For 2011, I thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.
Whatever has some really really good songs that are stand-outs ("Jacob Marley's Chain", "Put Me On Top", "Fifty Years After the Fair" and "Stupid Thing").
Mann has some very solid playing, writing and singing. It also has good solid production by ex-'til Tuesday band member, Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, etc).
Overall, the disk just lacks a certain spark. I think it might be solo inexperience, it might not. I suppose there is a learning curve to being out on your own and taking more artistic responsibility than being part of a group.
As Mann recordings go, it is the one I come back to least. In reality, I've pulled the best tunes and placed them on my iPod and those are the ones I listen to. The rest, while ok, are more forgettable, or at the very least, don't grab me.
Those other disks I mention - and any of her others - are stronger by comparison. Still, Whatever is stronger than most releases of its time.
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