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I'm With Stupid

4.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 30, 1996
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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What we're getting here is what we've come to expect from this talented songstress: pop arrangements of literate songs that deal with knotty relationships involving lovers, critics, and corporations. Mann co-wrote a song with Elvis Costello for the final 'Til Tuesday album, and it was an apt pairing. Like Costello at his best, Aimee is equal parts adroit and direct. A couplet like "I came back twice, now I'm the Anti-Christ" or "A thousand compromises don't add up to a single win" may be accompanied by something a little more to the point--"Don't you know you're a fucking freak in this world?" Mann and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion keep the songs pithy and punchy, bringing on guests like Juliana Hatfield (on the particularly intoxicating "You Could Make a Killing"), Suede alumni Bernard Butler, Michael Penn, Chris Difford, and Glenn Tilbrook for occasional adornment, but mostly maintain a hands-on approach. The result frequently recalls Abby Road-period Beatles, which isn't a bad source. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 30, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: January 30, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B000003TBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,960 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This record is a masterpiece production. First, Aimee Mann's voice is crisp and clear, and seemingly unprocessed, it stands a little higher in the mix than most artists - but it works for her. Perhaps the reason it works so well is that her lyrics are fantastic, and they deserve to be heard.
The record follows the style of her previous release "Whatever", which also followed the style of Til Tuesday's final release "Everything's Different Now" (which could have more aptly been referred to as the first solo Aimee Mann record, because of it's stylistic divergence from previous Til Tuesday work).
Whereas "Whatever" was very polished and Beatles-influenced, "I'm With Stupid Now" intentionally takes a bit of the polish off. The recording and production is still stellar, but this time there are a lot of special effects, and subtleties put in, which give the album a feel of cohesiveness whereas "Whatever" may have seemed a little more sterile. In one track, there is actually the scratching of an old LP record mixed in quietly to the song (Amateur).
One of the strongest tracks on the song are "It's Not Safe", which is ironically the final song. In an age where artists often stack a record with the best 3 or 4 tracks up front, often followed by filler material, this stands as another example of Aimee Mann's bucking the system (another example being that the lyrics for this record are printed on the inside cover - in alphabetical order, word by word! So she has a sense of humor as well). "It's Not Safe" stands out in all aspects, but primarily the lyrics which discuss the topic of trying to be a good person in an inherently messed-up world.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm writing this to those who have recently been acquainted with Ms. Mann since the release of the soundtrack, "Magnolia". As amazing as her songs featured in PT Anderson's film are--"I'm With Stupid" is tops. With little airplay, but awesome reviews..It's too bad that she wasn't selling then like she is now. But alas, she's finally getting what she has long deserved! I bought this album in '96 after hearing it in my brother's car. It's one of those rare CD's in which EVERY song is aesthetic to the ear and liberating to anyone who has ever suffered a broken heart (haven't we all? ) I've been enjoying IWS for 4 years now and have not let it gather dust. If you want to know who she is similar to, I cannot say. She stands alone. But if it's any help to you, other female artists that are high on my list are Ani Difranco, Liz Phair, and Fiona Apple.
Buy this CD--acquaint yourself with Aimee--support her--for she is a goddess of singing and songwriting.
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Format: Audio CD
I am one of those people for whom lyrics matter more than the music. Both harmoniously coupling to make beautiful music is great, but if given the choice, I choose lyrics. Aimee Mann is a lyrical genius... intellectual, clever, poetic, singing some of the most touching, surprising lyrics of any songwriter writing today. And why isn't Aimee a household name? Okay, record-company greed and Aimee's unfailing loyalty to herself and her artistic vision play their roles here... But I guess Aimee is not a household name also because her lyrics are a little bit intimidating to many people. Maybe too literate, maybe too incisive. However, this is why her most ardent fans love her music so much.
I'm With Stupid was fresh, rough, biting, witty, sarcastic, and heartfelt all at once. It still is... its effects have not dulled with time (and admittedly, for me, overplay!) Mann is gifted with making you nod in agreement with her while feeling like you are walking across gravel barefoot. She has a unique voice coupled with an aggressive style (on this album; toned down hereafter in her songs on the Magnolia soundtrack and in Bachelor #2).
One reviewer wrote that you cannot sing along with these songs... cannot listen to them in the car... and for me, this simply isn't true. All the songs are catchy; all of the songs get stuck in my head... and I sing along (in the car) all the time. It is all a matter of taste, yes. I am a fan of other contemporary female performers, and I believe Aimee Mann to be the best of them all.
"There is nothing that competes with habit,/And I know it's not that deep nor tragic.../simply that you have to have it" Mann sings in the bitter ballad "You Could Make a Killing".
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2 Comments 17 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Aimee Mann's solo debut Whatever in 1993 was a very pleasing, promising album that thankfully put to rest the overproduced cod pop of Til Tuesday, her former band. The long-awaited follow-up I'm With Stupid is a completely different affair, more measured and subtle than Whatever, it creeps up on your unawares and makes you feel alternately gooey and sad. The best bits are the Bernard Butler collabaration Sugarcoated (for gooey) and the unbeatable Par For The Course (sad). A must for anyone into female songwriters, and then some. Still waiting for a new album, although the Magnolia soundtrack should suffice for now.
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