Like many of John Prine’s albums from the '80s, Aimless Love has a smooth and gentle sheen. The album’s hushed delivery enhances its key themes of loss, depression, loneliness, and love. “Be My Friend Tonight” sets the tone with its first lines: “I threw a party, nobody came/I bought all the tickets, they canceled the game/I give you my picture, it didn't fit your frame/Be my friend tonight.” As he aged, Prine increasingly saw the world as a place where human beings find it nearly impossible to be good to one another. This poignant realization recurs through Aimless Love, from the title song to “Me, Myself, and I” to “People Puttin’ People Down.” Prine is backed on these recordings by such luminaries as Spooner Oldham, Bobby Whitlock, and Donnie Fritts: Southerners who know a thing or two about the tender and tragic nature of the human soul and how to sing about it. To Prine’s credit, he never turns bitter; there's a twinkle in his eye even when he's at his lowest. And against everything he's seen and experienced in the world, he won't let go of his dream of love, as proven by the lyrics in the album’s closing song.