's known for - but they never feel like repeats. For me, Smilers is another jump forward and is easily a "five star" album.
Some say it's a "return to form;" I say it's bloody brillian
Sean H. Campbell | East Tennessee | 06/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I admit: I've loved every last thing the wonderful and peerless Aimee Mann has done since 'Til Tuesday. There's little doubt in my mind that she's a melodic and lyric genius, even if we bandy about the term "genius" a little too loosely. It all seems to come so easy to her, and there's an intoxicating brilliance about her every move. Seeing her live is heavenly.

All that having been said, her new album is yet another treasure. You cannot but be wowed by the understated beauty of, let's say, "31 Today" or the stuck-in-your-head-and-you-don't-care quality of "Freeway." Buy without hesitation. The whole thing is delicious."
My hero
John Wilson Stewart | the great salt mountain | 06/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Why am I so surprised that this record is so good?

Maybe it's that so much of modern life seems so fake and so hyped.

"Smilers" is the "real deal", classy craft on-the-hoof without the smoke and mirrors.

Aimee makes it look easy too.

I like every single song on "Smilers" but my favorites (this week) are "Little Tornado", "Phoenix" and "Columbus Avenue".

Try it."