The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo) Album Review

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THE BOTH Album Review
April 15, 2014
By Rob Watts

I know what you’re thinking. Another boy/girl musical pairing? I had those same thoughts upon hearing about THE BOTH featuring singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. But unlike the likes of She & Him, Matt and Kim, The XX and so on and so forth, Mann and Leo have longstanding careers in their respective genres. Mann of course is known for her former New Wave outfit Til’ Tuesday with their hit song “Voices Carry.” The majority of her stardom, however, has come from her long-standing solo career since the early nineties releasing classic albums such as 1993s “Whatever,” 2000s “Bachelor no. 2” and most recently, 2012s “Charmer.

Ted Leo has had a widely regarded career in the punk/power pop genre, he too, playing since the 80s is bands such as Hell No, Citizens Arrest, as well as fronting his own outfit Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. That’s what makes the self-titled debut “The Both” available April 15th so special. All things considered, you’d probably never expect such a stylistic shift in musical tone from both of these players. Where Mann has been much more somber on her solo offerings, and Leo being high-energy and often chaotic, the pairing gently bring one another to a comfortable center. Tracks such as MILWAUKEE, HUMMINGBIRD and VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA are case-in-point. This is one collaboration I can get behind. If you’re into experimentation gone right, THE BOTH is an album for you.
BY ROB WATTS

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