@#%&*! Smilers

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Arguably, Aimee Mann hasn't released a simple collection of songs since her 1999 breakthrough with the Magnolia soundtrack and its cousin, Bachelor No. 2. Her releases since then have been prominent and respected, yet they played as explorations, with 2003's Lost in Space floating in the ether and 2006's The Forgotten Arm qualifying as an outright concept album. With @#%&*! Smilers, she returns to simply writing and recording songs, a back to basics that isn't quite so basic, as it finds Mann livelier and snarkier than she's been in a while. That censored profanity in the record's complete title -- it's easy to see but not say or write -- is a tip-off that ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Arguably, Aimee Mann hasn't released a simple collection of songs since her 1999 breakthrough with the Magnolia soundtrack and its cousin, Bachelor No. 2. Her releases since then have been prominent and respected, yet they played as explorations, with 2003's Lost in Space floating in the ether and 2006's The Forgotten Arm qualifying as an outright concept album. With @#%&*! Smilers, she returns to simply writing and recording songs, a back to basics that isn't quite so basic, as it finds Mann livelier and snarkier than she's been in a while. That censored profanity in the record's complete title -- it's easy to see but not say or write -- is a tip-off that Smilers has a defiant cynicism rippling throughout the record, something that's welcome after the careful craftsmanship of The Forgotten Arm and the spacy sleepiness of Lost in Space. Although this could hardly qualify as a bold departure -- there is nothing surprising about the arrangements, which still bear the ghost of Jon Brion although he is long gone -- Smilers pops with color, something that gives it an immediacy that's rare for an artist known for songs that subtly worm their way into the subconscious. That still happens here, of course -- one of Mann's greatest strengths is that her songs unfold slowly, seeming indelible after a few listens -- but Smilers grabs a listener, never making him or her work at learning the record, as there are both big pop hooks and a rich sonic sheen. At its heart it's just a collection of songs, but it's that rare thing for a songwriter: it works as a piece of writing and a sterling pop album of its own.
Billboard - Troy Carpenter
She can sum up universal relationship complications in three-minute, eminently hummable musical nuggets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2008
  • Label: Superego Records
  • UPC: 698519002624
  • Catalog Number: 26
  • Sales rank: 14,171

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Freeway (3:50)
  2. 2 Stranger into Starman (1:31)
  3. 3 Looking for Nothing (3:46)
  4. 4 Phoenix (3:56)
  5. 5 Borrowing Time (3:12)
  6. 6 It's Over (3:58)
  7. 7 31 Today (4:52)
  8. 8 The Great Beyond (3:12)
  9. 9 Medicine Wheel (4:08)
  10. 10 Columbus Avenue (4:06)
  11. 11 Little Tornado (3:23)
  12. 12 True Believer (3:32)
  13. 13 Ballantines (2:21)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Aimee Mann Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Bass
Chris Bruce Guitar, Soloist
Paul Bryan Background Vocals
Richard Dodd Cello
Terry Glenny Violin
Buddy Judge Background Vocals
Jay Bellerose Drums
Eric Gorfain Violin
Daphne Chen Violin
Jamie Edwards Keyboards
Melissa Reiner Violin
Leah Katz Viola
Alyssa Park Violin
Marisa Kuney Violin
Caroline Buckman Viola
Willie Murillo Trumpet
Jason Thor Trombone, Bass Trombone
Amy Wickman Violin
Alan Matthews Cello
Kimon Kirk Background Vocals
David Sage Viola
Technical Credits
Aimee Mann Composer, Art Direction
Grant Lee Phillips Composer
Patrick Warren String Arrangements
Gail Marowitz Art Direction
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Ryan Freeland Engineer
Gary Taxali Illustrations
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Under appreciated

    While I understand the desire to compare earlier albums from artists to their current efforts, it doesn't allow opinions to be formed based solely on the true quality of the current release. I admit that at first listen, I didn't think that this album from this extremely talented artist was comparable to earlier efforts like Bachelor No. 2 in particular. After allowing the tunes on this album to truly sink in based on multiple listenings, I now believe that this is Aimee's strongest effort to date. The complexity and depth of her music puts her in very limited company as compared to her current peers. These songs just continue to gain strength after every listen and if you are moved at all by Aimee's music, pick up this CD because it really is one of the best releases of 2008.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely love it

    I love Aimee Mann. Her music is so honest and good. I just want more and more music from her. Would love to see her live.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Yuck

    This was the worst thing I've ever heard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SOUL SAVING

    I needed this record. Aimee Mann is the best singer/songwriter of my generation. The way in which she crafts lyrics and weaves her tales is at one moment heart-wrenching and the next moment bliss. Her songs unfold like intricate puzzles, discovering something new w/ each subsequent listen. I love this woman! To shy away from the ugly pop untalented spectable of the music business today only adds to her credibility as one of a limited pool of great artists who exudes a unique gift for which I and countless others are grateful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Powerful, Respledent!!!

    Aimee Mann is the best songwriter! Subtle, striking and to the point. This record will not disappoint. Haunting voice, crafty and sometimes witty, Ms Mann is timeless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Okay, but not great

    I'm not overly thrilled with Aimee Mann's new CD, and I'm a huge fan of her music. I'd go so far as to say I'm a little disappointed in it. I bought it the day it came out and have listened to it quite a bit since then. The music is okay, but she's made a lot better music in the past. In my opinion, "Freeway" is the best song on the CD. If you're a fan, I encourage you to purchase it. If you're new to Aimee's music, I'd recommend one of her earlier CDs, such as Bachelor No. 2 and Lost in Space.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    @#%&*! Smilers is a gem

    It's wonderful that both radio and the music press have embraced Aimee Mann's latest full-length gem, "@#%&! Smilers." The disc sounds great with a single listen, and the wealth and range of the songs only grows stronger with subsequent sonic journeys. From the infectious pop-rock of "Freeway" and "Looking for Nothing" to the haunting "Stranger Into Starman" and sparse "Great Beyond," Mann's voice conjures up all kinds of emotional magic that benefits from equally-compelling arrangements.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews