Just for Fun, I Guess

Aimee Mann is not known for blistering guitar solos. Neither is Tim Heidecker, a comedian who is only barely known for music at all. Yet somehow these two wrote “Soon Enough,” the third single from Mann’s 2012 release Charmer, a song that, as far as I’m concerned, exists solely to give birth to a searing, scorching solo.

The part that makes sense: Having binged a lot of reality TV, Mann decided to write a song about an intervention, specifically about the subject of an intervention waiting for everyone else to finish speaking so that they can “write [the whole thing] off” and claim that everyone else “made it up, just for fun, I guess.” That all makes sense if you’ve been paying attention to Mann’s career.

Given her multitudinous connections to the world of comedy, it also makes sense that she’d write a song with Heidecker and then let him star in the music video—which, continuing the theme, was directed by Nathan Fielder, of Nathan for You fame, who also appears in the video. Is this all a little strange? Sure. But for Mann’s career, we’re still in the realm of normal.

But then we have to consider “Soon Enough” on its musical merits. The song starts, like so many Mann songs, with an acoustic guitar and some keys. It’s exactly the kind of mid-tempo pop-rock you’d expect. An electric guitar fades up and then out across the first chorus. No big deal. It returns for the second chorus, but this time it doesn’t go anywhere. It keeps buzzing in big, broad strokes. And then, while Mann is still singing the extended chorus, it starts riffing. Slowly at first but then more frenetically. By the time Mann steps away from the mic, it’s tearing through a soulful solo and a horn section has sprung up to score the march. It’s cataclysmic. It’s amazing.

And then, like the song, it’s over. Every brief, fleeting moment along the way was wonderful.

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