Mandy Moore Discography Rate - #28: In which we lose a song from 2003 (Oprah is a fan.) | Page 37 | The Popjustice Forum

Mandy Moore Discography Rate - #28: In which we lose a song from 2003 (Oprah is a fan.)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by pop3blow2, Mar 18, 2019.

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What's your favorite Mandy Moore album

  1. So Real

    4 vote(s)
    9.3%
  2. I Wanne Be With You

    1 vote(s)
    2.3%
  3. Mandy Moore

    17 vote(s)
    39.5%
  4. Coverage

    7 vote(s)
    16.3%
  5. Wild Hope

    10 vote(s)
    23.3%
  6. Amanda Leigh

    4 vote(s)
    9.3%
  7. Other (soundtrack, etc.)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Love The Way to Your Heart. Tried to find a link to the Charlotte Perrelli/Nilsson BANGER I'm the One For You that Paul Rein wrote on but failed.
     
    Robert, pop3blow2 and vague like this.
  2. [​IMG]


    "Merrimack River" | 7.403




    Rated 43rd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 4th out of 10 from Amanda Leigh



    Chart info or stats:

    The 56th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 3rd most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh




    Liner Notes


    Written by: Mandy Moore & Mike Viola
    Produced by: Mike Viola


    Track 1 on Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009




    "My own parade…"
    "Mike (Viola) came to me with the sketch of an idea for a song. One the lyrics included the phrase Merrimack River. It was ironic in the sense that I didn’t know where it was & Mike didn’t know I was born in Nashua, NH. The river the actually runs right through Nashua. The song felt so purposeful & so fitting to open a record with. I loved the lyrical idea of : 'Restless to begin/ A wave comes crashing in' " -Mandy Moore

    I love that commentary of the track by Mandy. It really shows what an artistic mind she has. It also really drives the point about what a perfect & purposeful song cycle Amanda Leigh was planned to be & is.

    One reason I love that commentary so much, is that I grew up in city where a river divided us from the biggest ‘major’ city. As such, for the first part of my life, I just assumed all cities were set up that way! I remember going to the first major city without a river running through it when I was elementary school (Indianapolis, IN) and literally being perplexed there was no river. Rivers were just part of life & community. My dad's job was even based around the river. So, songs about rivers always catch my attention. Couple that with Mandy’s keen interest is dissecting her own mythology & you have the makings of something special.. and something symbolically up my alley.

    'Merrimack River' not only lyrically set the tone for our journey on Amanda Leigh, but maybe even more so, musically. The song dances along a very musical melody meeting a folk/country song style & arrangement. It’s a sonic palette that really is the perfect melding of Mandy’s worlds. Oddly, in some ways, it’s a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in the world of Tangled. There’s an ‘old world’ feel to the song, that a has jaunty enchanted forest mood about it. The whole thing is overwhelmingly ambitious in both its sonics & lyrical ideas. There's just something other-worldly about it. It's classy, classic, & unclassifiable. Pure Mandy.

    The lyric about :


    ’Rows of boys and girls
    Line up to see the world
    Candy-coated promise’


    ... always makes me smile.

    Since Amanda Leigh is filled with the concept of returning to your roots, I couldn't help but always think that line was direct reference to her career beginnings. I love when artists reference their other work in songs, etc. Granted, you can to it too much & it loses some of its charm. But when its done right, its an ultimate Easter Egg (sorry Tay) for the fans who have followed your work.

    Mandy moved away from Nashua when she was very young to live in Orlando Florida. So, it's understandable she had limited knowledge of this region of her youth. I love that it took a random collaboration with another writer in her adult years for her to learn of a river that flowed though her birth town. We all have our own story to discover, & Amanda Leigh is Mandy discovering part of hers.

    I think ‘Merrimack River’ would likely be the artistic statement on the album on its own, but coupled with the fact Mandy felt the need to give it a reprise, really draws attention to the track. Unlike Mandy’s debut, the only other album in her discog with a reprise, 'Merrimack River' is her choice. She even said the of Amanda Leigh in the interviews leading up to its release: "The music here is all a reflection of me now, not somebody else's choices."

    In yet another moment of fitting synchronicity in this rate, it seems perfect that 'Merrimack River' & its reprise is the song that breaks our rate in two (with our most divided scores so far, I must add) … and serves a special moment before we head back the river in the second part of our Mandy journey.

    ’Give me something sweet
    Bring me to the brink
    I'll leave without hesitation
    To a world without limitation
    Rock me patient, slowly'



    My Score: 9



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @LKane (10):
    What a perfect way to start the record. A beautiful acoustic melody with Mandy’s voice. It fits perfectly her voice and style. And those violins just wow. One of my fave songs from her. It’s just perfect. (So well put. I didn't mention the violins above, but yeah... beautiful. Also that random pedal steel guitar. The song really creates a little world all its own.)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    What we start off with on Mandy's next album after Wild hope is indeed a special treat to the ears. I love how this plays like a lullaby but is also telling us a sweet story. Mandy sounds pretty amazing singing on such a dreamy and well crafted pop song like this. This is like a new more freeing spirited side to Mandy that I think sounds very natural and fitting for her. I can't tell you how much I love this side of Mandy, or stage of her music! What a great dreamy opener that just completely captures your senses and imagination. (Lullaby is the perfect word. I think that's why I was trying to say with my enchanted forest rambling! Haha! Very much a float down the river & daydream, kinda song.)

    @RUNAWAY (10):
    I honestly forgot how much I love this album, and this song in particular. It really sets the mood, and I forgot how much I love the folk side of Mandy’s career. (It's the best sometimes when you forget how much you love a song, album, or artist & come back to it. The Popjustice forums are great initiators of this happening!)

    @ohnostalgia (9)
    This is exactly the type of twee indie bullshit I fall for every time. (We all have our musical kryptonite. Now if I ever need some guaranteed points in song contest I'll be digging up some twee indie BS!)

    @Music Is Life (9):
    This was cute, I really like her vocals on this and the lyrics, and the guy actually sounds kinda nice with her. (Yeah. That guy singing is Mike Viola. They do sound great together. He's critical to the Amanda Leigh story, but I haven't quite squeezed his narrative into a write-up yet. Its coming though.)


    @chris4862 (8.5):
    Pure whimsy. (For sure.)

    @unnameable (8.5):
    What a beautiful melody to start the album with. (Yeah, we've focused a lot on the lyrics & sound of this songs, but wow... that melody is quite stunning.)


    @Sprockrooster (8), @Florencia. (8.5)





    Corner of your eye
    @Robert (7), @vague (7.5), @Remorque (6.5)




    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (5), @tylerc904 (4.5), @Robsolete (5), @ladylloyd (4), @CasuallyCrazed (3.25)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Live acoustic version



    Snippet from a concerting in 2010. Wish the whole version was up, but whatevs.



    Merrimack River (Reprise)

     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  3. This song is so perfect. It's a big shame to have it already out of this rate. Almost in the middle... dang.
     
    Zar-Unity likes this.
  4. Merrimack river, a song so good that it even had a "reprise", yet that didn't
    stop it from already being voted out. At least it made it about halfway
    through the rate. Understandibly, this type of music is not everyone's
    cup of tea. I agree though with @pop3blow2 , Merrimack river is
    "pure Mandy"! Your write up for this one is so poetic and beautiful.
    Your review could almost make someone who doesn't like Mandy's
    later music a fan just by reading it, I imagine. So convincing! And
    Merrimack river does have a lovely thematic sound to it that
    really wouldn't be that out of place in a Disney movie!
     
    Robert and pop3blow2 like this.
  5. So, for the midpoint in the rate I always had a special essay planned.

    Many of the ideas for said essay have been floating around my head for 15 years. The connections are there, but just not perfect yet. Maybe they’ll never be. As such, the essay isn’t quite as good as I want it, but I was dead set on having a piece like this finished for the halfway point of the rate... so I'm gonna throw it up here later today likely, in all its messy glory.

    I guess the two reactions to the essay will either be slight intrigue by my particular strange flavor of creativity…. or the other reaction is that you’ll all form an intervention to see if I need help!

    Either way, the mid-point essay on the the Great Mandy Rate is forthcoming. (for the record, I’m at LOSTpedia looking up one the connections I made in the essay, so strength be with you all!)

    Final final note: I just randomly fired up a video by a music YouTuber while finishing up this write-up & I LITERALLY CAN NOT BELIEVE THE REFERENCE THEY JUST MADE. It's the same reference I make in the forthcoming essay. It might the most gloriously #MetaMandy thing that has ever happened to me as a fan. How's that for a teaser.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  6. [​IMG]


    Split Chick Reflections: The Cosmic Duality of Mandy Moore


    Singer/Actress
    Blonde/Brunette
    Pop/Folk
    Jamie Sullivan/Hilary Faye
    Popular/Flopular
    Good Girl/Iconoclast
    Mandy/Amanda



    I could go on & on here. (You all know I could)

    I can’t tell you the exact moment time I completely tuned my interest into Mandy’s ovewhelming duality. I do know that even out of the gate, even when she irritated me beyond all get out, I was already focusing on her duality. I mean, she dropped an album called So Real & all my brain could focus in was, ‘are you kidding me! You’re most manufactured pop thing I’ve ever seen! "So Real"… meh…Go Way!’ Love & Strong Dislike live in same parts of our brain & pop music proves that to me all the time.

    Fairly certain it was Coverage that sent the concept of her duality into overdrive & I've just added to the inventory of ideas over the years. Because of this inherent fascination in such an odd part of her narrative, I do know i wanted this essay to be at the midpoint of the rate, since the main idea here is how she has the inane superpower of balancing things out. So here we are.

    I should note that there are some interesting points of entry for this piece. One is astrology. Look, I have no idea if there is any truth in astrology, all I know is ever since I was a little kid & discovered I was a ‘Gemini’ I was hooked on the idea of duality. It explains a lot bout personality & things I'm interested in. As such, it’s become an inescapable lens for how view certain things.

    The other point of entry for this write-up, is something really only you all would understand. A music article about Britney Spears.

    In December of 2001 Tom Perrota wrote a music essay for GQ called the "Cosmic Significance of Britney Spears". It immediately became one of my favorite music essays of all time. While you can ague the finer points that piece, the reason it appealed to so much was partly just in how it was constructed. I loved the seemingly unrelated artists he tied into the Britney narrative… and mixed that with the sense of the national zeitgeist. It’s the kind of ambitious music writing I like. It’s here, so you can read it later if you like: http://tomperrotta.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cosmic_Britney_Spears.pdf

    The reality is that much of Mandy’s art & career choices are rooted in some key concepts of duality,
    - Reflections
    - Splitting in two
    - Purposefully & almost defiantly doing the opposite of what her peers were doing or what was expected of her
    - Wanting to live in the past, but being forced to live in the present
    - Being at odds with her artistic existence/achievements
    - A continual quest for balance

    Her artistic choices are littered with these & similar ideas. Let's take a look.



    Duality & Mandy’s music

    The built-in push/pull of Mandy’s music is both subtle & insanely obvious. In some ways, it starts at the beginning. How many artists have 2 debut albums? From the very get go, Mandy’s career was steeped in a certain ambiguous confusion from the outset. Within 5 months Epic had gone from marketing her as a the teeniest of all teeny-boppers to repackaging her album with several slickly produced/AC friendly tunes.

    Who was this girl? Even she wasn’t sure.

    The duality of Mandy’s music really kicks into high gear with Mandy Moore (the first of two ((dual)) albums in her career that are technically self-titled). The titles of many of the songs alone start to tie into this narrative:

    • "One Sided Love"
    • "It Only Took A Minute" > going into "Turn The Clock Around"
    • The up & down implications of "YoYo"
    • And of course, the quite literal "Split Chick"

    “I can hold my breath forever
    I can pledge allegiance in reverse
    You know kids can be so clever
    It can be a blessing or a curse
    ... Split in two, I'm a split chick”


    Mandy Moore is first time we really see such obvious strains of duality in Mandy’s musical output. While she didn’t write these songs, she picked them. And the fact that she picked them for her 'first' self titled album is interesting.

    Coverage is, of course where it all hits the fan, as they say.

    Really, in some ways, I need to take a quick diversion. "Someday We’ll Know" (from the A Walk To Remember soundtrack) actually kicks off the Mandy cover song duality narrative. While not a ‘old song’ like the songs of Coverage, 'Someday We’ll Know' is an interesting episode in the Mandy canon. The song itself is kind of a throwback to older 70’s style music. I can’t be for certain, I’m fairly sure it was Mandy’s choice to cover the song. It's seems up her alley.

    Keeping in theme of duality, it’s also her first duet. Her first duet is a cover (but of course it is). A cover being sung with the lead singer of, what was generally referred to as, a Christian band. Interesting choice. But the song they are singing, is by a fairly not Christian band, named the New Radicals (I mean, just read the lyrics to the title track from their lone album!). Like Mandy, New Radicals broke in 1999… and I was obsessed with them. I still am. When they randomly popped up on the A Walk To Remember soundtrack in a couple of spots, it was the both the oddest & most completely normal scenario for my gemini brain.

    (Here’s the video I mentioned in the teaser post earlier:



    I kid you not, I watch every episode of this dude’s channel… and this episode is the one came on today. Time stamp 15:15, for the mind-melting, if you don’t want to watch the whole thing (but you you should!)

    Even they lyrics to the songs are singing are steeped in the call & response (dual) mythology of unanswered questions of the past. It’s really the perfect lead in track to Coverage-era Mandy if you’re ever making a playlist!

    Oh, Coverage

    Coverage is not only an exercise in duality in overall concept (past meets present), but even in the way she recorded it (mainly just her & John Fields ). Even some of her songs are rooted in a sense of (The Whole Of The Moon/Moonshadow | One Way Or Another/Breaking Us In Two). Almost all the songs have some sort of division that has taken place & needs resolved. There is a sense of balance trying to be achieved with the album, both lyrically & sonically. I think this balance is just not in the song choices, but in deeper psychology. I always wished she had perfectly split the song choices between male & female... she almost does! Mandy makes so bones about feeling out of place in the current time period. In creating Coverage she’s trying to make do with her situation by creating a sonic world steeped in the past she can live in.

    The whole era's duality exemplified by the song 'Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters' for me. That song touches upon so many of these themes that interest Mandy:

    "While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
    Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
    Turn around and say good morning to the night
    For unless they see the sky
    But they can't and that is why
    They know not if it's dark outside or light"


    The fact the she also also appeared in an Elton John video the year before (set in the past) & covered a song 'Secret Love' for the Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack the same year, well that's just too much. "And my secret love's no secret anymore".

    The Wild Hope era continues the narrative of her search for balance. Again, song titles hold little clues. ‘Looking Forward To Looking Back’ , ‘Slummin’ In Paradise’, and the connective tissue between concepts like ‘Most Of Me’ & ’Nothing That You Are’.

    A lot of this is maybe nothing crazy. I mean, one could argue that one of the main purposes of all art if for the artist to find balance in a crazy world. In the search for such balance, it would be easy to draw conclusions & find instances of such desires all over the place in artist's collective work.

    Fair enough.

    To me though, Amanda Leigh, seals the deal that there is something deeper going on in the Mandy musical narrative. Even the album’s title is the declaration of balance, as Mandy already had one ‘self-titled’ record. The fact that in her heart she felt the need to make a second with her real given name & featuring all songs she wrote in a style of music she chose, is the ultimate moment of duality in her musical career. It’s a woman looking at her refection in the mirror & trying to make sense of she sees & who she is.

    This concept on the album can be perfectly summed up with the song ’Nothing Everthing’. The title alone interests me. The overall song though, could literally the mission statement of the album & maybe’s Mandy career. And of course, is a complete moment of pure yin & yang, she never even utters those words in the song. I mean, read the lyrics. She could be singing those to reflection of herself.



    Duality & Mandy’s Acting


    Let’s be honest, the very idea of ‘acting’ is steeped in a certain duality, the idea of being someone else for awhile. Even taking that into consideration, the roles Mandy is best known for is mind-boggingly amazing to me.


    The first time I really though of this was with A Walk To Remember/Saved. Jamie Sullivan, was the virginal daughter of a preacher. A literal perfect angel & embodiment of goodness... whose last act in life is to fill a lost soul with love & direction. This role not only made Mandy famous beyond anything she had done so far, but amplified the narrative that she was a good girl in real life.

    In one super interesting point in the move, Mandy's character is completing her bucket list. One of those items is to be in two places at the same time. At the time, it was a sweet moment in the film, but over the course of my Mandy fandom, it became the touchstone for a deeper understating of Mandy's whole narrative.

    [​IMG]

    With her next major role, she would literally play the exact opposite character in Hilary Faye. Hilary Faye was awfully misguided who used her faith in God to persecute & other people. It was in the moment where Mandy more spoke to my Gemini heart in a way, that few other artists ever have. I adored her guts in even tackling such a role after A Walk To Remember. It was the ultimate act of build something & tear it down.

    Really I didn’t need to think about it long, as Mandy came right out in interviews and basically said the reason she wanted the role of Hilary Faye was to almost balance out the roles she was known for.

    Over the course of the next several years, the roles she would play would all be oddly rooted in sense of duality. From the President's daughter who changes her appearance to runaway form the media (a complete analog to her real life in some ways) to actually playing a fictionalized version of herself on Entourage, Mandy’s use of her movie roles were often used as a reflection of her actual self. (Perhaps peaking with Rapunzel in some surprising ways.)

    Even in cameo roles, such as How I Met Your Mother or The Simpsons, she played characters that were created to distinctly be the exact opposite of how she is best known in real life. She seems at constant odds to balance herself out.

    Without giving away the plot too much, the concept of reflections, duality, & Mandy’s quest to live in other eras reaches a crescendo on This Is Us. Once again, Mandy’s real life loves & interests creep into the show in a way that is both organic & becoming expected to me at this point. Even then, I still find the occurrences uncanny & surprising.



    Mandy Moore as the Generation Gap Bridge.


    So, obvisouly I I'm into the idea dividing things into twos, reflections, & ying/yangs.

    It will not surprise you then that Mandy Moore’s very existence perfeclty divides my life as a pop fan. I’m of that add age where half my life was rooted in the analog world (1980-1999) & the digital world (2000-2019). Mandy Moore came in 1999 right before the millennium (MM). As such, she not just became a pop singer I love, but a literal marker of division in my life. Coming out the millennium was perfect in so many & really just a happy coincidence, but one that helps me keep my own groundings as time gets a little fuzzier.

    In the show LOST, one of the characters Daniel Farraday, discovers the ability for consciousness to time travel. One of the laws for this to work properly is that you must not bend your time out side the period of which your constant is alive.

    "A constant is an object or person that exists in both periods of time, that the traveler deeply cares about and could recognize." - LOSTpedia

    Your ‘constant’ is a single person that you will help you get your bearings when you travel back & forth between time periods… so you don’t go crazy.

    In popular culture, Mandy Moore is my constant.

    Not only only does she bounce around from genre to genre musically, but she split my love popular music into two distinct eras. Now some of this is purely coicindental. She came out in 1999 when I was 21. As such, now 20 years later, she basically divides my musical eras as a pop fan into two perfect halves. Couple that with the fact that she actually incorporated an album of songs from my youth into her discography, this really made her my musical constant. Her MTV begginings, Tangled, & yes, even her Ryan Adams connection for a period tied her into the overall fabric of my pop cuture life in integrating ways for 20 years.

    I love the idea of parallel dimensions & alternate timelines. One of my most favorite things to say, 'in another timeline, this is a #1 hit!', etc. Mandy taps into that idea in a very special way, many times in her career. As, I've mentioned ins some other write-ups here, she always seemed 'just off' in her timing when entering a new phase of her music.

    The odd thing though, is that even despite her relative success from time-to-time, or the fact she disappears into the background some, she has always been able to be consistent part of pop culture.

    In the end, Mandy Moore is fascinating in the way that I think she is a even a generational constant. Early noughties kids have their 'Candy' & A Walk To Remember. In the mid-00’s she crossed generations with Coverage. Then she moved on to appealing to that older demo with projects like Entourage & Wild Hope. Eventually she did the ultimate time travel, by introducing herself to a whole generation with Tangled & Sheriff Callie. Now, she’s settled on show playing a character that spans two eras… and likely appealing to the oldest demo she ever has with This Is Us.

    Mandy more has found her sense of balance, as far as I'm concerned, by being a sort of a perfect generational bridge in pop culture. A sort of pop uniter in an era where it's easier to divide & where all ages can much easier just fall into to the echo chamber of their own likes.

    Ever since I was young, I’ve been obsessed with the generation gap. It’s one reason Vanessa Carlton's song 'Who’s To Say', is probably my favorite song of all time. It’s a song that tries desperately to build a bridge between generations.

    Mandy Moore has often done the same. Her reasoning for it is quite different though, as I think she’s always been a woman who merely wishes she was born in different era. In her quest to somehow get there through her art, she is constantly at odds with everything, with the industry, with her image, & even her sound... she has actually found some balance & built a bridge brick by brick. Maybe that’s what great art is. Being constantly at odds, in the the search for some divine balance. If that’s the case, I’d say she has as good as sense as anyone I’ve ever had the privilege of following.

    When it’s all said & done, the ultimate to her duality on a personal level might just be how she went from zero to hero, in my world... and in doing so became the perfect symbol of the ying & yang ideas I find so compelling in life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  7. [​IMG]


    "Secret Love" | 7.428




    Rated 42nd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 6th out of 21 from Soundtracks & Extras



    Chart info or stats:

    The 42nd most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm




    Liner Notes


    Written by: Sammy Fain & Paul Francis Webster
    Produced by: Trevor Horn


    Track 8 on Mona Lisa Smile Original Soundtrack released December 19, 2003




    "My own parade…"
    The first time I heard 'Secret Love', I about fell over.

    We all knew Mandy could sing & I was super-aware of her musical theater love by this point. Even with that foundation, the exquisite vocal on this song was something to behold. It showed she was really starting to understand & control some of the more intricate details of her ultimate instrument: her voice.

    Both the movie & soundtrack for film Mona Lisa Smile kinda flew under the radar at the end of 2003. At the time though, I was in peak Mandy mode with Coverage having just been released, so the prospect of immediately getting a new song from her made me excited beyond all reason. I’m also a pretty big Kirsten Dunst fan, so the film in general was something I was excited for. (really the whole cast was pretty stellar in the film.)

    As I alluded to in the 'Split Chick Reflections' post yesterday, 'Secret Love' was also the other shoe falling on a small part of Mandy’s whole 'cosmic duality' thing. While likely just a happy coincidence, I couldn’t help but associate the song with 'Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters' from Coverage. And, while not technically a Broadway musical. Secret Love was a cover of a song from a Hollywood musical that eventually became a Broadway musical. Either way, such a musical theater nerd singing 'Secret Love' mere months after Coverage added a certain resonance to the line : ‘This Broadway’s got a lot of songs to sing/If I knew the words I might join in’, from the aforementioned Elton John cover. (I should also not the Elton John was also on the Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack... in a funny little connection singing 'The Heart Of Every Girl'.)

    The original version of 'Secret Love', was done by Doris Day who sadly passed away this year. Much like Mandy, Doris was a singing actress. The song was from the 1953 film Calamity Jane about nominated for an Oscar, which it won (despite the fact that Doris Day refused to sing the live at the presentation that year.)

    The song quickly became a classic & even a standard. In another Mandy connection, it was also famously covered by Connie Francis, whose ’Stupid Cupid’ Mandy covered earlier in the rate. What an old soul, Mandy is.

    ’Secret Love’ & its parent film have also taken on some interesting subtext over the last couple decades. Some critics now view the song as ‘the first gay anthem’.

    From Wikipedia:


    The film (Calamity Jane) has been popular with some queer female audiences for its depiction of a character which can be read as lesbian, and was screened at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 2006. Film critic Jamie Stuart points to the film's lesbian overtones in Jane being played as a strong, independent woman who shares a house with a woman, the two of them painting "Calam and Katie" in a heart on its door. Armond White sees the film as approaching sexuality and queerness in a way that Hollywood was not openly able to do, describing the empathy and envy between Jane and Katie's characters as "a landmark display of girl-on-girl attraction". Out magazine described the film's award-winning song, "Secret Love", as "the first gay anthem"


    This turns an interesting page in the Mandy story, as while she has always been an outspoken ally in the LGBTQ community, her actual family dynamic gives her some very personal perspective into the fight for equality. Both of her brothers are gay & as we’ve discussed, her mom eventually came out as gay too & left her father.

    Much like ’Secret Love’ became a fated anthem for queer culture, Mandy was sort of fated to become an amazing & uniquely authentic voice for equality.

    When speaking proudly of her family, Mandy says:


    “Nobody is hiding who they are,” Moore tells the magazine (People). “There are no secrets in our lives. I love and support my mom and my brothers with my whole heart. And nothing makes me happier than seeing anybody live their authentic self, and to choose love. If anyone can find love, I support it, I salute you and I celebrate that.”

    While I've tried to present all the rate elimination badge pictures in order of Mandy's age, I'm straying from the concept for this post. Since we started the rate with a picture of a baby Mandy & her mother... with 'Secret Love' being the first elimination of the second half of the rate, it seemed too perfect to not start this half off with a recent picture of Mandy & her mom.

    Adding even some more fun irony & balance to this elimination is that 'Amazing Lucky Scarf' was the first song we eliminated in this rate, a song from a children's show full of country/western musical numbers... played by a spunky Mandy in the lead role as a female sheriff. 'Secret Love' is from a western musical based around the life of a spunky western frontierswoman.

    Come on, now. Just stop.



    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Sprockrooster (10)

    @Zar-Unity (9.7):
    Wow, what a beautiful song! These type of grand sounding love songs with lots of strings fit Mandy's amazing voice pretty well. I could see her doing a whole album around this type of music. Honestly I'd be here for it.
    I wonder if the movie that this song is from is good. I might check it out later. You can definitely tell right away after hearing this song that it was from a movie. It's got that big thematic lullaby sound to it. Isn't Mandy's
    voice just so multi-talented and highly versatile? At this point in this song rate, if you haven't yet come to this conclusion then I don't know what music you are actually listening to. (That last sentence, haha! Perfect.)


    @LKane (9):
    Slow but not boring. Has its own enchantment. I love her voice in this one. (Enchanting is the perfect word!)

    @Music Is Life (8.5)
    This was a cute ballad, and her voice sounds great on this. The production makes it feel like it's from a Disney movie from like the Snow White/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty era. (It's very much old school Disney princess, from a new school Disney princess.)


    @ohnostalgia (8)
    Waiting for Mandy’s Cheek to Cheek. Or Coverage: the Big Band and Jazz Era, I suppose. (Oh, I am so ready.)


    @Robert (8), @chris4862 (8.5), @Remorque (9)




    Corner of your eye
    @unnameable (7.5):
    a lovely song which suits Mandy’s vocal strengths. I remember watching the movie at the cinema because it was filled with all my faves. (I saw it too, in a sadly uncrowded theater in early 2004, for much the same reason. I haven't seen it in forever, I should fire it up again.)


    @Robsolete (7), @ladylloyd (6), @vague (7.5), @Florencia. (7), @RUNAWAY (7.5)




    Still Undiscovered
    @VivaForever (4):
    I’m assuming from the rest of the tracklist that this is a cover of an alleged standard I’ve never heard of. They needn’t have bothered. Bring on Queen Céline doing Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered! *googles* Oh, it’s a Doris Day song. That explains it. Never been big on Doris Day. (I like Doris' version, but I'll take Mandy's every day of the week.)

    @tylerc904 (4.5), @CasuallyCrazed (2)








    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Doris Day Version from Calamity Jane


    'The Heart Of Every Girl' by Elton John, from Mona Lisa Smile

     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  8. Uhm. Excuse me.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  9. @Sprockrooster : Liking & commenting before I can even update my avatar! Haha!
     
  10. It's nice to know my 11 will make top 40, as I have no idea what the general consensus is on the song.
    And I have to say @pop3blow2, you're write ups are amazing, you're amazing, and I love how you analyze pop music.
    Also I thought you were in like, your mid-20s.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  11. Glad you’ve liked them, you’re too kind!

    To all, as you know, I’m a Disney World nut. I’m also a Star Wars nut. I was luckily enough to get the chance of a fairly spontaneous preview of the new land at Disney World this week. (Wow, about the place is all i can say right now. )

    Anyways, as such, I’m traveling this week and it is put me out of whack. The next Mandy reveals might not be until this weekend. I have started the next one, but not gotten it all together yet.

    We’ll be be back on track next week. In fact, to be honest, I’m about 2-3 weeks behind where I wanted to be in my personal initial schedule when I outlined the rate. Some of that was due to my laptop crapping out t a very inopportune time. Some is due to the fact that once I started on such a specific style for this rate (i.e. insanely comprehensive on a couple of levels) it has made the write-ups/reveals come out a bit slower than I anticipated.

    Ultimately, I’m happy with rate so far though, and hope to average at least 4 reveals a week, soon.

    I hope everyone liked the first half of the rate and has enjoyed either revisiting Mandy or getting to know her work better. I appreciate everyone’s support and patience with my first rate, in all of its ‘extra-ness’.
     
  12. No problem!
    Also, there should never be any such thing as too kind.
    And I personally love the pace so far.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  13. [​IMG]


    "Could Have Been Watching You" | 7.503




    Rated 41st out of 84 total songs

    Rated 5th out of 21 from Soundtracks & Extras



    Chart info or stats:

    The 90th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm




    Liner Notes


    Written by: Mandy Moore & Lori McKenna
    Produced by: John Alagia


    Bonus track on the Target Edition of Wild Hope released June 19, 2007




    "My own parade…"
    Before Carly Rae, Mandy was my pop music Target queen. I remember buying my deluxe versions of Coverage there (the one that had the making of DVD). I don’t think it was an exclusive, it was just one of the few stores I could find it at! In 2007, even on an indie label & having no track record of shifting units, Mandy was able to get Wild Hope into Target with a special edition. The hustle.


    In that special edition, we got two extra tracks:

    • A raw version of ‘All Good Things’
    • And our elimination for #41: 'Could Have Been Watching You'

    The quirkiness of ‘Could Have Been Watching You’ was always summed up by how the Bonus Tracks showed up in iTunes when you played or ripped the cd:

    [​IMG]

    Oh, the 00’s.. and your quirky hidden tracks.

    This song is an odd one for me, and in the fabric of the Wild Hope era. I'm guessing it was for Mandy, too... (which is why it wound up an extra). With the exception of ‘Extraordinary’ providing some whimsy on Wild Hope & a couple of other songs having some occasional dips into either quirky sonics or quirky lyrical themes… the album in general is kinda heavy emotionally. There’s a raw bittersweetness that flows through most of the album and on a couple of songs, Mandy seems ready to break... even as she tries to put on the brave face that's she's tough & 'moving on'.

    There’s a few upbeat songs on the album & some even have the overall effect of trying to move on in a positive way ‘Looking Forward To Looking Back’ or ‘Nothing That You Are’, but even on both of those songs there’s an undercurrent of sadness of bitterness that keeps them from feeling completely 'upbeat' to me.


    In this respect, I almost think the album could’ve used ‘Could Have Been Watching You’ in the final tracklist proper, if Mandy felt she needed to balance out some of the mood of the album. I think the album has the pathos she wants without it, though. As such, I understand why it was left out. It really doesn’t fit anywhere. I’ve tried, over the years, to see if made sense anywhere in the flow of the album & failed. It just has a certain kind of mood & spirit, that doesn’t really fit the overall project. I guess its closest spiritual companion on the album would be ‘Extraordinary’, which is a far superior song on every level.

    Not this song is bad, by any means… and I was excited to see it do so well here.


    Much like the other beloved Mandy oddity ‘Feel Me’, ‘Could Have Been Watching You’ seems to have a sketchier credits list than I ever realized. I’d always understood the song to be a collaboration between Mandy & Lori McKenna; which seems to be about 90% of what my research found.

    Oddly, in a few references on the internet I discovered a few people saying the band Hem was involved with the song in some capacity. I can find no official reference to this though. I like some of Hem’s music & it fits comfortably in Mandy’s sonic world, so it wouldn’t be a crazy concept if they helped write it. I just can’t find any further details about it. She does thank several of the band's members in the credits of Wild Hope, but that's the extent I can find any connection to the album. I don't see their name on any of the credits to songs on the record, but the special edition doesn't have credits for bonus tracks listed. So weird. To muddy the waters further, Wikipedia credits Hem as co-writers to ‘All Good Things’ (raw version) from the Target Special Edition. This makes no sense as Many wrote that song with the foil rock duo, The Weepies, which we’ll get to more later in the rate. So, I just don't know.

    Whatever the case, 'Could Have Been Watching You' is a nice little hidden gem of a song, that I possibly underscored a tad, but the reality is that the right choice was probably made keeping it off the album proper. It would have been nice had it wound up on a soundtrack or something around the era, to give it some more exposure, but as it is, it floats out there in bonus track limbo.



    My Score: 8.3



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Sprockrooster (10):
    I am the proud owner of the Target version despite being European. A trip on the US and this was on the list to buy and I did. So bless the music store in Los Angeles for having it. (Yes! So glad you own the physical, too!)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    Wow, so this is another bonus track from Wild hope? I really like this one a lot! This song sounds so well produced and very lively. Aparently the band Hem co-wrote this song, very interesting. This song does have a very nice bigger type of band production sound to it. It would fit right at home on Wild hope. I need to get this one. Mandy certainly sounds amazing on this song! I love more upbeat pop rock like this, it suits Mandy's powerful expressive voice so well! ("Apparently Hem co-wrote this song"... so you saw that online too! Good, I'm not crazy. I can just not find an official statement.)

    @RUNAWAY (10):
    now this should’ve been on the standard version. It’s so good and would fit perfectly before Latest Mistake, or after Can’t You Just Adore Her. (Hmmm, I could never find a good spot for it, but I'll give it a listen in that that sequence again.)

    @Music Is Life (9)
    Another bop, and another great extra. Why wasn't this on a main album? This is seriously so good. (It outranked several Wild Hope songs in the rate, so maybe it should've made the album, after all.)


    @Robsolete (9), @ladylloyd (9)





    Corner of your eye
    @LKane (7):
    this song is catchy. Better than other songs in Wild Hope. (It appears that way.)

    @ohnostalgia (7.5)
    Mandy sounds pretty. That’s all I’ve got. (She does! So, that's enough for me.)

    @unnameable (6.5):
    I appreciate the sentiment of the song, but this isn’t particularly above average for Mandy (It has a certain charm to it... but I can see how it might connect with people, especially in the era.)


    @VivaForever (7), @tylerc904 (6.5), @Robert (6), @chris4862 (7.5), @vague (7.75)




    Still Undiscovered


    @Florencia. (4), @Remorque (5.5), @CasuallyCrazed (5)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Some Hem... (who may or may not have been involved here. What is the truth!?)

     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  14. Before we dive into starting to eliminate the top 40, here's your complete list of the top 40 Mandy songs as voted by our esteemed panel.

    [​IMG]
    (Mandy looking for her Amanda Leigh songs here...)


    So Real/I Wanna Be With You (6 of 16 songs still alive)


    So Real
    Candy
    Walk Me Home
    I Wanna Be With You
    Everything My Heart Desires
    Want You Back


    Mandy Moore (10 of 13 songs still alive)

    In My Pocket
    You Remind Me
    Saturate Me
    One Sided Love
    Cry
    Crush
    It Only Took A Minute
    Turn The Clock Around
    Yo-Yo
    Split Chick

    Coverage (8 of 12 songs still alive)

    Senses Working Overtime
    The Whole Of The Moon
    Can We Still Be Friends
    I Feel The Earth Move
    Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
    Drop The Pilot
    Moonshadow
    Have a Little Faith In Me

    Wild Hope (9 of 12 songs still alive)

    Extraordinary
    All Good Things
    Slummin’ In Paradise
    Most Of Me
    Few Days Down
    Looking Forward To Looking Back
    Wild Hope
    Nothing That You Are
    Gardenia

    Amanda Leigh (3 of 10 songs still alive)

    Fern Dell
    I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week:
    Love To Love Me Back

    Soundtracks & Extras (4 of 21 songs still alive)

    Only Hope
    Someday We’ll Know
    It’s Gonna Be Love
    Hey
     
  15. [​IMG]


    "Walk Me Home" | 7.572




    Rated 40th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 6th out of 16 from So Real/I Wanna Be With You



    Chart info or stats:

    The 11th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm

    2nd release: peaked at #38 on the Mainstream Pop Chart






    Liner Notes


    Written by: Tony Moran
    Produced by: Tony Moran


    Track 4 on So Real released December 7, 1999
    Track 7 on I Wanna Be With You released May 9, 2000
    Track 9 of the Lizzie McGuire Soundtrack released August 13, 2002




    "My own parade…"
    "Baby won't you take my hand
    Come with me now to a special land
    Baby won't you walk with me home"


    Welp, we did it team. It took nearly 20 years, but we got ‘Walk Me Home’ into the top 40, barely.

    Technically, it scraped into top 40 pop chart for two weeks, upon its second release in early 2000. Yeah, that’s right, its second release. Epic reeeallly wanted this song to happen.

    It didn’t.

    As such, we lose our first proper single in Mandy’s discography in the rate & the song that I think proved Mandy was going to have a tough row to hoe in pop.

    Coming off the the heels of ‘Candy’, Mandy was still a pretty big deal. Even though that song had underperformed in both chart success & sales to Epic, it had oddly become an MTV staple & the video’s popularity long outlasted the song’s performance elsewhere.

    As we’ve discussed though, where were they to go next with Mandy after that? It’s not that So Real is an awful album, but the single choices were really dicey, to be honest. Maybe a follow-up bop would’ve been more impactful, but they went decidedly 'un-bop' with ‘Walk Me Home’ (perhaps the most ‘bubblegum Janet’ of all the songs on So Real.)

    In some ways, I get it. It's actually a really well done pop/r&b ballad. In fact, ‘Walk Me Home’ is my highest rated song from So Real in the rate. Is it my overall favorite on So Real? Maybe not, but there is a sweetness to track I’ve always loved, even though I realize the lyric might just be another loaded metaphor and some of the lyrics border on cringe. I adore the sound of the song, though, & think it’s the best produced song on the album.

    I also love Mandy’s vocal. It’s among her best on the album. For one reason, because I think we are hearing the ‘real Mandy’ singing, rather than direction to add trendy vocal ticks & styles to make her appear like others in her peer group. In that respect, it's one of the purer tracks on the album.

    People weren’t digging this, though… and I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it was just too slow? Maybe it's too hokey? It’s certainly a mood. The funny thing about the pace of this ballad is that it was written & produced by noted Dance Music producer Antony 'Tony' Moran. Once ranked in the top 100 Dance producers of all time by Billboard, the list of artists he has done remixes for is extensive: Madonna, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Selena Gomez and many others. He, of course, also occasionally writes & produces original tracks.

    Another reason it might’ve flopped (and why Epic may have decided to re-release it later) was that the sheer success on 'Candy' on MTV cannibalized the release of the song. ’Candy’ is such a fascinating pop song for me, even being a song I don't care for. For being such an iconic song, it flopped pretty badly on the Billboard charts. Yet it was SO HUGE on MTV. It was still appearing in the daily chart there in February of 2000, months after it had been released, & two months after ‘Walk Me Home’ had been released. The video for ‘Walk Me Home’ premiered & quickly died on TRL, while ‘Candy’ continued to thrive. I have to imagine the powers that be at Epic had no idea what the fuck was going on. Mandy was breaking the pre-defined algorithm for how everything was supposed to be advanicng. My iconoclastic queen.

    The video for ‘Walk Me Home’ wasn't without controversy, but on the surface is a perfect frothy confection of early 00’s imagery. Frosted tips, lipgloss explosion, & glittery make-up; Mandy looks like the perfect princess taking a break from her rule in the kingdom of Claire’s. I actually really love the video in all of its cheesy glory. It looks pretty amazing & always got a kick out of the fact the video mimics a movie premiere. This would all tie too well into where Mandy’s career was actually heading. (It should be noted the Mandy's male friend in the video was Blake Lively's older brother Eric.)

    The video was directed by Gregory Dark, which added some controversy to proceedings since the had a career in adult films before moving on music videos. When this became a story it made some people uncomfortable he was working with a 15 year old Mandy Moore, Britney, & others. I don’t think it would’ve been as big of issue in a different era, but since many were focusing on the ‘hyper-sexuality’ of milineum pop, this became heightened. Ultimately, I think his music videos were pretty good & I think his past film making was a non issue. The video flopped though & the negative attention of that story didn’t do it any favors.

    Pop music is littered with songs that flopped on their first release, only to be given a second chance at another time & succeed. From Madonna (Bordeline) & INXS (Need You Tonight) to the Cardigans (Lovefool) & even as recent as Ariana (One Last Time), many songs find their success on a second release.

    This was not the case for ‘Walk Me Home’.

    In fact, in some ways, ‘Walk Me Home’ is actually the biggest flop single of Mandy’s musical career & probably when the panic started to set in at Epic. It was given no fewer than 3 fairy major pushes in 6 months:

    • Original release: December 1999
    • Featured in the film Center Stage) : April 2000
    • Re-release single: May 2000 (to promote the release of the I Wanna Be With You album)

    None of these pushes did much to bring the song any traction & quite honestly, the second single release is baffling. Not only did it seem weird to re-release a ballad as a follow-up single to her first hit, a ballad, but with such brand new tracks on the repackaged 'debut' album... why wouldn't you use one of those to promote the album? I mean, 'Everything My Heart Desires' was right there!

    Ironically, it would be over a year when the song finally found its audience. It was featured in the Disney Channel classic show, Lizzie McGuire & included in the low-key iconic soundtrack that accompanied the show. All of this, proving yet again, that Mandy’s timing was just continually a bit off her entire music career. *sigh*

    By the time the song found success on Lizzie McGuire, promos for that era of Many’s career had long left the building & we were deep into A Walk To Remember-era Mandy, where oddly, I always though the song wouldn’t have been too out of place.

    To return to the beginning sentiment of this write-up, perhaps the most damning thing about 'Walk Me Home' is that even Mandy's most ardent fans, participating in a rate with the glow of nostalgia of around it, & saying generally nice things about it, could only manage to make it scrape into the top 40. Maybe that's all it was ever capable doing.



    My Score: 8.5



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Florencia. (10)
    I lovve this song. I am sucker for ballads, especially for simple ballads sung by singers with sweet voices, and this one is a perfect example of that. Mandy’s voice is perfect here, so sweet and full of emotion

    @RUNAWAY (10):
    I love this song and everything about it. I remember falling in love with it when I heard it on Lizzie Mcguire, and as much as I love it, this song isn’t getting my 11 this go-round. I still completely love it more than any of her other songs, but there’s a song on another album that is just more special to me.


    @Zar-Unity (10):
    One of Mandy's most dreamy pop ballads! She sounds so good on this! The way the music video presents her is dreamy as well. This is definitely one of those songs that you could put on for a romantic night while walking in hands with your loved one. This is the kind of song that you could fall in love with Mandy from hearing a lot. Which I kinda did back in 1999 and onward into the 2000's. Mandy just sings this with such genuine sincerity that you believe every word and feeling from how she sings this love ballad right into your heart. Again, the way Mandy sings on this one is just incredible! This girl definitely had some passionate soul to her voice! This is why Mandy has always been more than just a pop tart.

    @LKane (8.8):
    This song is so beautiful. Cheesy as hell, but who cares. The best song from this album.

    @chris4862 (8.5):
    This was the first song from her that I remember actually actively paying attention to. I saw the video on TV and liked the melody, which somewhat recalls the vibe of 90’s R&B ballads, like a more quaint interpretation of a Mariah type song. This is also the first song on the album that feels age appropriate.

    @ohnostalgia (8):
    A cute slice of good girl teen pop.

    @unnameable (8):
    a bit too Debbie Gibson’s first album if you know what I mean, but her voice suits this soft ballad really well.


    @Music Is Life (8.5):
    The production is great, the melody is catchy, but something about this song just doesn't click with me.


    @tylerc904 (9), @Robsolete (8)




    Corner of your eye
    @vague (7.25)
    she sounds lovely, but this is a little toothless for me. the chorus is pretty good, tho.

    @Remorque (7)
    This flows along quite nicely, but somehow I've never actively sought this one out. It's a bit too sugar-y and sweet for me. She sounds fantastic though. Oh, and the video does not suit the song. Oh, at all.


    @Sprockrooster (7), @ladylloyd (6)





    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (5):
    Bland and too cutesy. ‘If I was your lady and you were my friend’? Gag. It didn’t deserve to be a single once, let alone twice, good night.

    @Robert (2), @CasuallyCrazed (4.75)








    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Full version (not the edit)



    Rare acoustic live version. Not complete, but still.... wow. She's special.



    Lizzie's first kiss! (Y'all know she's coming back on Disney+. What a time to be alive!)



    Oh, I remember internet rumors back in the 00's that Mandy & Pink (Alecia Moore) were related. They both so have 'Walk Me Home' songs... hmmm.....

     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  16. Wow! This one is being out too soon. I was watching the music video that you posted and I just thought about how amazing Mandy looks right now. She looks better than in her 20s. She's so beautiful right now.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  17. Sorry I’m quite behind with this rate. However, I had a great evening last night where I listened to the Wild Hope album and caught up on some of the eliminations I had missed. I love the write ups as always and learnt a lot of things about Mandy and beyond that I didn’t know before. I’ve got to the mid rate essay, which is what I’ll read next and catch up from there.

    I’m sad to see Not Too Young to have been eliminated. Whenever a new artist comes out and has a song I absolutely love I get a bit worried about whether or not they’ll be able to pull it off again, or if I’ll just end up loving the one song. Not Too Young was the bside to Candy in the U.K., so it was the second Mandy song I heard. I loved it from the get go and it made me laminate my Stan card and make me look forward to the album even more. I still think to this day that it’s a fantastic song and a shame it was left off the U.K. album.

    I absolutely love Feel Me too and feel that should have been on the Mandy Moore album. The middle eight and final chorus is everything. I too bought Super Hits earlier this year just to get a better quality version of the song. I had an mp3 for years but it never felt crystal clear. Whilst the version on Super Hits is better I still feel like it’s not the best sound quality that it could be, it just doesn’t feel HQ enough. Does anyone else feel that?
     
  18. It still sounds slightly muddy but definitely the clearest I have been able to obtain to date.
     
  19. Yeah. I only ever had a pretty crap quality mp3 of 'Feel Me', I got from Kazaa in the 00's. Ha! It sufficed.

    I put that Mandy Super Hits in my Amazon Wishlist once I saw Feel Me was on there, but haven't grabbed it yet. Funnily enough, I remember getting in a couple of 'eBay wars' for the Asian version of self-titled back in the day, just to try and get 'Feel Me', but always got outbid.
     
    Robert, vague and berserkboi like this.
  20. [​IMG]


    "Moonshadow" | 7.653




    Rated 39th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 8th out of 12 from Coverage



    Chart info or stats:

    The 55th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm

    The 8th most scrobbled song from Coverage on Last.fm






    Liner Notes


    Written by: Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
    Produced by: John Fields



    Track 7 on Coverage released October 16, 2003




    "My own parade…"
    "And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry
    Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won't have to cry no more"


    After only losing one 10 through the first 40+ songs, I’ve now lost 3 in the last 6. Yikes.

    This one hurts.

    Mandy owns this song, in that Linda Ronstadt-kinda-way we discussed earlier in the rate. She does it many times on Coverage, but the soaring bridge leading into final chorus on this song was simply one those moments as a Mandy fan where she just pulled me into her world completely... and there I remain.

    And as we’ve learned in this rate, maybe Mandy sort of does have her on little world.

    'Moonshadow' was originally done by Cat Stevens and released in 1971. While not a huge hit in the US, over time it has become one of his most known & beloved songs. Released on his classic 1971 album Teaser & the Firecat, the album was interestingly released along side a children’s book of the same name (as sort of a pseudo soundtrack/concept project.) That just has all the makings of something Mandy would do, even today.

    Cat Stevens said of the song in a 2009 interview, that he considers it among his favorite older songs.


    “I was on a holiday in Spain. I was a kid from the West End (of London) – bright lights, et cetera. I never got to see the moon on its own in the dark, there were always streetlamps. So there I was on the edge of the water on a beautiful night with the moon glowing, and suddenly I looked down and saw my shadow. I thought that was so cool, I'd never seen it before."

    Mandy is a huge fan of Cat Stevens & has stated so in many interviews. Seeing where she has gone soncially in her career (Amanda Leigh) & even tapping into some of the split-chick duality concepts I’ve presented… Mandy’s love of Cat Stevens makes sense to me. He, himself, was an artist steeped in duality (the B-side to 'Moonshadow' was a song called 'Father and Son' I can't make this up). Having converted to Islam in the 70’s, changing his name (to Yusuf Islam), and just leaving behind a successful music career to pursue other interests. Such a move, left many confused… especially his fans. He did return to music in 2006, after a very extended break.

    There’s a sense of wonder, magic, & discovery in much of Cat’s (Yusuf’s) music. Mandy taps into those concepts in droves on Coverage & some could argue 'Moonshadow' is the centerpiece of the album in that regard. In my initial listen to album so many years ago, I was floored by the sense of cohesion a collection of fairly random songs had. As i’ve said, it’s hard for me to not hear this song as the spiritual sequel to ‘Whole Of The Moon’ on the album. Whether that was an artistic choice or a happy thematic accident, I don’t really care. In any case, I don't think it's an accident that on an album where she sings songs from the past, a song whose central theme is uenxepctadly seeing your shadow in a new way is an accident, is one of the centerpiece's of that project.

    The song was obliviously one her favorites from the Coverage, if not her absolute favorite. As, even though it wasn’t a single, she performed live on several occasions when promoting the album... even eschewing the the song that was actually being shipped to radio 'Have A Little Faith In Me'. What audacity. Even when time came to promote Wild Hope nearly 4 years later, the only two song that made her tour playlist consistently from Coverage were ‘Help Me’ & ‘Moonshadow’.

    When speaking of the Coverage project, Mandy said one thing that drew her to songs she chose was that ultimately she was intrigued by the whole time period of the 70s was all that mattered was the music. Not the image, not photo shoots, not music videos, & label politics. When she utters this phrase in the making of Coverage DVD, there’s a real sense of longing for another era in her voice.

    In complete #MetaMandy Split-Chick Duality (gawd, I love this rate), nearly 15 years after the song was an important ingredient in her declaration of artistic independence, the song found new life in the Mandy narrative.

    Without giving too much spoilery detail away, the show up again in the show This Is Us. In one particularly important episode, her character Rebecca sings 'Moonshadow', adding a certain complete circle to the song in her career. Its a sweet scene in general, but as such a huge Mandy fan, it’s goosebump-inducing. The echoes, reflections, & shadows that run through Mandy's career continue to reveal themselves in interesting ways.

    As for the version on Coverage, it was goosebump-inducing the first time I listened & remains so to this day.





    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @ohnostalgia (10)
    Why did I get this confused with the Van Morrison song? As soon as Cat Stevens popped up in my search I was like of course he wrote this. That’s so Yusuf. Anyways, Mandy runs away with this track. She is made from the same 1970s singer-songwriter cloth as Cat, so there’s no over singing. Just pure beauty.

    [​IMG]


    @unnameable (10)
    I know everyone and his brother tries to cover the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, but her voice is positively angelic on this and she really puts every emotion into the song. (To quote @Robsolete from the Carly forum earlier this yer: 'I hear god.')


    @LKane (9)
    I loved the live session of this song that came in her best of dvd. What a voice! (Included below! That whole end of 2003 as a Mandy fan... oh, my.)

    @Music Is Life (9)
    This is a cute ballad, and it's a great change of pace, and shit the production just grew and I'm raising my score half a point. Don't you just love it when something happens in the production that elevates a song? (The moment of elevation in this song is purely a moment of: WE HAVE ASCENDED.)


    @Zar-Unity (8)
    This is like a cute Mandy lullaby. She sings this with such sincerity and passion. The lyrics are a bit off putting and I'm not exactly in the mood all the time to hear songs of this nature. I love the change at 2:20, so unexpected and stunning! Again, this is a brand new side of Mandy that you have to adore, even if you can't always be in the mood to hear such type of songs. The problem I have with a few of these songs
    has nothing to do with Mandy not performing them well or fitting well enough into the songs expression; it is the songs themselves. Which sometimes sound like the type of music that I wouldn't really want to seek out by the original artists themselves. Maybe you are one of those people who love every song on this album and the original artist's that wrote them but I'm not one of those people. I have some trouble connecting with a few of these songs but overall I do enjoy this album quite a bit. (This a weird lyric in some ways, for sure, but also so fittingly poetic for her to sing in so many ways. She said though, that was one reason she loved them... that 70's singer songwriters seemed to be commuting in a different language. Some of the lyrics Amanda Leigh seem directly inspired by some of the of more esoteric influences on Coverage and I really dig it.)

    @ladylloyd (8), @chris4862 (8), @Florencia. (8), @CasuallyCrazed (8)




    Corner of your eye
    @vague (7.75):
    this is of the more the vibe i was expecting this whole album to have. this is nice, but a bit of a letdown for me following the first stellar six tracks. (I might start calling you 'Near Sparkle'... Haha! I'll have to add them up, but you gave a lot of songs 7.75. I have no issue with that, I just think it's hilarious within the scope of the weird little write-up format I created to present scores.)

    @Robsolete (7.5), @RUNAWAY (7.5), @Remorque (6)




    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (5):
    Very nice but boring after the songs that came before it. (Ummm, all of these fives here are going to haunt my dreams tonight....)

    @Sprockrooster (5), @tylerc904 (5), @Robert (5)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Mandy Moore Live (AOL Sessions). Some Peak Mandy stanning memories, for me here...



    Live on the Late Late Show



    Cat Steven's Original



    This Cat Stevens song (Wild World) was on the soundtrack to Mandy's movie How To Deal that year (2003). I can't but help think Mandy suggested it. If not, they are connected in my brain regardless.

     
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