The Both (Aimee Mann + Ted Leo) – The Both

The Both (Aimee Mann + Ted Leo) – The Both

The Both (Aimee Mann + Ted Leo) – The Both

The Both

Superego Records

Collaboration is a tricky thing. Do it right and you get peanut butter cups. Do it wrong, and you end up with nu-metal. Luckily The Both, the partnership between indie powerhouses Aimee Mann and Ted Leo hits the peanut butter cup target with ease and a skillful blending of harmony.

The self-titled release from The Both shows the two artists’ styles complimenting each other nicely, especially when the interplay of the vocals are given prominence, as in “Pay for It” or “You Can’t Help Me Now.”

Most of the songs are in a relaxed mid-tempo and sound familiar in a refreshing and comforting way, as if you’ve heard these songs before, long ago. Leo fans will be attracted to “Milwaukee,” which sounds like a lost Ted Leo and the Pharmacists song, and the fuzz in “Volunteers of America,” recalling “I’m a Ghost.”

“Volunteers of America,” a salute to and study of America’s forgotten and overlooked heroes is a song that should be made into a series of public service announcements to be played before movies to launch a new W.P.A. The songs are lyrically intriguing, and straightforward musically, with simple instrumentation augmented by spare strings and occasional horns or keyboards. There’s even a Thin Lizzy cover, “Honesty is No Excuse.”

Most of the songs were worked out long-distance, which is surprising, since they sound organic and lived-in. Album opener “The Gambler,” showcases the two vocal styles complimenting and assisting each other, sounding like a duo that has been working together for some time.

As a showcase for two gifted songwriters and singers, The Both’s self-titled release is an outstanding example of two styles blending seamlessly together, like a giant peanut butter cup.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Butch Walker
    Butch Walker

    Stay Gold (Dangerbird Records). Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Belly

    Belly brought lot of grit and a touch of grace to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

  • Pickathon 2016
    Pickathon 2016

    Pendarvis Farms transforms for three extraordinary days into the fun and psychedelic fest of your wildest indie music loving dreams, Pickathon. Alexa Harris was there to experience the joys of farm life for the weekend.

  • Money Chicha
    Money Chicha

    Echo En Mexico (Vampisoul). Review by James Mann.

  • Micronotz reissues
    Micronotz reissues

    Mortal Micronotz, Smash, Live, The Beast that Devoured Itself, 40 Fingers (Bar/None). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Big Eyes
    Big Eyes

    Stake My Claim (Don Giovanni Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Various Artists
    Various Artists

    Money Maker (Studio One). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pawns

    A triple bill of underground Goth, led by NYC’s Pawns, transforms Uncle Lou’s into a time machine. Jen Cray did not wear eye makeup, but she did wear a black shirt to the show.

  • Bossacucanova

    The Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Ranch Ghost
    Ranch Ghost

    Lookin’ (Rough Beast Records). Review by Jen Cray.

From the Archives