Even Aimee Mann's peppiest songs are infused with a certain world-weary grittiness thanks to her sad-eyed alto and caustic lyricism, but her last few records veered into morose mediocrity with slower-paced, lounge-y material. Charmer rights that wrong by serving up 11 bright-hued mid-tempo confections, resulting in the first Mann collection in quite a while in which sharp riffs aren't limited to wordplay. Highlights include the Summerteeth-styled "Crazytown" and doomed-relationship duet "Living a Lie," wherein Mann swaps vitriolic verses alongside the Shins' James Mercer. Charmer is easily Mann's most endearingly melodic offering in a decade. With Ted Leo. 18+.
Sat., Nov. 17, 6 p.m., 2012