The Forgotten Arm and Cold Roses

En route to my afternoon shift yesterday, I picked up Ryan Adams' new double-CD, Cold Roses, and Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm. As a fan of both artists, it may sound strange that I actually sampled a few tracks online before I bought them. Huh? Am I a fickle fan?

No, I just don't like wasting my money on weak and wimpy crap. Both Adams and Mann have released strong records before, but I just wanted to make sure I would like the new ones too. Well, I really like what I've heard after a few spins and I want to keep on listening.

This morning was perfect for listening to Cold Roses: the weather was cold, rainy and just gray, but I've been feeling really consistently well for a solid week now. The album is more in the vein of Heartbreaker (spare, country-ish rock) but luckily, this record isn't "Spot my influence on this track!" like Heartbreaker is. I don't have a standout favorite just yet, but I may have one (or two or three) soon enough.

On my way home last night I listened to the Forgotten Arm and I'm really impressed. This record is more upbeat than Mann's last two records. The songs are little faster than what we've heard from Mann before and there is a sense of urgency to them. As always, Mann's well-crafted pop with sparse instrumentation is in full effect. Hearing "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" makes me want to pull out my Jersey Girl DVD (the song is played during Gertie's funeral). "Goodbye Caroline" and "I Can't Get My Head Around It" are some of my early standout tracks.

Rainy skies with a high in the lower 60s is forecasted today. I'm not sure which record I should listen to again. Maybe I should listen to Songs for Silverman again . . .