“Wise Up” is a lullaby of sorts. Mann’s tender vocal (straining to hit those high notes) embraces the listener, pleading for a change of ways (“It’s not going to stop, ‘till you wise up”). It’s both moralistic and maternal.
The story goes that director Paul Thomas Anderson had a tape of his friend Aimee Mann’s recent, unreleased, music when he was working on the follow-up to his film Boogie Nights. He listened to the tape on repeat as he wrote. The music moved him so that he wrote multiple vignettes based on those songs. Those vignettes were strung together to become the film Magnolia. Mann’s tape became its soundtrack.
Aimee Mann's music for Magnolia has the proud distinction of being one of the great original film soundtracks. “Wise Up” has the proud distinction of being its gorgeous standout track.
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