“The Both” – Aimee Mann and Ted Leo


  1. The Gambler – This is truly an Aimee Mann song. Guitars are fuzzy with reverb; and there are slow (but great) drums underneath it all.   Aimee’s voice pops through more on the chorus than Ted does.
  2. Milwaukee – In contrast to #1, this is truly a Ted Leo song! A reckless, rollicking strong start with twangy abandon. Great catchy harmonies on the chorus, too.
  3. No Sir – This has the format of a classic 50s waltz in “doo-wop” style, but with the Aimee angst blended in there somehow. Not bad – a nice mellow break between the more upbeat #2 and #4 on the disk.
  4. Volunteers of America – Vying for my favorite, as described in the full album review. This features fun guitars, driving beats, and cynical lyrics. Can’t go wrong with that!
  5. Pay for It – Featuring the Aimee Mann storytelling style, this is your basic sad relationship song with a kind of miserable, foreboding “you’re gonna make me pay for it” chorus sung by Ted. Just OK from my perspective, not my favorite.
  6. You Can’t Help Me Now – If you liked the “Magnolia” movie soundtrack, this song will be just your style. Aimee is the primary singer on this, and it has the piano backdrop you will recognize from her earlier work.
  7. The Prisoner – Ted is the main vocalist on this. I love the chorus – the whole song has a sort of 80s feel to it, and faintly reminds me of the classic “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)” by Squeeze.
  8. Hummingbird – Lilting acoustic guitars, in a medieval-esque style with violins creating a slow and emotional chorus. This is actually one of my favorites on the album, even though I usually like to ROCK a little bit more.
  9. Honesty is No Excuse – Here is your dramatic, classic, love-gone-wrong “took your love, I used it” kind of song. The auditor in me noticed that the lyrics for this song are strangely NOT included in the CD liner notes. Perhaps this is just as well, because the chorus is basically just “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…” This one is really balanced between Aimee and Ted on the vox.
  10. Bedtime Stories – There’s a pop-y feel to this one. But at the same time, the melody is unpredictable and runs all over the map in terms of chords and key.   I love the lyrics here – “and now there’s poetry and prose in your name / it overflows the frame / trying to impose a theory on the game.” The phasing is perfect with the music!
  11. The Inevitable Shove – I have to say that this last one is kinda Billy Joel. Really piano-driven, and it feels like an intro number for some hypothetical musical about life sucking in “the big city “ (or something). Not a bad song, but not my favorite. Meh.

Don’t forget to check out the overall album review – I actually liked this one and hopefully you will too!


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