Even among earnest singer-songwriters, Aimee Mann stands out for her unflappable solemnity. So it comes as no surprise that this woman who rarely cracks a smile has produced a Christmas album that sets the mood for post-holiday-gorge loafing, not a drunken office party. Fortunately, Mann knows how to choose classics that work with her natural aesthetic. When it comes time to liven things up with a Yuletide cartoon anthem, she opts for one that's serious but fun, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," with Grant-Lee Phillips taking over Boris Karloff's narrating duties. In addition to the standards, One More Drifter in the Snow features "Christmastime," a song written by husband Michael Penn and frequent collaborator Jon Brion, which enters on a light-hearted mandola strum and quickly takes a slinking, minor-keyed turn. The singer's own "Calling on Mary" is a somber bit of introspection, the sort of brooding that naturally occurs every December, but which most carol composers choose to ignore.
By Matt Condon on 12.16.14 in Live in Pictures
Photos of Aimee Mann's Christmas show in Alexandria, Virginia
By Matt LeMay on 09.05.14 in Features
A reflection on the underappreciated singer-songwriter's tremendous contributions to indie rock music.
By Sam Adams on 04.15.14 in Reviews
It was said of Fred Astaire's partnership with Ginger Rogers that "He gave her class and she gave him sex." Duties in The Both, which fuses Aimee Mann's wry mopery to Ted Leo's pop-punk passion, don't break down along th...
By Maggie Serota on 04.11.14 in Features
Maggie Serota interviews The Both about their debut album.