"Don’t tell me how I had a vision That this day would come to be Call it luck, call it intuition Here I am (here we are), isn’t that enough For a little bit of reality Fate is good, fate can be real If you believe it’s what you feel" Prologue To A Fated Fandom “Ugh. I despise Mandy Moore. A plague onto her & her fans!” That was my first reaction to ‘Candy’ in the summer of 1999. Come on now, as pop fans we’ve all been there. We've all had visceral reactions to both things we love & hate. Mandy, unfortunately, ended up on the wrong side of that range at the start. I mean, this was 1999. The year of Britney (Gold), Christina (Silver), & Jessica (Bronze?). I was ‘Team Britney’, hard… so in my unfair worldview, even Christina & Jessica sorta felt like also-rans to Britney in the female pop movement of ’99. I did like Christina, though (and tolerated Jessica, I guess) but they were most definitely not Britney level in my book. For better or worse, sometimes I pick favorites & am fiercely loyal to whom I deemed the 'worthy one'. By the time the buzz started around Mandy Moore, she seemed like the most desperate of all the Britney copies. A cheap sales pitch by Epic to cash in on the ‘teen pop craze’. To me, there was no room for this little tween hanger-onner (is this a word? who knows?) in my pop sphere. I found her intolerably try-hard in an industry where I tend to even find the most manufactured pop endearing. I mean, she basically had merchandise in Toys R Us the same week she had a single. Dolls! There were Mandy Moore barbie dolls for a singer who had no top 40 hit. Madness! ( I mean, who did she think she was? ) Oh, but she did have a first single…and what a single it was. It arrived in all of its glossy glory in the summer of 1999 with the full force of the pop hype machine behind it. Some loved it. For me, it landed with a gigantic ‘thud!’. To say I did not like Candy was an understatement. Despite the pretty intro, it deterotiated quickly into a sugary tooth decay of a song that did not work for me. From the awkwardly innocent , but weirdly loaded lyrics… to the super try hard video that seemed like a bad juice box commercial. It was all a cringe fest, to me. Everything that was successful about ‘Baby One More Time’ or ‘Genie In A Bottle’ was trying to be copied, but none of it was connecting with me. Had there been a Popjustice Forum at the time, I would’ve been there for the draggings & maybe leading them! As you can tell, I had that petty & visceral pop-rage we’ve all experienced as pop fans from time-to-time. This girl had incurred my pop-wrath & I wasn’t here for her. Thank you, next. The thing is, despite not even becoming a top 40 hit, Candy was everywhere. In some ways, Mandy Moore helped pioneer the the omni-present, semi-flop, buzz single concept. Her legion of fans got her video on MTV’s TRL for months & she started to become a name pop star despite 'proper chart' success. (In many ways, her type of success perfected a lot of pop fandom we still have in place today.) I found this oddly fascinating & also a tad infuriating. With me, though, she was in the pop fandom hole and it can be hard for most to get out of that once they are there. Turned out, she’s is not just anybody, though. She’s Mandy Moore… and things started to happen in quick succession that changed my mind about her. "I keep hangin around Got some attachment to you..." The seeds of a future rate host are planted The first thing that changed my mind was the release of the song ‘I Wanna Be With You’ in early 2000. Quite simply: I. Was. Floored. It showed a maturity beyond her peers & the song was just beautiful. Her vocal was stunning & the song gave me pop chills….as much I wanted to deny it. I loved the song & video. I saw her perform an acoustic version during MTV's Beach House in summer 2000 & I was wowed with her live voice. She was also interviewed & I found her completely charming. Noooo!!!! I was being bewitched by this little pop sorceress! Surely it was temporary & I would snap from this enchantment. I wasn’t yet a fan, but I backpeddled on my earlier thoughts & removed the plague I had wished upon her & her legion. That same year, she got show on MTV called the ‘The Mandy Show’ where she just chatted with teens about the issues of the day. (Her marketing team has to be commended for the hustle they put into her. I mean, they really wanted her to happen.) Anyways, I caught some episodes & continued to be completely charmed by her. There was something different about her. At this point, I had to admit that I was becoming a fan. I had the bought the ‘I Wanna Be With You’ single & wound up buying the album (basically a repackaged version of her debut). Deservedly, 'I Wanna Be With You' became a real hit & I started rooting for her. She was no Britney, but she had become my second fave of the ‘The Big Pop Girls’ at the time. (I mean, maybe she wasn’t really a BPG, but you get the drift.) She would leapfrog Britney in my fandom in 2001. The double whammy of the self-titled album Mandy Moore & her role in the Princess Diaries, moved her into the forefront of the mainstream pop girls from the era for me (though Nelly Furtado was really my fave of the time, she was sorta on the wonky fringes of the industry, & actively being marketed as the anti-big pop girl.) Mandy Moore, the album, exuded a confidence that outshone her peers & I thought it was amazing. Much like her label, I was disappointed it didn’t sell was well as it should’ve. 2002 saw Mandy finally really become a full-fledged star, & I was perched. A Walk To Remember was a bonafide hit & the soundtrack sold very well, arguably becoming her most successful musical project up to that point. What a time... "I try but I can’t seem to get myself to think of anything but you" Last night an album of random covers saved my life It was 2003, where I hit peak stan for Mandy. The one-two punch of the movie How To Deal & the album Coverage sent me into transcendent pop tailspin, very few pop stars have sent me into. It’s fair to note, I was struggling with some pretty dark stuff around this time in my personal life & my Mandy fandom was one of the few happy things that kept me going. And kept me going, she did. I’ll be blunt, my desert Island album is Coverage. It has been since 2004 & if Carly Rae’s Emotion can’t surpass it, perhaps nothing probably ever will. Coverage failed though, spectacularly, & Mandy was unceremoniously dropped from Epic. Well. For me, though, she had done the unthinkable. She had gone from my least favorite thing in pop to my absolute favorite. Since then she been a mainstay in my pop obsessions, even due to her relevant lack of of consistent output. While, she went on to concentrate mainly on movies & tv the next couple of years, she finally gave us the amazing Wild Hope in 2007 & it was worth the wait. It was also this year, I finally got to see her live & that was a special moment. She gave us another great album in 2009 (Amanda Leigh) & has since mainly gone back to film & television, where she does the occasional singing or soundtrack work. Recent news about the abuse she endured in her marriage to Ryan Adams has shed new light on why she stopped releasing music… but she appears to revving up to start agin. Good for her & good for us. I think it’s safe to say, that if you’re wanting to take part in this rate, you're a pretty big fan & you’d love some new music from her ASAP (as it’s been over 9 years.) But, at least we have an amazingly solid & diverse discography to draw upon for rate purposes. Since we are twenty years into her career & it seems as if she might be starting a new era soon, this seems like the perfect point to rate her existing discog. "And now I'm ready to be extraordinary..." The Rate, The Rules, & The Rest I have settled on 84 songs to rate. Why 84? Well, I’m a sucker for numerology & Mandy was born in 1984. Some of the extras included might seem a bit fringe, but I have included them for three reasons. One is that since this the first time she’s ever had a rate I wanted it to be very comprehensive. Two is that I feel like some of the extras, while ‘fringe’ do sometimes show off a part of her talent that deserves showcased. Thirdly, is that I just really wanted to include a few for pure greedy satisfaction! I’ve built a Spotify Playlist with over 60 of the songs. I’ve also linked them all to YouTube below. This rate is probably a bit ambitious for my first one, but I really want this thread to celebrate & serve as a mini-retrospective of her first 20 years in our pop lives. So, I plan some little mini essays & other diversions along the way. If you’re interested in writing a mini-essay about something Mandy related (that you feel would work better outside of your regular song commentary) let me know! I’d love contributions. One last thing. Since Mandy is perhaps known as well (or to some even more) for her movies & acting (and because I’m sure many raters have their fave Mandy movies, etc) I’m including the option to also submit a ballot your top 10 Mandy acting moments. This can include movie roles, tv show roles, voice work, etc. You don’t have to submit 10 if you don’t want. If she only has three you really liked etc… that’s fine. Your #1 gets 10 points, #2 get 9 points, and so forth. I’ll assemble those ballots into a little mini chart, so we can see what her most popular acting roles are. A complete list of her roles is here> You have 5 weeks to get me your scores, commentary, (& your optional top 10 Mandy movie/tv roles.) That’s April 22nd, people! *edit: Extension granted! APRIL 29th is when ballots are due! To send me you scores, simply drop me a Private Message. There's a PM friendly songlist below. (Remember to add up to 10 fave Mandy acting roles, too... if you want.) As far as your song scores, I don’t like Zeros for scores, so please rate all the songs 1-10, with one 11 for your absolute fave Mandy song. Decimals are allowed in the rate (.1, .2, etc for scores between 1-10). Send as much commentary as you want with your scores. Whew, that’s a lot! So excited to go on this rate journey with you all. Let’s do Mandy proud! Mandy Moore Discography Rate Song List (titles link to YouTube) So Real So Real Candy What You Want Walk Me Home Lock Me In Your Heart Quit Breaking My Heart/Reprise Let Me Be The One Not Too Young Love Shot I Like It Love You For Always I Wanna Be With You (The PJ Edit) I Wanna Be With You Everything My Heart Desires Want You Back The Way To My Heart Your Face Mandy Moore In My Pocket You Remind Me Saturate Me One Sided Love 17 Cry Crush It Only Took A Minute Turn The Clock Around Yo-Yo From Loving You Split Chick When I Talk To You Coverage 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 One Way or Another Breaking Us in Two Anticipation Help Me Have a Little Faith In Me Wild Hope Extraordinary All Good Things Slummin’ In Paradise Most Of Me Few Days Down Can’t You Just Adore Her Looking Forward To Looking Back Wild Hope Nothing That You Are Latest Mistake Ladies Choice Gardenia Amanda Leigh Merrimack River Fern Dell I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week: Pocket Philosopher Song About Home Everblue Love To Love Me Back Indian Summer Nothing Everything Bug Soundtracks Stupid Cupid On The Line Only Hope Someday We’ll Know It’s Gonna Be Love Top Of The World God Only Knows Singing To The Song Of Life Secret Love When Will My Life Begin I See The Light Healing Incantation Wind In My Hair Amazing Lucky Scarf Willin’ Invisible Ink Album Extras/Misc: Feel Me Hey Swept Away Could’ve Been Watching You Umbrella PM Friendly List *(updated 3/19) Spoiler: PM Friendly Song List So Real So Real Candy What You Want Walk Me Home Lock Me In Your Heart Quit Breaking My Heart/Reprise Let Me Be The One Not Too Young Love Shot I Like It Love You For Always I Wanna Be With You (The PJ Edit) 12. I Wanna Be With You 13. Everything My Heart Desires 14. Want You Back 15. The Way To My Heart 16. Your Face Mandy Moore 17. In My Pocket 18. You Remind Me 19. Saturate Me 20. One Sided Love 21. 17 22. Cry 23. Crush 24. It Only Took A Minute 25. Turn The Clock Around 26. Yo-Yo 27. From Loving You 28. Split Chick 29. When I Talk To You Coverage 30. Senses Working Overtime 31. The Whole Of The Moon 32. Can We Still Be Friends 33. I Feel The Earth Move 34. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters 35. Drop The Pilot 36. Moonshadow 37. One Way or Another 38. Breaking Us In Two 39. Anticipation 40. Help Me 41. Have a Little Faith In Me Wild Hope 42. Extraordinary 43. All Good Things 44. Slummin’ In Paradise 45. Most Of Me 46. Few Days Down 47. Can’t You Just Adore Her 48. Looking Forward To Looking Back 49. Wild Hope 50. Nothing That You Are 51. Latest Mistake 52. Ladies Choice 53. Gardenia Amanda Leigh 54. Merrimack River 55. Fern Dell 56. I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week 57. Pocket Philosopher 58. Song About Home 59. Everblue 60. Love To Love Me Back 61. Indian Summer 62. Nothing Everything 63. Bug Soundtracks 64. Stupid Cupid 65. On The Line 66. Only Hope 67. Someday We’ll Know 68. It’s Gonna Be Love 69. Top Of The World 70. God Only Knows 71. Singing To The Song Of Life 72. Secret Love 73. When Will My Life Begin 74. I See The Light 75. Healing Incantation 76. Wind In My Hair 77. Amazing Lucky Scarf 78. Willin’ 79. Invisible Ink Album Extras/Misc: 80.Feel Me 81. Hey 82. Swept Away 83. Could’ve Been Watching You 84. Umbrella Don't forget to add up to 10 of your favorite Mandy movies/acting roles. (#1 being your fave & so on). I'll create a mini-chart of those so we can see what are her faves among PJ. You don't have to fill all 10 spots, if there's not that many you care about.(I mean maybe you just love TANGLED & want to vote for that... *hint, hint*). A complete list of all her acting credits s here, to remind you: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601553/ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.