One More Drifter in the Snow

One More Drifter in the Snow

5.0 2
by Aimee Mann
     
 

Christmas albums from contemporary pop performers often go for the holly-jolly, youthful side of the holiday, but Aimee Mann, that master of melancholy, has something else in mind for One More Drifter in the Snow. Mann's models are the crooners -- Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole -- even though she has no desire to slavishly re-create that vintage sound.See more details below

Overview

Christmas albums from contemporary pop performers often go for the holly-jolly, youthful side of the holiday, but Aimee Mann, that master of melancholy, has something else in mind for One More Drifter in the Snow. Mann's models are the crooners -- Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole -- even though she has no desire to slavishly re-create that vintage sound. Instead, she takes her trademark blend of carefully orchestrated arrangements and effortlessly seductive vocals and applies it to Christmas songs old and new. One More Drifter is subtle and imaginative, familiar and inventive. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is set to an understated, rumbling march that would make Tom Waits smile; "White Christmas" is the slowest surf rock song you'll ever hear (it's languid and lovely); "Winter Wonderland," with a rhythm that could come from a preset on the nostalgic organ at the heart of the arrangement, is a visit to a cocktail lounge where the décor may be kitschy but the performer is not. Mann also includes more recent holiday tunes from Michael Penn and Jimmy Webb, along with a new original of her own, "Calling On Mary," and they all fit perfectly with the dusky tones of the classics. Throughout One More Drifter, Mann's intimate alto wraps around the songs like hands around a cup of warm, bittersweet hot chocolate.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's not much in Aimee Mann's past that would suggest that she would record a holiday album. Ever since launching a solo career in 1993 with Whatever, she's steadily built a reputation as a consummate singer/songwriter, renowned for her intelligent craft, which perhaps peaked around the turn of the century when she provided songs for Paul Thomas Anderson's third film, Magnolia, which led to her excellent third album, Bachelor No. 2. Since that project, Mann's work remained at a typically high level, but her subsequent albums -- 2002's Lost in Space and 2005's The Forgotten Arm -- were a touch too studied and deliberate, certainly not the kinds of records that would point the way toward a holiday excursion like 2006's One More Drifter in the Snow. Not that this Christmas album is far removed from the music Mann has made over the past decade: it's hushed and intimate, filled with antique keyboards that occasionally exude a mildly carnivalesque vibe, so it does feel of a piece with Mann's last few albums, yet the tone is different. Of course, part of the change in tone is that this is a holiday album, and Mann clearly intends for One More Drifter in the Snow to be played alongside classic '50s Christmas albums from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. This album has a similarly appealing, warm and lazy, jazzy vibe -- a sound that evokes the holiday season for millions of listeners, and Mann should be commended not only for nailing that sound, but writing an original called "Calling on Mary" that fits comfortably next to "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" (her husband Michael Penn's "Christmastime" also fits nicely). So, the album feels right, but even better for Mann fans -- especially those skeptical about a Christmas record -- One More Drifter in the Snow finds the singer/songwriter in top form as a performer, turning in the loosest, friendliest recording she's made in years. There's little of the self-consciousness that hampered Lost in Space and The Forgotten Arm; she sounds as if she's having fun making this music, which not only makes for a good Christmas record, but bodes well for her next proper pop album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
Label:
Superego Records
UPC:
0698519002525
catalogNumber:
25

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Aimee Mann   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Duke Levine   Banjo,Electric Guitar,Mandola
Chris Bruce   Acoustic Guitar
Paul Bryan   Bass,Background Vocals
Patrick Warren   Piano,Celeste,Keyboards,chamberlain,Pump Organ
Jay Bellerose   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Michael Penn   Composer
Mel Tormé   Composer
Buck Ram   Composer
Aimee Mann   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
Paul Bryan   Composer,Producer
Kim Gannon   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
Hugh Martin   Composer
Bobby "BW" Wells   Composer
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Gavin Lurssen   Mastering
Ralph Blane   Composer
Ryan Freeland   Engineer
Albert Hague   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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