CD I'm with Stupid (CD 889393),
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I'm with Stupid
1. Long Shot
2. Choice in the Matter
4. You Could Make a Killing
7. All over Now
8. Par for the Course
9. You're with Stupid Now
10. That's Just What You Are
13. It's Not Safe
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 24951
Jon Lupfer; Luke Gifford; Mike Denneen; Todd Burke
Personnel: Aimee Mann (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, hand claps); Jon Brion (various instruments, background vocals); Clayton Scoble, Glenn Tilbrook (electric guitar, background vocals); Bernard Butler (guitar, keyboards); Michael Penn, Michael Lockwood, Peter Linton (guitar); Mike Denneen (keyboards); Brad Hallen (bass); Stacy Jones, John Sands (drums); Jon Lupfer (hand claps); Chris Difford, Juliana Hatfield, Neil Innes, Ron Nasty (background vocals); Martyn Watson.
Producers: Jon Brion, Mike Denneen.
Principally recorded at Q Division, Boston, Massachusetts.
Personnel: Aimee Mann (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, hand claps); Glenn Tilbrook (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Peter Linton (vocals, guitar); Chris Difford (vocals, background vocals); Jon Brion (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, cello, harmonica, keyboards, drums, hand claps, percussion, background vocals); Bernard Butler (guitar, electric guitar, keyboards); Clayton Scoble (guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Michael Lockwood, Michael Penn (guitar); Stacy Jones (acoustic guitar, drums); Mike Denneen (keyboards); John Sands (drums); Jon Lupfer (hand claps); Juliana Hatfield, Neil Innes (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Mad Hatter; Jack Joseph Puig; Jon Brion; Mike Denneen; Robert Read.
Recording information: Q Division, Boston, MA.
Photographer: Kate Garner.
Understandably vitriolic following a lengthy contractual battle, Aimee Mann channeled her bitterness into a 13-song set that sees her revisiting her recurring themes (romantic failure, pervasive ignorance) to create a personal best. The tone is established on the opener, "Long Shot," as Mann, backed by a jittery guitar line, sings bitter lyrics that could easily be directed at herself and/or a former flame. The results of a rejuvenating stint in mid-1990s Britpop-crazy London, "You Could Make a Killing" is reportedly about her crush on Noel Gallagher of Oasis, while "Sugarcoated," inspired by guitarist Bernard Butler's acrimonious departure from Suede, was co-written by and features Butler himself.
Every track here is a winner, with Mann's vocals forceful and direct, and Jon Brion's production wonderfully edgy in all the right places. The album closer, "It's Not Safe," one of Mann's signature songs, expresses the anguish that many artists experience at the hands of unappreciative record companies. But where many performers would have thrown in the towel by this point, Mann bounced back with her most fully realized work.
Spin (3/96, p.115) - 7 - Flawed Yet Worthy - "...[Mann] relies on emotional turmoil to feed her artistry....The music on STUPID is ragged, bruised, and stumbling....Songs...come complete with astringent, fuzzy flailing but still showcase her gift for magicking up a McCartneyesque melody line..."
Entertainment Weekly (2/2/96, p.56) - "...remains one of rock's most elegantly gifted melodic and lyrical writers, with a well-attuned psychological acuity to her catchy kiss-offs that any angry young woman would envy. Bitterness, regret, and recrimination never sounded any sweeter, or smarter..." - Rated: A
Q (12/95, p.146) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Mann is such a fine songwriter it would be nice to hear her sing about a town, a child, a pet, anything but an imperial bedroom of old flames..."
Option (3-4/96, p.112) - "...a tough and tender testament to her perseverance....a more aggressive effort..."
Musician (9/95, p.87) - "...stunning....Where other songwriters use wordplay to conceal their emotional wounds, her lyrics cut to the heart of the issue....her best songs have the grace and ingenuity of REVOLVER-era Beatles [but] never sound like throwbacks....the album has a thoroughly modern sound and feel..."
Musician (5/96, p.100) - "...Guitar pop doesn't get better than this."
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Geffen GED 24951
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