From The Desk Of Cursive’s Tim Kasher: Aimee Mann’s “@#%&*! Smilers”

timlogocCursive frontman Tim Kasher continues his graphic storytelling on sixth album Mama, I’m Swollen, out this week on Saddle Creek. He keeps it blunt and lyrically entertaining on the Omaha group’s moodiest LP yet, with song themes ranging from masturbation to tales starring Pinocchio. Kasher is guest editing all week. Read our Q&A with him.


First things first: Let’s not call this record @#{e5d2c082e45b5ce38ac2ea5f0bdedb3901cc97dfa4ea5e625fd79a7c2dc9f191}&*! Smilers, because I don’t know how to say that. It’s called Fucking Smilers, right? I worry this is the type of album title that turns people off. I am quite familiar with this problem; my very own mother vehemently campaigned against our latest album title, Mama, I’m Swollen. But people, please don’t be turned off by all those goofy symbols in the title. Fucking Smilers is an incredible record, my favorite of 2008. Check out “31 Today.” So good. This latest Cursive album is meant to be my response to being in my thirties, and this song sums it up in a simple refrain: “I thought my life would be different somehow/I thought my life would be better by now.” Don’t know if you’re a huge Aimee Mann fan or not, but if you are, “31 Today” reads as a kind of follow up to Bachelor No. 2‘s “Ghost World,” a song about a kid fresh out of high school with big expectations but a quiet understanding that she’s truly not going anywhere. So maybe you’re saying, “I fucking hate Aimee Mann. I always have.” If that’s the case, I’ve got nothing for you. You’ll probably hate this record, too. But if you’re the person saying, “Nah, she hasn’t done anything good since Magnolia … ” Not true! Don’t give up on her. This is arguably the best album she’s ever written. Check it out. Thanks for hearing me out.

“31 Today”:

One reply on “From The Desk Of Cursive’s Tim Kasher: Aimee Mann’s “@#%&*! Smilers””

“Smilers” is good but “The Forgotten Arm” is fantastic. The latter is among the best records released in the past decade.

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