The Both

The Both (Superego)

Phases & Stages

Incompatible on paper, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo once again accomplish that which they've spent respective careers proving: everyone wrong. A New Wave survivor via Boston's 'Til Tuesday ("Voices Carry"), Mann, 53, carried rock over into a Nineties solo career whose wistfulness engendered critical and popular appeal. Leo, 43, went the hardcore NYC route during that same period, but not without a lyrical and melodic streak (Hearts of Oak). Together, those strengths inform this eponymous dance, subsuming just enough to give this debut the feel of a band with many facets. Leo brings heavy guitar fuzz on "Milwaukee," a tune that might seem out of place on one of Mann's records. Alternatively "You Can't Help Me Now" could've been lifted from the Magnolia soundtrack, arguably Mann's biggest solo success. Ardent rendering of Thin Lizzy's "Honesty Is No Excuse" finds the pair on just the right amount of middle ground. All told, The Both brings refreshing energy to a pair of catalogs whose unlikely intersection succeeds superbly. (The Both congregate at Mohawk Wednesday, August 13.)

***

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