Fucking Smilers

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@#%&*! Smilers
Fucking Smilers (Aimee Mann album) cover art.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 2, 2008
RecordedThe Sound Factory, Hollywood, CA
GenrePop, rock
ProducerPaul Bryan
Aimee Mann chronology
One More Drifter in the Snow
@#%&*! Smilers
Singles from @#%&*! Smilers
  1. "31 Today"
    Released: 2007
  2. "Freeway"
    Released: May 20, 2008
  3. "Phoenix"
    Released: 2008

@#%&*! Smilers (pronounced Fucking Smilers)[1] is the seventh studio album by singer-songwriter Aimee Mann. It was released by SuperEgo Records in the UK on June 2, 2008, and in the US on June 3.[2] Upon the week of its release the album was featured as the Virgin Megastore "Pick of the Week."

The album was produced by Mann's bassist, Paul Bryan, and features guest appearances by singer-songwriter Sean Hayes, who duets with Mann on the track "Ballantines", and author Dave Eggers, who whistles on "Little Tornado".

In addition to the standard CD package, Smilers is available in a limited-edition package with a book-bound cover, a die-cut 32-page book with illustrations by renowned artist Gary Taxali, and held together with metal screw binding. On December 3, 2008, it was announced that this limited-edition package was nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package".[3]

The title of the album comes from a thread Mann read about 20 years ago on a newsgroup called alt.bitter where someone was complaining about the "fucking smilers" who would approach him at work when he was in a bad mood and try to cheer him up.[1][4]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[6]
The A.V. ClubB−[7]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[9]
Mojo5/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[12]
Tiny Mix Tapes3.5/5 stars[14]

The album has a score of 79 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[5] Prefix Magazine gave the album a score of 8.5 out of ten and said it "proves Aimee Mann still has plenty to offer doing the same thing she's already been doing for the last fifteen years."[15] Q gave it four stars out of five and said of Mann, "It isn't any different to where she's been before, it's simply that quality levels remain uniformly high."[5] Paste gave it a score of eight out of ten and called it "a more keyboard-centric entry into [Mann's] consistently excellent solo catalog."[5][16] The Boston Globe gave it a favorable review and said that the pep "is paired with tunes that seep into your brain with the stealth of Mann's own beguiling murmur and lyrics that range from poetic to narrative."[17] Hartford Courant also gave it a favorable review and said that "the strong songwriting and astute musical arrangements combine to make Mann's latest her best album so far."[18] Blender gave it a score of three-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "With its stories of faithless lovers, broken relationships and speed-dealing suburban doctors, @#%&*! Smilers almost seems to feed off the stagnation."[5] Other reviews are average: Uncut gave the album a score of three stars out of five and said that Mann's decision "to forgo electric guitars ... results in the aural equivalent of watercolour washes, lovely and tasteful but lacking presence."[5] Slant Magazine also gave it three stars out of five and said that "[Mann's] wise, bitter lyrics never let her listeners off the hook; it'd be nice to hear her challenge herself as well."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Aimee Mann, except where noted.

  1. "Freeway" – 3:50
  2. "Stranger into Starman" – 1:31
  3. "Looking for Nothing" – 3:46
  4. "Phoenix" – 3:56
  5. "Borrowing Time" – 3:12
  6. "It's Over" – 3:58
  7. "31 Today" – 4:52
  8. "The Great Beyond" – 3:12
  9. "Medicine Wheel" (Mann, Gretchen Seichrist) – 4:08
  10. "Columbus Avenue" – 4:06
  11. "Little Tornado" – 3:23
  12. "True Believer" (Mann, Grant Lee Phillips) – 3:32
  13. "Ballantines" – 2:21
iTunes bonus tracks
  1. "Freeway" (Acoustic Version) – 3:57
  2. "The Great Beyond" (Acoustic Version) – 3:11
  3. "Lullaby" – 4:06

@#%&*! Smilers was released in two versions in Japan, a single CD and a double CD/DVD set. "Columbus Avenue" (Acoustic Trio Version) was added as a bonus track to the CDs and the DVD featured music videos for "Freeway" and "31 Today".

  • "31 Today" (2007) (unreleased track included in the album)
  • "Freeway" (2008)
  • "Phoenix" (2008)



Chart Peak
US Billboard 200 32
US Independent Albums 2


  1. ^ a b "Aimee Mann Message Board". Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b PopMatters review
  3. ^ Grammy nominee list
  4. ^ DCist: DCist Interview: Aimee Mann Archived June 16, 2008(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e f Critic reviews at Metacritic
  6. ^ Allmusic review
  7. ^ The A.V. Club review
  8. ^ "Billboard review". Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  10. ^ Mojo review
  11. ^ Okayplayer review
  12. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Spin review
  14. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes review
  15. ^ Prefix Magazine review
  16. ^ Paste review
  17. ^ The Boston Globe review
  18. ^ Hartford Courant review Archived July 8, 2013, at archive.today
  19. ^ Slant Magazine review

External links[edit]