Monday, October 30, 2006

That's Just What You Are

Song: That's Just What You Are
Artist: Aimee Mann
Album: I'm With Stupid

I love Aimee Mann. Formerly of ‘Til Tuesday, Mann went solo and released her debut album “Whatever” in 1993. While I knew “Voices Carry,” the most popular ‘Til Tuesday song, it was not until the release of the “Magnolia” Soundtrack in 2000 featuring her songs (which inspired the stories from the film) that I really took notice. That soundtrack, as well as “Bachelor No. 2” also released that year, comprise my favorite of Mann work although I have also enjoyed her aforementioned debut and its follow up, 1996’s “I’m With Stupid.”

Despite mediocre sales, Mann has continued on releasing albums of pitch-perfect folk-pop songs. While I have liked some more than others, with Mann there is bound to be a couple gems no matter what.

“That’s Just What You Are” was a mild hit from “I’m With Stupid” and is one of my favorite songs. Included on the Melrose Place soundtrack (?!?!) the song perfectly illustrated Mann’s songwriting prowess. She literally amazes me sometimes with the way she chooses words that fit her melodies while still being smart and relate to the theme of the song. Her words coast on the hooks of her tunes so effortlessly. Just amazing.

The defining moment of Mann’s career was probably her nomination for an Academy Award in 2000 for “Save Me” from the Magnolia Soundtrack. She of course lost, as the song was not a hit anywhere, but it fits the bill in my book what a Best Song Oscar is all about. I literally can not hear it without thinking of its placement at the end of the film, perfectly summarizing everything the characters had been leading up to until that point. Beautiful.

If you like this, start with that Soundtrack or “Bachelor No. 2.” Both excellent.


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