The Forgotten Arm

  • Record Label: Superego
  • Release Date: May 3, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. It's her darkest and most complex record to date, an examination of the centripetal destruction that consumes lives at the point of no return.
  2. The songs on The Forgotten Arm are too engaging to dismiss their familiarity.
  3. While nothing on The Forgotten Arm is brand new for her, it's a natural evolution from what her fans have gotten used to, the minor-key laments and regrets of Bachelor No. 2 and Lost in Space.
  4. While the emotional payoff of the album proves more satisfying than anything she’s done so far, the individual tracks don’t stand alone as well.
  5. Uncut
    Songs unfold as complex relationships, with attendant euphoria, doubt and internal demons. [May 2005, p.112]
  6. Entertainment Weekly
    Forgotten Arm still sounds like Aimee Mann. And that's not a bad thing. [29 Apr 2005, p.147]
  7. Here's yet another exemplary Aimee Mann album to add to the pile.
  8. The best songs on The Forgotten Arm reveal the extremes of love and despair under their smiling masks, but the sorrows of the album are tempered by what can only be Mann’s own joy.
  9. And though she may be running in place lyrically, her melodies have never been keener and her vocals grow richer and more confident with each release.
  10. Enough bending guitar licks to satisfy the yuppiest of thirtysomething businessmen and enough mellow ballads to satisfy your Dixie Chicks-loving mom.
  11. Some of the songs are immediately engrossing... Others mostly carry the story forward while allowing Mann to indulge her career-long taste for vintage keyboard orchestration, coolly elegant pop arrangements and displays of tart wordplay.
  12. While the music here isn't as good as that on Bachelor, the strict structure does help give The Forgotten Arm direction, helping shape it into one of her more consistent albums.
  13. Once the contrivance of The Forgotten Arm’s vaguely sketched plot device crumbles, there are still solid tracks to be found.
  14. Unfortunately, this straightforward approach also reveals how straight-up dull Mann's country-tinged songs can be.
  15. Mojo
    An unfussy affair. [Jun 2005, p.108]
  16. Q Magazine
    Sketched out over a dozen songs, the idea doesn't quite hang together. [May 2005, p.114]
  17. Rolling Stone
    This time around her songs are more pleasurable for seeming less deeply felt. [5 May 2005, p.72]
  18. Blender
    If she doesn't follow commercial formulas, she's following creative ones, and selling herself short in the process. [Jun 2005, p.111]
  19. Mann's signature wordplay sounds clichéd and exhausted, and her melodies lack the energy and pop sparkle that distinguished her pre-Lost In Space work.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. TimH
    Jan 8, 2006
    This album is still growing on me. Very very nice effort by Aimmee. Congrats
  2. SamD
    Nov 28, 2005
    On this site, i continue to hear the same thing; Lost in Space was dull. One, people who say that didn't listen to the lyrics On this site, i continue to hear the same thing; Lost in Space was dull. One, people who say that didn't listen to the lyrics whatsoever; It's Not, Today's the Day, and Real Bad News are some of the best, and most tragically beautiful, lyrics i have ever heard. So when I popped The Forgotten Arm, I was shocked to hear that some of the songs slipped a bit in the lyrical department. They were all still beautiful, but it seemed that Aimee wasn't behind all of them 100%. Goodbye Caroline and Beautiful captured my heart from the first go 'round, but the others will take a few more test drives before they become memorable. Full Review »
  3. AustinA
    Nov 17, 2005
    In this story of agonizing love, Aimee Mann seems to lose focus on some songs yet the great ones make the album timeless.