On The Good Life’s break-up song, “Album of The Year”, Tim Kasher sings about this album as if it’s a classic: “We made love in the afternoon to “Chelsea Girls’ and ‘Bachelor Number 2’”.
I loved “Bachelor Number 2” from the first time I heard it. It’s perfect and cohesive and filled with great songs. And when comparing it to Nico’s classic LP “Chesea Girls”, it actually does stand up. Like Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”, picking a song from this record doesn’t necessarily do the artist justice. “Bachelor Number 2” is best when listened to as a whole, but some of the tracks do stand out on their own and “Red Vines” is probably the best example of Mann’s ability to craft a thoughtful and melancholy pop song.
Her band has always been fantastic and rocking (see “Long Shot” on her “Live at St Ann’s Warehouse” album), but on “Bachelor Number 2” the whole production seems to fit Mann’s melancholy mood and the layered production helps bring out her literate lyrics, rather than drowning them away. Mann owns all of the songs on this album and they very well could have been a part of a very strong singer-songwriter record. But if that had happened, we’d have likely lost the things that make this such a great record -- the band’s layered presentation brings the songs to a different place, mixing perfectly with Mann’s voice to create a great record that everyone should own.