Mental Illness
Aimee Mann - Mental Illness
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2017 Ratings: #169 / 671
User Score
Based on 61 ratings
2017 Ratings: #115
Your Review


Consequence of Sound

For 44 minutes, Mann slips into the skin of someone walking an emotional tightrope, and it’s an act she pulls of with grace and conviction. Mann’s music has never lacked for warmth or heart, but her latest songs are the kind of delicate bruisers that feel like they might fall apart in your hands if you sneeze.


The interplay among tune, lyrics and production rewards repeated listens with ever more intricate emotional textures.


This is not a flash album, there are no virtuoso flourishes by any of the players. Every note has been carefully positioned to frame her voice in a sympathetic and supportive way and recorded simply and elegantly.

Slant Magazine

Mann's best work has always lingered on such private reverie, and Mental Illness is one of her most ravishing and affecting hymns to solitude.


The album’s music is intimate and reflective. Drums rarely figure alongside the acoustic guitar, piano and string arrangements which motor gently, and a compelling consistency of mood makes Mental Illness easy to get lost in.


Happily, all is not melancholy here. In fact, most of the tracks are upbeat. The songs’ characters may be unloved and disturbed, but aren’t we all?


Each of the 11 numbers is exquisitely sculpted, with the melody carrying a sense of subdued drama as it marches from verse to chorus to bridge. These songs are crafted in the best sense of the word, with the lyrics delivering sublime twists that the music matches.

No Ripcord

While there’s a melancholy that filters through her soft waltzes, Mental Illness is first and foremost an album about achieving self-sufficiency through trail and blunder. And in doing so, she once again stands tallest, and quietest, in an exceptionally consistent career.


Mental Illness is Aimee Mann’s quintessential statement, tempering the discord of life with elegant chamber folk. Mann fills her songs with ordinary people struggling against operatic levels of pain.

The Independent

The crushingly blunt title is Aimee Mann’s sardonic acknowledgement of her reputation as a depressing songwriter, which she’s determined to exceed with this collection of “the saddest, slowest, most acoustic” songs possible.

Under The Radar

Drawing closer to her country and folk foundations, and with the occasional addition of strings, Mann subtly changes tempo and pitch to keep sad, emotive music flowing steadily forward. Mental Illness remains more of the same, never quite hitting any peaks, and never missing a step either.

Dec 10, 2017
Top Favorite: Lies Of Summer
Other Favorites: Goose Snow Cone, Good For Me, You Never Loved Me
Least Favorite: Poor Judge
Nov 1, 2017
Aimee Mann returns with an album that it's both filled with highlights and disappointments. The thing here is that even if it sounds very cohesive and her lyrics are very moving, it feels like she managed her perspective in a superficial way, like she could've done so much with the concepts and OF COURSE, with the productions. There's a lot of songs that sound pretty similar and feel kinda unfinished. There's still a great consistency and some interesting rhythms. I just wish this didn't feel ... read more
Jul 24, 2017
Goose Snow Cone - 10/10
Stuck in the Past - 9/10
You Never Loved Me - 9/10
Rollercoasters - 8/10
Lies of Summer - 9/10
Patient Zero - 9/10
Good for Me - 8/10
Knock It Off - 7/10
Philly Sinks - 10/10
Simple Fix - 7/10
Poor Judge - 7/10

overall Rating: 93 out of 110 = 85%

Overall Opinion: My 9 year olds favorite album of 2017 and one of our most listened to albums of the year. Sad but very catchy and easy to listen and sing along with after a few listens. Better than I ever expected.
Jun 21, 2017
Another solid release from Aimee, strong vocals and instrumentation. Songwriting opens a few doors for her as an artist. It took repeated listens for this album to make sense to me, first thoughts were that it was a let down and that her songwriting was hitting a moment of mediocrity but I'm glad I invested the time. Mental Illness is a subtle collection of affecting tunes that while not obvious on first listen reveal their varied strengths in time.
Jun 11, 2017
Aimee Mann not only adds versatility to her impressive repertoire, but a beautiful brilliance that is rare to be found in songwriting today with her wonderful phrase stretching and brave, soothing textures. My Score: 153/180 (Great) = 85/100
Purchasing Mental Illness from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.

Added on: January 17, 2017