Aimee Mann - Looking For Nothing

After dropping out of Berklee College of Music, Aimee Mann began her career with a punk band called Young Snakes. If anyone listens to her music now, that would seem surprising. Mann described them as "a little punk noise-art outfit". After a few years, she left to seek a return to "sweetness and melody". She then founded Til' Tuesday and immediately gained success with the hit Voices Carry. After two more albums with the group, she left to pursue a solo career in 1990.

This was a good move as it allowed Mann to really develop as a songwriter. Although her early work did not achieve strong commercial success, she did get excellent reviews from critics. Her first album, Whatever, suffered when her label, Imago, went under. She released her next album through Geffen, but experienced conflicts with the label.

It was her friendship with film director Paul Thomas Anderson, through her husband Michael Penn, that helped her regain success. Anderson asked her to write and record the soundtrack for the movie he was working on called Magnolia. The soundtrack was unique in that Anderson deliberately worked from Mann's lyrics to create the film's characters and situations.

She gave up on established labels, formed her own and released Bachelor No. 2, which she recorded while with Geffen, but the label saw no hits and did not release it. The album was originally sold at shows but eventually sold through distributors and was a commercial success.

Mann continues to record as a 'more indie than indie' artist and has release several more excellent albums. Looking for Nothing is off her 2008 release, @#%&*! Smilers.


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