“Lost in Space” by Aimee Mann (No. 6)

"Lost in Space" album coverFun fact, Aimee Mann is the only musical guest on Buffy to get a speaking part. That has not a lot to do with Lost in Space, except that two songs from the album are played during an episode. There’s a little more to this album than an intersection with nerdom, though.

Lost in Space is, at least in my estimation, Mann’s finest album to date. It’s not as energetic as Bachelor No. 2 or Whatever, but it more than makes up for that in the melody department.

Lost in Space has a rich, full sound to it. Little wonder, as there’s quite the cast of characters. Several songs feature a full compliment of strings, and more.

“Humpty Dumpty” leads off the album, with Mann starting strong with one of her favorite topics – failed and failing relationships. Some really nice, subdued guitar work on this one.

The title track is a little more ambiguous, but presumably about apathy. The tune, too, takes a slightly standoffish approach, a moderate tempo and a feel of hesitating to fully engage. That’s not a bad thing, it suits the material well, and when it fully comes around you’re totally hooked.

“This is How it Goes,” is a bit more up-tempo, but every bit as melancholy as “Lost in Space.” Not sure who’s on lead guitar here, but I really enjoy their work on this track.

Aimee Mann at her most, balls-out downbeat

Most of the album is, well, a bit downbeat. That’s OK, because it’s all frigging beautiful and lush. But if you’re looking for the album’s most energetic number, then look no further than “Pavlov’s Bell.” Some seriously fuzzy and aggressive guitar on this.

The string arrangement on “Invisible Ink,” is fantastic. I really love the lyrics on this one, about communication problems in a relationship. “I feel like a ghost who’s trying to move your hands / Over some Ouija board in the hopes I can spell out my name.” Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and collectible mug. At this point, I’m convinced Mann could sing the phone book and make it compelling, but her lyrics are always enjoyable in their own right.

“The Moth” gets stuck in my head for days when I listen to this album. If you’ve never heard Aimee Mann before, start here. It’s a deliciously addictive song.

Really, that describes the whole album for me. I was hooked on first listen, and hundreds of spins later I’m no less excited about it.

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