December 12, 1988 12:00 PM

‘Til Tuesday

Aimee Mann, the lead singer of this twosome, writes most of its lyrics and does so in an original fashion. True, she seems to be obsessed with the perils of romance, like a caged bird that chirps away while keeping one eye on the cat in the corner. But there’s a saving humor to her obsessions: “You’re half-naked ambition and/ You’re half out of your wits/ And though your wristwatch always works/ Your necktie never fits.” Or: “Well, better then if I just go away/ Preserving the fiction of/ Indifference now/ Replacing love” or “When we found a rip in Heaven/ We should have just ascended then.” What keeps these sentiments from being more striking is that they’re often sung to indifferent, rambling melodies, dully arranged. Mann’s partner, percussionist Michael Hausman, and producers Rhett Davies and Bruce Lampcov share the arranging credits (and blame). An occasional sign of life flashes—Crash and Burn is a lively exception, for instance—but too often Mann seems to be reciting as much as singing, which is a waste of a true-toned, hearty voice that’s a major resource. (Epic)

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