32. Aimee Mann, I'm With Stupid (Geffen, 1995)

The first line of the first song is "You fucked it up". Given her infamous record-label woes, you could argue she had every right to be pissed off. Still, rarely has any artist channeled her misery into something so tart, carthartic, caring and pitiless. Ms. Mann's second solo outing wipes away some of its predecessor's gloss, turning up the fuzz-toned guitars and tightening up the melodies until they gleam like late-period Beatles updated for the alt-rock age. In addition to "That's Just What You Are" (her only chart hit which I believed peaked at, oh, #90) and two gorgeous, Juliana Hatfield-assisted waltz-ballads, the simple, giddy "Superball" remains definitive. I once described it as a really rockin' Josie and The Pussycats. Eight years later, it's more akin to a world where Josie quit the band and ditched the kittysuit, but never abandoned her love of the almighty, bouncy hook.