If Karen Carpenter were still alive she'd make records like Aimee Mann.
Over more than three decades she has flirted with rock and pop but it's the quiet, downbeat singer-songwriterly Indie-folk stuff that she does best.
This set of eleven acoustic songs is her first album for five years and finds her resigned to her role as a comedown queen. "I thought I'd give myself permission to write the saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they're-all-ballads-so-be-it record that I could", she says.
These are songs for and about bipolar sufferers, sociopaths and lonely souls who like their music as subtly nuanced as possible. The lyrical references are never obvious or transparent. She doesn't do catchy.
Goose Snow Cone is about home sickness and finding comfort in an Instagram photo of a cute kitten but you only know this because Aimee Mann tells us so in an interview.
The strings arranged by long-time producer Paul Bryan give the tunes an urbane, easy listening vibe.
These are the sort of melancholy pieces you can sit back and guiltily enjoy in comfortable surroundings with a glass of red wine to lighten the burden.
Aimee Mann's website