The Both are a singer-songwriter collaboration that sound precisely like you'd hope. New Wave heartthrob and master songcrafter Aimee Mann gets welcome vocal and guitar snarl from Ted Leo, a post-punk heartthrob in his own right whose unfussy attack benefi ts from Mann's melodic and harmonic touch. Anyone following their aesthetic courtship on Twitter could've predicted the lyrical sparks. Alongside a tight, contrite cover of Thin Lizzy's "Honesty Is No Excuse" is the gently apocalyptic "Hummingbird" ("They're marching on Monsanto") and the Beatlesque "The Inevitable Shove," which casts a jaded eye on familial love. Hey, whaddya expect from a pair of hopeless indie-rock realists?
From The Archives Issue 1208: May 8, 2014