Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Everybody wants to be a star, almost everybody that is and some truly have the potential or the grit to become so and yet for so many others all they truly see is the white sign above the Hollywood hills proclaiming some sort of secret message that this is their destiny, they were born to be famous.
It is a damming indictment of the 21st Century that so many people believe, perhaps even with some delusion that they are the ones that the camera is going to be taking the notice of, that they are a gift to humanity and without even having worked or toiled for many years, they are the one to whom journalists will fall over themselves to talk to. We are knee deep in a fashion of celebrity when in actual fact we are surrounded by those who wish to be Patient Zero.
With her first album release in five years due at the end of the month, Aimee Mann’s lead single from the recording Mental Illness, Patient Zero is a song not only of natural beauty, of steady grace, it is one that really captures its subject matter full on and one that asks its listeners to try to understand just how costly the act of celebrity can be. It can be a disease that strips you of both humility and humanity, it can make you even more pretentious than a man whose signature dish is the same feeble offering week after week and who yet calls themselves a master of culinary delights, it can eat away at you like the illusion that you a dating a princess when in actual fact there is a witch hiding away waiting to poison you. Patient Zero is the relationship of truth and open mind combining and it is one that Aimee Mann fully utilises.
The lyrical barbs hide the disappoint of life’s rejection superbly and has the ring of melancholy wrapped within its tight grasp and yet is gentle enough to protect the listener, should they take the sage advice, from the effects of fragility and the noise of over stating the obvious, that sometimes being the one to feel illness first does not guarantee you will be the first cured.
A single not afraid to show a truth to the public and one that heralds a fantastic return for Aimee Mann, a musical poet who is not adverse to carrying around the medicine required.
Ian D. Hall