Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 23 | The Popjustice Forum

Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!)

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


What's your favorite Mandy Moore album

  1. So Real

    5 vote(s)
  2. I Wanne Be With You

    1 vote(s)
  3. Mandy Moore

    19 vote(s)
  4. Coverage

    8 vote(s)
  5. Wild Hope

    13 vote(s)
  6. Amanda Leigh

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

    0 vote(s)

  1. [​IMG]

    "Song About Home" | 6.608

    Rated 77th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 10th out of 10 on Amanda Leigh

    Chart info or stats:

    The 76th most scrobbled Mandy song on

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Mike Viola, Mandy Moore, Inara George
    Produced by: Mike Viola

    Track 5 on the album Amanda Leigh, released May 26, 2009.

    "My own parade…"

    "Could I close the door behind me
    And lock myself outside alone?
    Could somebody please remind me
    Why this bird still hasn't still flown"
    Well, this isn’t a song I wanted to eliminate yet.

    Amanda Leigh got dragged a bit in some of the pre-rate conversation, so I was worried for it here. That said, I’d thought we’d bleed a couple more mediocre So Real songs or extras before it got touched. Some of y’all really don’t care much for ‘Song About Home’, though. It was in the bottom 10 or 15 for most of the rate. It jumped up a bit at the end & then a couple of late scores squashed it.

    As a ‘lyric person’ this is first real dagger in the rate for me. This song puts a lump in my throat. I could very well go through line-by-line, but as my thoughts & feelings have spiraled a bit out of control in listening to it for this write-up, I’ll refrain from that & try to focus on the main feelings here.

    As such, I’m going to steal an idea from @ohnostalgia & use a book quote as entry point into my feelings about this song… and really about a lot of Mandy in general.

    The quote is from one of my favorite authors (Elizabeth Wurtzel) & I actually had it scribbled across the cover of journal I used in the early 00’s while going through a pretty rough patch.

    “Homesickness is just a state of mind for me. I’m always missing someone or someplace or something, I’m always trying to get back to some imaginary somewhere. My life has been one long longing.”

    There were many quotes in her book Prozac Nation that resonated with me for a variety of reasons, but that was one of the big ones.

    A lot of Mandy’s music is the aural equivalent of that quote to me. Starting with the first song she wrote, 'When I Talk To You' & going all the way Amanda Leigh, her music is filled with an unbelievable sense of longing for another time or place. A place where she can learn from her mistakes & start over. The overwhelming sense of longing in her music is a core component of everything about her in a lot of ways. Even her covers album is filled with this idea. While discussing Coverage in interviews, she repeatedly circled back around to how he wished she could’ve lived during the time those songs were out. You could tell she meant it. There was both a fondness she expressed about the era & also a crushingly sad longing that she really felt miscast in this era. I connected with her so much on this idea.

    Musically, the song is 100% an extension of Coverage. This is both ambitious & perhaps also oddly safe. What I mean by that is, while '70’s singer/songwriter Mandy' is the Mandy I crave, this particular song’s cues are maybe too direct. Sonically, it reminds me of cross between ‘Can We Still Be Friends’ & ‘Moonshadow’ from Coverage. Because of this, I always (unfairly?) dinged it my head a bit. The song never feels 100% its own thing to me. I’m only now understanding that maybe that’s the point… and as I write this I want to make it at least a 9. (Call the rate off! I want to start over!)

    The lyrical longing of a search for her ‘home’ mixed with direct sonic allusions to two songs from era she wants to actually live in, but can’t.... my gawd...It’s actually pretty perfect. Fuuuuccck I am shook.

    "Too many dreams of my house burning
    Where I'm the one who struck the match
    Try to find the meaning
    A life on fire, a bird will hatch"

    All this & I haven’t even gotten into the co-writers on this song. I’ll come back to Mike Viola later, but Inara George is fantastic in her own right & deserves a mention somewhere... so why not here. She has such classic singer songwriter sensibilities, but with some modern production flourishes here & there in her music. She’s on Spotify, if you’re not familiar with her solo stuff, you should check her out. (She’s also, but of course, one half of The Bird & Bee, which I’m sure many of you are maybe familiar with.) She was probably a perfect companion with Mandy & Mike on many of the songs on Amanda Leigh, especially on this one.

    My Score: 8.6

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @Zar-Unity (10): Another gorgeous song that is kind of soulful and thematic. Love the choice of instruments and the way Mandy sounds singing here. Simply dreamy and captivating! Probably one of Mandy's best songs vocally for her performance here! I love pop songs that tell a story, it adds a special charm to the song. Yep, this is going to be another perfect rated 10 for me. (Can't argue with any of this. I probably underscored a tad.)

    @ohnostalgia (9.5): The seventies singer-songwriter jumped out. (It really did. This sounds so like it could've been lifted from an album in that era.)

    @LKane (8.1): "I know, I know someday I will be home” this melodies makes Mandy’s voice shine beautifully. (Gawd, such a hopeful & yet sad line.)

    @Music Is Life (8): This is cute, and kinda sad, but kinda hopeful. I like it I guess. (I think I just repeated you above. oops.)

    @chris4862 (8), @Florencia. (9), @RUNAWAY (8),

    Corner of your eye

    @unnameable (7): sweet and nostalgic (she does bittersweet as well as anyone.)

    @Robsolete (6.5), @vague (7.75), @Remorque (6.5)

    Still Undiscovered

    @Sprockrooster (4): A bit of a drag (I mean, she's locking herself outside alone & burning down her house... so I can see that. --Those a re metaphors right? Mandy's not a pyro is she?--)

    @VivaForever (5), @tylerc904 (5), @Robert (3), @ladylloyd (4), @CasuallyCrazed (1)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    'Song About Home' live (fairly rare thing)

    Some promo for the fabulous Inara George

    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Zar-Unity, Robert, Florencia. and 7 others like this.
  2. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

  3. Shit I underscored that.
    ohnostalgia and pop3blow2 like this.
  4. Boo hiss! Based on the rate so far I thought ya'll had better taste in Mandy!
    ohnostalgia and pop3blow2 like this.
  5. First Amanda Leigh song leaving already?? :(

    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Zar-Unity, ohnostalgia and pop3blow2 like this.
  6. I'm not an Amanda Leigh fan, but yeah, at least a couple more extras needed to go before anything from it.
  7. [​IMG]

    "Swept Away" | 6.644

    Rated 76th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 16th out of 21 in Soundtracks & Extras

    Chart info or stats:

    The 128th most scrobbled Mandy song on

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Mandy Moore, Lori McKenna
    Produced by: John Alagía

    iTunes Bonus Track for Wild Hope released June 18, 2007.

    "My own parade…"

    "You allow me your sweet surrender
    Through a page of old poetry
    That I may have never discovered
    But you read it like it was waiting for me"

    In early 2006 Mandy Moore posted a cover herself singing Lori McKenna’s song 'Beautiful Man' to her MySpace page. While it was posted with casual mention that she was a fan on Lori's, it turned out to be the first glimpse into where she was headed in the next year with her music. (Taylor would call this an Easter Egg, I suppose.)

    Ironically, my first introduction to Lori McKenna, songwriter extraordinaire ( I mean, look at some of the songs she's written), would be via a cover. In 2003, she released an album called The Kitchen Tapes, which included her acoustic take of Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'. It got some some play on my home citie's Public Radio Station. I dug it.

    Lori McKenna would become integral to the Wild Hope project and for several years in the mid-00s, was sort of an it lady, for bumpkin-tinged folk/pop. She had been rightfully heralded by the folk/indie country in the early 00's scene & her 2004 album Bittertown was so good, it stopped Faith Hill in the middle of recording her album, so she could include three McKenna covers (that album was Fireflies).

    Faith Hill was right. I too bought into the hype that some magazines were expelling about Bittertown in 2004 & picked up a copy. I found it quite good. As a fan of Rosanne Cash & Mary Chapin Carpenter growing up, there was sense of comfort about her music. Because her voice can get big sometimes, so there was even a Maria McKee-eque at her countriest flavor to her (yes, I will squeeze her name into every post possible on PJ). Needless, to say I was pleasantly surprised when I learned she was involved with Mandy. Only good things seemed like they could come from that, especially since Mandy had made it clear she wanted to explore a more singer/songwriter path forward.

    From what I understand, one of the first songs Mandy & Lori wrote together was 'Swept Away'. It’s a nice song, that does have certain rawness to it. 'Swept Away' captures the early ideals, goals, & overall feeling of the project pretty well. It almost scans like a thumbnail sketch for Wild Hope. It always reminded me a bit of The Beatles song 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'. There is certain folksiness that shines through, that makes stand out a bit from the other songs on the album. That raw sketchiness of the song, does make it feel a bit incomplete to me. The sonic pallete mixed with the fact that I personally I find its not quite up to the level of some their other songs for Wild Hope, ultimately makes me think the right choice was made to relegate it to a bonus track. (FYI: album Bonus tracks are ‘b-sides’ in my book, which is why include them the extras category for the rate.)

    I’m glad it was released as bonus track, though. Mandy’s adoration for all of her collaborators is palatable in the Wild Hope: Behind The Scenes video below, but she really fangirls out when talking about Lori. Her passion when talking about her (& vice-versa) is sweet & sincere, not unlike the many songs they wrote together.

    "I'm a sensitive heart that exists in hope above fear
    And the weight of your words carry just what I need to hear
    My questions are starting to settle
    And the ocean is calm once again"

    My Score: 7.9

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @Sprockrooster (10) : I need all the tracks from the era, cause there has to be more gems. (Sorry, there @Sprockrooster, you & @LKane are by each other on my commentary doc, so I got you jumbled when I copied/pasted. @ohnostalgia doesn't have to come for you... yet.)

    @Zar-Unity (8.7): Oh very cool! I didn't know that Wild hope had a bonus track! It wasn't on the album release that I got. I can see why it wasn't on the regular album version though as this song doesn't quite hit you as strongly as the rest of the songs on Wild hope do. Still it is a very pretty song with some beautiful acoustic notes and vocals. (We're in the same boat with how we feel here.)

    @Music Is Life (8): This was a cute little bonus. Love the guitar, and the backing vocals. As usual with this material, her voice shines on this. (There's a such a purity to her voice. It's even there when she sings live... maybe even more so.)

    @ohnostalgia (8): Obligatory should’ve made the standard edition commentary. (It's close, but just a bit shy of album worthy for me. Though listening to it a bit for this rate has reminded how solid it actually is.)

    @RUNAWAY (8.5): I remember wanting to hear this song so bad when Wild Hope came out but I finally did when I got the Japanese version many years later, and I was kind of disappointed. I like the song though. (Yeah, I can definitely see it being a tad underwhelming if you waited a long time hear it & were excited.)

    @Robsolete (9) , @ladylloyd (10), @vague (8.5)

    Corner of your eye
    @unnameable (6.5): not the greatest melody, but I like her heartfelt lyrics. (How I pretty much feel. There is a starkness to the lyrics.)

    @chris4862 (7) , @Remorque (6.5)

    Still Undiscovered

    @LKane (3): This one is boring. (Like 'iTunes bonus track worthy boring' or 'never needed to be recorded boring'? Haha!)

    @VivaForever (5), @tylerc904 (3), @Robert (4), @Florencia. (5), @CasuallyCrazed (1)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Wild Hope: Behind The Scenes Video​

    Some promo for the fabulous Lori McKenna

    (I just realized that some of Taylor's best early songwriting reminds me of 'Stealing Kisses'.)

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  8. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I can see who my rate enemies are here.
  9. Well. It has been a while hasn't it? Ddd
  10. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Hello darkness, my old friend.
  11. So, one of my favorite things about pop music is the collaboration of it all. All the pieces that go into it. The writers, producers, & more. As such, I'll try to highlight some of those people as we go along in the rate, as not only do I know some of this stuff & is it fun to write some about, but it's also fun to research or discover new info. Many of these people are an important part to the final product Mandy delivered, so its nice to plug them some. Collaboration, connections, & even inspiration is a big part of Mandy, especially once we get to Coverage & beyond in her career. It's been fun for me to cover some of that. Like, I never expected to be geeking about Lori McKenna on Popjustice, but here were are!

    The fabric of music I love & how all its various threads sometimes connect & overlap in weird ways has always been a fave thing of mine. Not just writers & producers, etc... but how certain music even 'makes you feel' thus reminding of other artists or other times. I realize that's sort of a personal concept, but it's how my brain works. Mandy is one of those weird artists that crosses a lot of streams in my music fandom journey. (It is probably one one of many reasons I love her so much.) As such, I'm doing my best to make sure my write-ups don't come off too scattershot, but the truth is she fires a lot of different synapses in my brain sometimes. So, I apologize if I ever go down a rabbit hole & you're like...

  12. Swept Away is by far the biggest loss so far, it's gorgeous. It should have definitely made the main album.

    Pretty damn ridiculous it's out in the bottom 10.
  13. berserkboi and pop3blow2 like this.
  14. Oops, you're right. I just coped & pasted from my commentary doc wrong. I'll fix it later. @Sprockrooster gave it a 10!
    Music Is Death, vague, LKane and 3 others like this.
  15. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    A twist!
  16. Quelle surprise.
    The power that it has, the intelligence that it has, the clearance that it has, the access that it has, the influence that it has, the profile that it has, the international implications that it has.
    ohnostalgia and pop3blow2 like this.
  17. Our next elimination will round out Mandy's 'Bottom 10' according to the panel.

    So far: Self-Titled, Coverage, & Wild Hope (proper) remain untouched. Is it time for a song from one those to leave.... or more extras?
  18. [​IMG]

    "From Loving You" | 6.714

    Rated 75th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 13th out of 13 on Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The 86th most scrobbled Mandy song on

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Dianne Warren
    Produced by: Alexis Dufrense

    track 11 from Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001.

    "My own parade…"
    "I have no regrets
    Glad I let you in
    Wouldn't have missed one single moment
    I would do it all over again"

    Pop music is weird.

    In my last posts I was expelling the virtues of collaboration & how great it is when amazing pieces in the pop fabric come together. Sometimes though, things I love cross paths and the end result is... dubious at best. Whether it be two artists I love doing a song together that is not a good choice all the way around (I’m looking at you Vanessa & Counting Crows) or other times it’s simply a pointless feature by one artist on another’s song that leaves you saying ‘meh'. Being a pop fan is filled moments where the sum of the talent involved doens't equal the end success it should to you. The unsatisfying missed opportunity.

    On paper, 'From Loving You' seems like it should be a huge moment for me in my Mandy fandom. I grew up a pretty big fan of Dianne Warren. Like many on Popjustice, I was one of those people who studied the liner notes of all favorite albums like mini books of some great pop bible.

    I realized very early on that Dianne Warren’s name popped up on many of favorite artists album in the late 80s & early 90s. As a burgeoning songwriter myself in my teens, I got sorta obsessed with her for a spell. As I got a little bit older, I remained very interested in her, not only for her talents as a songwriter, but also because she had risen to being the most in-demand songwriter in pop... and was a woman. In an industry where the numbers are grossly stacked against women, this was no small achievement.

    There’s little doubt that she’s an amazing songwriter. That said, sometimes amazing songwriters phone one in. That’s what From Loving You always felt like to me. Like Dianne either had this average song laying around for years & no one else wanted it... or even worse, she half-heartedly chucked it out on her lunch break one day & cashed her check from Epic when they came calling for a song for their struggling star.

    On an album of standout material, 'From Loving You' is the lone dud to me. As such, it’s my lowest rated song from self titled. It’s always been my lowest rated song on self tilted. That’s not to say, there’s nothing good about. it. Mandy, understanding how special it is to be given a Dianne Warren song, goes to town on out. She does what she can to sell it, even if the whole thing comes off like a poor mans 'Because You Loved Me'.

    The production is fine here. I like the phased effect on Mandy’s voice on the intro ('I had you, I had everything I ever needed'). Ultimately, it’s one of those weird tempo ballads, just looking for credits scene of a romantic film. It never found one. As such, it just feels out of place a bit on the album. It feels like Epic wanted an 'in case of emergency: release this ballad' track on the album, so they ponied up the funds for Dianne song. Ultimately, I feel like even the powers that be at the label were even 'meh' about the song... especially considering they already had a great movie credits ballad on the album in 'Cry'.

    I will admit though, that while this was a song I skipped regularly on self titled back in the day (the only one, really), it did get stuck in my head several times the last few months as I revisited it for this rate. So maybe the melody is stronger than I give it credit for.

    "Glad I got to get the chance to
    Have you in my life
    I won't be sad when I look back"

    My Score: 7.5

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @Zar-Unity (8.6):
    This is another pop ballad with a very nice slow intro, then you get slowly captivated by Mandy's
    gorgeous voice. Touching lyrics once again and the line "some people search their whole lives and never find what I've found in your eyes" is certainly a powerful line. At this point Mandy wasn't even writing her
    own songs yet, but I feel like the lyrics for this song fit Mandy pretty well. This ballad is well done but perhaps a bit too slow for me, where I prefer "When I talk to you" to this instead but it is still a enjoyable song by her. (Yeah, the tempo is an issue for many here. The intro is very pretty though.)

    @Music Is Life (8.5):
    This was cute. A nice enough ballad, and I like her vocals on this one. (Just wish she had a better song to sing, here.)

    @Remorque (8)

    Corner of your eye
    @LKane (6) : Not that bad actually. (I think this is a compliment? Haha!)

    @unnameable (7.5): such a tender song (It really is. Some of the lyrics are little schmaltzy, but that happens in even the best Diane ballads.)

    @VivaForever (7), @Sprockrooster (7), @tylerc904 (7), @Robert (7), @Robsolete (7), @chris4862 (7.5), @vague (7.75), @Florencia. (6), @RUNAWAY (6.5

    Still Undiscovered
    @ohnostalgia (3): This is a really strange tempo for a ballad. Brings out my phobia. (It also seems to make most people break in a rash of sevens. Look at all those!)

    @ladylloyd (4), @CasuallyCrazed (5)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    A little mix of some of Diane Warren songs​

    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  19. From Loving You is one of Diane's and the self titled's weaker moments. But I like it.
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  20. Their collab was great!

    From Loving You is just such a weak way to end an otherwise amazing album. It's like it loses its legs at the very end of the race.
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