The Sun newspaper June 19, 2008 asked Aimee Mann if this song is about the cult of celebrity. She replied: "It's more about the general idea of elevating people in your estimation that don't deserve it, based on how they appear rather than how they are. You could call it narcissism."
"Stranger Into Starman" incorporates Mann's signature stripped down style of songwriting, with a recurring piano theme. Her songs are deceptively simple; the melody changes only slightly, yet has a great emotional build.
This was the third album in a row in which Mann hired a graphic artist to devise the album's artwork. She explained to the Independent newspaper June 20, 2008: "My father was in advertising and I love great examples of it. I'm fascinated by propaganda, the whole psychological enterprise. He used to have these books, which I've inherited, Graphis annuals, which had all the best design, posters, book sleeves and anything else."