ON THIS DATE (12 YEARS AGO)
May 2, 2000 – Aimee Mann: Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# allmusic 4.5/5
Bachelor No. 2 is the third studio album by Aimee Mann, released on this date in May, 2000.
The first release was a limited-run 7-song preview EP which was sold at concerts and via her website. The full album was slated for a release through Interscope, but they did not think the material had commercial appeal. Mann purchased back the rights for “six figures”, and began selling the album online. It was one of the first albums to be successful with only online sales, eventually selling 25,000 copies from Mann’s website. After attracting attention, a distribution deal to traditional retail channels led to sales topping 200,000.
Given her surprise success with the soundtrack to the 1999 film Magnolia, Aimee Mann seems more assured than ever on Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo. The album builds on the steam of her first two solo releases, refining their intelligent melodic songcraft to greater complexity and grace. While the production on her previous records could seem a bit middle-of-the-road, Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo boasts a sound that, while still clean and straightforward, is full of layered detail.
But beyond the excellent arrangements and backing vocals are Mann’s songs themselves. With her penchant for winding, Beatlesque melodies and her literate, captivating lyrics (she deftly combines narrative detail, metaphor, puns, and emotionally resonant images), Mann’s songwriting impresses. Whether on desultory folk (“Deathly”), groove-driven pop (“Red Vines”), or music-hall musings (“Nothing Is Good Enough”), Mann is at home here, and her lovely voice, which charms with its unaffected subtlety, is the icing on the cake. Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo finds this fine singer/songwriter at the top of her powers, and is easily one of her strongest offerings.
All songs by Aimee Mann, unless otherwise noted.
“How Am I Different” (Jon Brion, Mann) – 5:03
“Nothing Is Good Enough” – 3:10
“Red Vines” – 3:44
“The Fall of the World’s Own Optimist” (Elvis Costello, Mann) 3:06
“Satellite” – 4:10
“Deathly” – 5:37
“Ghost World” – 3:30
“Calling It Quits” – 4:09
“Driving Sideways” (Michael Lockwood, Mann) – 3:49
“Just Like Anyone” – 1:22
“Susan” – 3:51
“It Takes All Kinds” (Brion, Mann) – 4:06
“You Do” – 3:43
“Save Me” – 4:35 (Japan bonus track)
“Save Me” (Video) (Japan Bonus track)