Aimee Mann – Whatever (1993)

The former Til Tuesday vocalist found success with her solo debut “Whatever,” which channeled The Cranberries’s own classic debut “Everyone is Doing It So Why Can’t We” while also pointing the way towards the mainstream alt-rock explosion that would soon follow. It’s easy to hear influences like Ani DiFranco and Nirvana across the album, but that isn’t to suggest that the album feels like a copy or a pale imitation: As with everything Mann does, it exists on its own terms even as it’s influenced by what was going on at the time, with incredible songs like “Stupid Thing” (a personal favorite of mine) and “I Should’ve Known” quickly becoming earworms.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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