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Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning singer Aimee Mann always provides her fans with well-crafted music and lyrics that reflect her wry worldview. Mann returns in early-2017 armed with her first solo effort in five years and the follow-up to the eponymous 2014 debut from her collaborative project with Ted Leo entitled The Both. Mann certainly isn't taking any prisoners on the forthright Mental Illness and her songwriting is as pointed and poignant as ever. She returns to a more musically soft-spoken but still lyrically barbed approach here, as heard on lead single, "Goose Snow Cone," and remains a student of human behavior, drawing not just on her own experiences to form the characters in the songs but tales told by friends.
"I assume the brief on me is that people think that I write these really depressing songs," Mann says. "I don't know – people may have a different viewpoint – but that's my own interpretation of the cliché about me. So if they thought that my songs were very down-tempo, very depressing, very sad, and very acoustic, I thought I'd just give myself permission to write the saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they're-all-waltzes-so-be-it record I could...I mean, calling it "Mental Illness" makes me laugh, because it is true, but it's so blunt that it's funny."