Union County Performing Arts Center presents

AIMEE MANN
Presented on the Mainstage.

Genre: Alternative

Tuesday • April 23, 2013 • 8:00 PM

$69.50, $47.50, $36.50 & $25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in the full range of human faults, foibles, dysfunction,
and 
self-delusion? You could spend your evening re-reading the
DSM-IV Manual. 
Or you could opt to spend some time with an even
more entertaining catalog of 
idiosyncracies: Charmer, the latest
album from Aimee Mann, as fine a chronicler 
of the human comedy
as popular music has produced. Names have been obscured 
to
protect the guilty, but you will almost certainly recognize yourself in
these 
short narratives, along with the fellow travelers who have
conned, enabled, 
victimized, or (yes) charmed you.
 

Mann has the presence of mind to write songs about narcissists,
which is a little 
different from the 90 percent of rock songs that are
about being a narcissist. 
"The first song I wrote for the album was
called 'Charmer,' so that’s kind of what 
started it," she says. "And
there are obviously songs that aren’t really on that 
topic, but it was
a thing that I kept coming back to, because I do think people 
 who
are super-charming are really interesting. And I see how charm is on
continuum that goes all the way from people who can talk you out
of anything to 
people who are manipulative to people who are
almost a little sinister. They’re 
usually people who you really like
being around in the beginning, because they’re 
really good at
creating an impression that perhaps is tailor-made for you, and
that’s very seductive."

You might say it naturally follows that an album named Charmer
would need to be 
musically seductive, as well. And this one certainly
delivers its own charm offensive 
with a production style that
sometimes harks back unabashedly to an earlier era, 
three
decades or more ago, when electric guitars and synths walked the
earth 
together in harmony. The full sound is in stark contrast to her
much starker 
previous album, 2008's Smilers, which was not so big
on the new wave. She 
might even have been inspired by some
fellow former Bostonites.