Aimee Mann's upcoming concept album, "The Forgotten Arm," chronicles the relationship of two characters, John and Caroline, who meet at the Virginia State Fair in the early '70s. "Dear John" is the opening track and tells of that meeting from Caroline's perspective. The sound is somewhat blockish, unabashedly straightforward '70s rock, but the songwriting is anything but, as lithe and subtly modulated as Mann always is at her best. I love how tightly circumscribed it is for the first two lines ("Cotton candy was king/ On the midway that spring"), and how a whole new melodic world opens up when Caroline lays eyes on John ("Then I saw you in a ring on the lawn/ Dear John"), just as a whole new world opens up for her character.
Daily Download: "Dear John," Aimee Mann
A free track from Aimee Mann's new record, "The Forgotten Arm."
By Salon Staff
Published April 11, 2005 7:01AM (EDT)
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