April 23rd, 2014 12:27pm

You Can’t Blame The Ones That You Love

The Both “The Inevitable Shove”

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo’s first album as a duo is a study in two artists with very distinct styles trying to find a middle ground where their individual quirks complement each other. This doesn’t always work out – the songwriting is as solid as you’d expect from these total pros, but their voices don’t really work in harmony. There’s definitely times on the record where it feels a bit like you’re listening to Aimee Mann sing along to a Ted Leo record in her car, or vice versa. Their voices work really well in contrast though, especially when they are trading off verses in a way that highlights their distinct vocal styles. “The Inevitable Shove” is a great example of this – Mann is typically relaxed and sardonic in her affect, but Leo handles all the parts that call for earnest, emphatic emoting. You really get the thing you’d hope for on a team-up like this, which is basically the sense that these two very different cool people are hanging out together in the same song.

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