Review: Mental Illness by Aimee Mann

Mental Illness from Aimee MannAimee Mann’s Mental Illness is an elegant little thing… and funnily enough, it is her finally contorting to that weepy stereotype she’s somehow carried. Not that she had to, but here it is, and it’s a, well, elegant, delicate little thing. While she says it’s her saddest record, it’s not by any means completely lachrymose: there’s this driving mechanism keeping things going, and yet there’s this undertone of everything breaking apart with one wrong flick. Surprisingly straightforward (and vague) title aside, Mental Illness is a compelling portrait of people on the edge of their wits, putting on a brave face, knowing all too well that it’s not really going to work that way. No judgment, no attempts at a lesson, nothing of that positivity claptrap even (and that, despite the clear 70s soft rock influences). It just tells the story and leaves you with it. Aimee has subverted, somewhat, that stereotype. [NB]4/5

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