Bachelor No. 2 - V2 - 2000
"Bachelor N. 2" is Aimee Mann's third solo album (the soundtrack of "Magnolia" excluded). The album was released in 2000 and it has since been widely praised as her perhaps most important / powerful.
The album was the first Mann released on her own record label V2 and some of the songs had been previously released on the soundtrackalbum "Magnolia" from 1999.
Let it be said at once that "Bachelor N. 2" is an unusually fine collection of songs that has no weak points and which are both beautifully and varied produced and arranged.
Some of the songs may remind you of Sheryl Crow from her strongest period around "The Globe Sessions", while others have a more soul-like expression (ex. "Calling it quits"). As mentioned, the music is both beautifully arranged and produced by, inter alia, guitarist Jon Brion and Mann herself.
The list of musicians is both exciting and long and you may notice Benmont Tench and her husband Michael Penn. A very Beatles-esque and great guitar sound is flavouring many of the songs.
All the songs from "Magnolia" are very strong ( "Deathly," "Wise Up", "Save Me" and "You Do"). The former you may at first not really notice, but it's very likely to grow on you. Both "Wise Up" and "Save Me" are likely to become new classics and one can easily imagine these covered by many upcoming artists. "You Do" is in the lighter mood - melodic and charming.
Among the other songs especially two stand out. "Red Vine" is an incredibly catchy and countryflavoured ballad that could easily be track that convince new fans. The same is said about the great "Calling it Quits." Also "Backfire" deserves to be highlighted. An easy song slightly in the vein of "You Do".
Not very often you these days I have the luck of discovering "new" great albums like this. I won’t hesitate to predict "Bachelor N. 2" a place among the greatest albums of this century.