Aimee Mann: Mental Illness (Superego) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, March 30th, 2023  

Aimee Mann

Mental Illness


Mar 28, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Aimee Mann is the reliable troubadour of our age. Active for three decades, her output rarely surprises these days, and rarely proves a letdown. Mental Illness, her ninth solo record, is no exception. Armed with acoustic guitar and high quality but never overpowering production, she works through 11 carefully curated tracks.

Drawing closer to her country and folk foundations, and with the occasional addition of strings, Mann subtly changes tempo and pitch to keep sad, emotive music flowing steadily forward. Mental Illness remains more of the same, never quite hitting any peaks, and never missing a step either. (

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 2/10


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March 30th 2017

It’s nice to see a publication that doesn’t fawn all over Mann the way so many of the other critics do. 

As your review pointed out, Mann is very workmanlike.  These days she rarely has any great songs, but seldom puts out any duds either.  Nevertheless, many people would call such an artist boring and predictable.  As much as she whined about being on a major record label, I think it was actually good for Mann, because it forced her to stretch.  Now she’s just way too complacent and never really seems to try to expand herself.  An artist who is “comfortable” rarely puts out great music.  I would say that her last excellent album was “Lost in Space.”  At this point, she seems to be way past her prime and is vastly overrated IMO.

April 2nd 2017

I think that the review here is a little shallow and oversimplified. I also don’t think it correctly assesses whether they like the record or not.  A 5.5 out of 10 would seem like not, but then the content says it’s well done. I found this music to be if anything, very literate, challenging, and engaging.  I admit I have a soft spot for her first two mainstream released records, but now she’s aiming for something different.  I see her recent output as very compelling concept albums. As I heard someone describe it this way recently, her albums are like novels poured into 11 song suites.  I’m very taken with the gogeousness of this new collection. Don’t believe reviews that try to tell you that it’s all the same.