Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Forgotten Arm

This is such a great CD that I can't stop listening to it. I admit, I am a bit (ok, a huge) of an Aimee Mann fanboy, but even if I wasn't, I think I'd be in love with this record. I've been listening to this CD since it was released a few years ago and it is never far from my ears.

I knew of Aimee from her 'Til Tuesday years, of course, but I wasn't a fan. I just knew the song "Voices Carry". It wasn't until she guested on a Rush record, singing backgrounds on the song "Time Stand Still" from Hold Your Fire, that I looked her up.

I was in college at the time, living in the U-district with a couple of dudes from the dorms. We lived below this giant Hawaiian or Samoan who would stomp around all the time. We'd poke the ceiling with a broom handle to get him to stop. He'd just stomp louder. I think it was a game to him 'cause he knew we wouldn't go up to tell him to tread lightly.

Anyway, somehow I bought a copy of Aimee's first solo record, Whatever, and really dug it. I think I was turned onto it by a copy of Tower Records' in house magazine, Pulse, after a decent review.

The songs on Whatever were great across the board. There was tasty pure pop, like "I Should've Known", and melancholy tunes, like "Fourth of July". I played that CD a lot and she moved into one of my favorite artist positions.

Getting back to The Forgotten Arm now. This is such a great record! It's a bit of a concept album, if you will, where all the songs are tied in to an overall story. The melodies are simply beautiful. Listen to songs like "Goodbye Caroline", or "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" (probably my favorite song from the CD) and tell me those aren't gorgeous hooks.

Also, the producer deserves credit. The recording is deep and lush and, best of all, live. It sounds like he set up a few mics, had the band count off, and pressed record. There's prominent piano, which really jumped out at me when I first started listening to the CD. The guitars, bass, everything just works so well together. There are killer harmony vocals and, if you couldn't tell already, I am in love with this recording.

I'll stop now. I sound like a broken record. But, if you like singer/songwriter stuff, do yourself a favor and check out The Forgotten Arm by Aimee Mann. Seriously. It's that good.