The Ultimate Collection - His-O 2000
Overall this is really a great collection of songs, showing the range of Mann, both as a singer and an intelligent songwriter.
The two earliest tracks are from Mann’s time as a member of the pop-act ’Til Tuesday. They’re are rather typical 1980’s pop, nut onlike a lot of what Kim Wilde recorded in those years – solid but not much more.
4 songs are taken from her first solo-album ”Whatever” from 1993. Among those the atypical ”Jacob Marley’s Chain” is a clear favorite – actually this was the song that first convinced me that he was an artist worth digging into. Also ”Stupid Thing” and ”I Should’ve Known” are fine – the first a heartfelt ballad and the second one of the heaviest songs on the compilation – a bit of Pretenders style.
The six songs from her second album ”I’m With Stupid” are generally really great. From the immediately catchy singles ”That’s Just What You Are” and ”You Could Make a Killing” over the Sheryl Crow like ballad ”Amateur” til more rocking songs like ”Long Shot” and ”Choice of the Matter”.
Among the singles you notice a great and faithful version of Badfinger’s classic ”Baby Blue” ( don’t hesitate to dig into this great band either). The cover song ”Sign of Love” is one of the more commercial tracks – but really great pop. ”Driving with one Hand on the Wheel” is an unpretentious song, which also reminds me of early Sheryl Crow. A songwriting collaboration with Elvis Costello produced the country flavoured ”The Other End” – also a win for the collection. ”Take it Back” and ”Jimmy Hoffa Jokes” are just nice additions to any Aimee Mann song collection.
Finally the ”Magnolia” soundtrack song is worth noting – a very evocative song, which was also included on her highly praised 3rd solo album ”Bachelor No. 2”