387 of 1001 Albums: Aimee Mann’s Whatever

I will say that Aimee Mann is very progressive in creating this pop sound that just seemed to run through the 90’s after her debut album, Whatever. This is her first album apart from being in a band, and she shows she has enough to lead to be solo. Most the album didn’t really catchy, but there were some songs that had interesting instrumental arrangements, and her vocals do have a lot of power and emotion.

History: This album has garnered quite the attention from other musicians like Elvis Costello and Nick Hornby.  The album did receive a lot of positive reviews from critics, and a lot was noted about the melodies and vocals. This album would later even get itself a release again with extra songs. Not only is Aimee a singer though but she is also a bassist and guitarist.

Vocals: Aimee Mann does have deeper, sort of acoustic indie vocals. It sounds nice, but never really mixes it up a lot. I think each song is just better to listen to when the mood fits because of it. Her vocals are strong though, and she never veers into anything that sounds nasally annoying, which seems to be a trend to female singers. It was also refreshing to finally have a female artist on the list performing. The past few albums have been all types of male singers, and none of them have sounded very upbeat.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals have brought in a lot of outside talent. I think “Jacob Marley’s Chains” was the most stand out song instrumentally. For some reason it veers into this Gaelic sound that works, and caught my attention. The other songs mix a lot of pop, but do it a little rock as well to give her that attitude that Mann fuses just through her personality.

Recording: The recording does have a very 90’s sound, but I think for 1993 that the recording does very good. There isn’t much about the production of the album, but it seems that Mann was wanting to get away from the new wave type music she had been dealing in the 1980’s, and now was embarking on some innovative sounds that have held up over time.

Whatever just seems to have a lot of pop culture to it. Even the title “Whatever” was one of those phrases that seemed to run prominently through the 90’s. This gives the album a fun, youthful vibe, but it still gets serious in parts to show her maturity as well. The feminine vibe was appreciated after hours of just hearing male music, but I didn’t find anything about the album that quite blew me away either. I also couldn’t find that she had released any singles from this album.

Rating 6 of 10.

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