In order to fully appreciate the new Aimee Mann video for "Labrador," you're going to have to spend time watching at least two clips, including the one for "Voices Carry," her first hit with 'Til Tuesday. You'll probably end up running through both a few more times thereafter.
Directed by comedian-radio show host-DJ Tom Scharpling, the video stars Mann, Superchunk drummer-comedian Jon Wurster and a mustachioed Jon Hamm as Scharpling, who explains his idea for the clip at the opening: To capture the magic of "Voices Carry."
Mann, for her part, issues a disclaimer before the clip runs, claiming she was tricked into signing a contract: "I want to make it perfectly clear that I had no choice in this video. I was legally bound to do it."
Then, to the shot, the clip replicates the plotline of 1985's "Voices Carry," made in the MTV era when a good video needed a story -- even one that may or may not have much to do with the words of the song itself.
In "Voices Carry," that story involves the bleach-blond, spiky-headed Mann, who wears a then-fashionable braided hair-tail extended down her back, wrestling with relationship woes with her uptight boyfriend.
So does the "Labrador" video, except the hunky boyfriend is played by Wurster, and he and Mann are in the middle of similar struggles -- one of which involves her artistic integrity, and another Mann's braided tail. Watch it below.
Mann's eighth studio album, "Charmer," is out today.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit