The Only Thing That Disappointed Me About Aimee Mann’s @#%&*! Smilers Was the Packaging

Share this:

Few can make the state of human despondency sound quite as lush and beautiful as Aimee Mann, there is no doubt about that.

By this point, Mann had been doing basically the same thing for seven solo albums, which was OK for most of us who enjoy her storytelling. Much of the focus on @#%&*! Smilers, which arrived on June 3, 2008, seemed to have been on the fact that Aimee opted to go sans electric guitar, focusing more on various keyboard-equipped instruments. Of course, that was a sound that already dominated her songs to begin with, so it was pretty much par for the course – just minus a little guitar wail.

If there’s a gripe to be made, it’s that Aimee Mann decided to go the “regular edition/special edition” route, but made the “special edition” in terms of packaging alone — saving the extra songs for iTunes. She’s not the only artist to do this obviously, but most have had the pressures of a major label forcing these options upon them. Not so in Mann’s case. Superego is Aimee Mann’s own label, and this kind of move is only aimed at hardcore fans who obviously wanted the beautifully packaged special edition of @#%&*! Smilers, which came in a hard-bound, 32-page, die-cut book featuring illustrations from Gary Taxali.

Of course you wanted it; who wouldn’t? But why weren’t those bonus tracks tacked on as well, since it is the “special” edition? Lots of fans were asking the same question and, yeah, they were feeling a little despondent – perfectly suited, now that I think about it, for Aimee Mann’s music.


Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Tom Johnson
Share this:
Close