Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 33 | 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. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    From a music critics perspective God Only Knows is not “massively overrated.” It gets exactly the praise it deserves: it’s not Brian Wilson’s fault his song got over commercialized to death.

    Also, the Beach Boys are far from overrated in the Western Musical Canon. If anything they’re underrated, not taken seriously. Especially when you consider peers like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

    Anyways, everyone should watch this Brian Wilson biopic.

    berserkboi, pop3blow2 and unnameable like this.
  2. I was never really that invested in any version of God Only Knows save for the Beach Boys' original, so I probably listened to Mandy's version only a handful of times. She doesn't add anything original or a different spin to it, but it's a bit... unremarkable.

    I sincerely urge you all to listen to the absolute classic that is Pet Sounds. You won't be disappointed.
    pop3blow2 and ohnostalgia like this.
  3. John Cusack and Paul Dano are both amazing in that biopic.
    pop3blow2 and ohnostalgia like this.
  4. [​IMG]

    "Breaking Us In Two" | 7.188

    Rated 58th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 10th out of 12 from Coverage

    Chart info or stats:

    The 72nd most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 11th most scrobbled song from Coverage on

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Joe Jackson
    Produced by: John Fields

    Track 9 on the album Coverage released October 15, 2003

    "My own parade…"
    "Could we be much closer if we tried?"
    The late 70’s & early 80’s new wave scene produced a lot talented musicians who mixed new & old styles, blended musical genres, & broke ground in pop/rock music in ways that had not yet been done. Even within that lens, Joe Jackson is weird. I mean this as a compliment & in the best possible way… as I’m pretty big fan of him.

    Coming out the late 70’s New Wave scene, Joe Jackson was immediately just sort of lumped with some other ‘similar acts’. (We all now love critics like to do this, as it makes their life easy!) Joe Jackson's experimentation soon started to make their live's harder, & it soon started to come clear though that he had his own thing. Little by little his music because less pop/rock driven, as he added in: jazz, singer/song writer sensibilities, sophisticated instrumental flourishes & even eventually wound up making classical music. (His song ’Steppin’ Out is all-time fave for me.)

    He refused to be pigeon-holed.

    For some of these reasons, it’s actually perfect that Mandy Moore was drawn to him & decided to cover him on her pet project. I remember seeing him on the track list for Coverage & being a bit like, ‘What is going with this girl!?’ In the Coverage making of DVD, Mandy's enthusiasm for Joe Jackson is palatable, as she makes specific mention of how she is fascinated with how experimental he is. That she chose ‘Breaking Us In Two’ as the song to cover is brilliant. It’s an uncannily perfect song for not only the record & where the was at in her life musically. Again, the lyrics are about a relationship, but metaphorically, can be 'state of the union' points of reference for Mandy's very mind-set for the album:

    “Don’t you feel like trying something new
    Don’t you feel like breaking out
    Or breaking us in two”

    One part of being a great cover artist, that I think gets overlooked sometimes, is the concept ‘is this artist communicating something personal via proxy by covering this song’. As I discussed in an earlier post, sometimes motivations for covering songs might be pretty simple (i.e. : 'I just like this song and wanted to sing it. Here it is, world!'). But with Coverage, it was always fascinating because there was something else going on to me.

    Mandy wasn’t really a writer yet, but wanted to make a certain kind of music & prove herself the artist she wanted to be. She wanted to be a songwriter, but just wasn't there yet. I think if the conditions had been a bit different, she would’ve loved to have just written an album of her own music in 2003. But they weren’t different; she was at, where she was at. She has the self-perception to know that she wasn’t ready for that yet. (Where was my self perception of his level when I was 19!? I hate you, Mandy... ddd.)

    So, she did the next most logical thing. She handpicked 12 songs she felt symbolized where she was it as an artist & person. She pulled these songs from the past, because that’s when she wanted to live. By deconstructing these songs, she learned to write the kind of songs she wanted write & find inspiration through these great artists to become the kind of artist she wanted to be moving forward. By doing this she produced, what I consider to be, the most perfect ‘bridge album’ ever made my artist between to parts of her career. It’s the literal sonic representation of a caterpillar becoming a butterly. Hokey? Maybe… but how I always felt about it.

    Lyrics, themes, & Joe Jackson, aside, 'Breaking Us In Two' is one of my favorite vocals by Mandy on Coverge. It’s one of my favorite vocals by her period. Especially on the back half of the song, where her voice has a soul that elevates the song to another level. The vocal adlibs on the outro are Carly Rae levels of perfection (and Carly is my queen of vocal adlibs… shit, I did the ‘Carly: queen of _____’ things that dives me nuts! Help me…)

    John Fields flat out nails the production. The beefed up orchestration, especially the vibraphone, really shines on the track. A vibraphone that I must chime in & mention was played by none other that D.J.Bonebrake of the seminal punk band X. Dude is versatile as all get-out, having played with everyone from influential
    Png bands the Germs & The Eyes (featuring Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Gos), & even playing timpani in Palisades Symphony Orchestra. Coverage literally has everything & trust me, I have more to say on some of this 'punk angle' later.

    Oh, can't forget the saxophone on here, of course. (It's one of the many instruments Joe Jackson can play. Talent) and it central part of the song.

    'Breaking Us In Two' is technically a ballad, but there’s a surprising amount oomph to it, especially Mandy's version. The fact that Mandy’s soulful voice can sound so good over some production that is pretty full, really showcases what an underrated vocalist she really is.

    There more than one song on Coverage I can define as : a beautiful , but slightly strange pop song by an underrated talent. 'Breaking Us In Two' is certainly one of those. With this song, and really most of the songs on the album though, if I make that statement its really a coin-flip as to whether I’m talking about the original artist or Mandy.

    Breaking her in two? Split-chick, indeed.

    My Score: 9.7

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Zar-Unity (9.8):
    This song is gorgeous! Very well done cover! I think I've heard the original and I prefer this cover to the original. Mandy sounds great on this song and it is filled with so many nice musical changes. This is what you call elegant sophisticated pop! Hello St Etienne! Wow, can you imagine for a minute, Mandy doing pop on the level of St Etienne's "Good humor" album! That would be quite something to hear! She would certainly have the voice for it to capture your ears and make you fall in love with her like I know I have for Sarah Cracknell.! This song is definitely one of the biggest highlights on Coverage. Even the way the song ends and fades out is just magical. (So much truth in one paragraph! Yes, there's a definite 'sophisti-pop' ange to this & a couple of other Coverage songs. Makes sense here, since Joe Jackson has a couple of albums that really tapped into that. I'm always up a St. Etienne reference... especially in a conversations about covers, since their version of Only Love Can Break Your Heart is among my fave covers of all time.)

    @ohnostalgia (8.5) :
    Mandy transforms a Plain Jane into a Sparkly Jane.


    @LKane (8.2):
    Mandy can handle those lower tones so well. (Thank you!)

    @Music Is Life (8.5):
    This was a little too long, I kinda stopped paying attention a little but I did enjoy it and I loved the flute. (A little too long? *gasp* Yeah, I forgot to even mention the flute, there's so much going on here. The
    whole song is a little like something off of... Pet Sounds. Callback--boom!)

    @RUNAWAY (8.5),

    Corner of your eye

    @VivaForever (6): Rather boring.


    @unnameable (7.5)
    an interesting selection for her to cover. (I mean, it really is. There about 5 song choices on Coverage that took Mandy Moore from 'oh, I really like her a lot' to 'What planet are you from & can I go there?' status for me.)

    @Sprockrooster (6), @tylerc904 (6.5), @Robsolete (7), @ladylloyd (6), @chris4862 (7.5), @vaugue (7.5), @Florencia. (7), @CasuallyCrazed (6),

    Still Undiscovered

    @Robert (2)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Original Joe Jackson version

    The best Joe Jackson song! (one of my faves of the 80's)

    D.J. Bonebrake serving some Vibraphone led exotica

    and I love random references getting mixed in here, so some St. Etienne from Good Humor

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Robert, Zar-Unity, berserkboi and 6 others like this.
  5. I'm at a park and the main area is playing Stupid Cupid. Not sure who's version though.
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  6. So, the next elimination is another 11. You've been warned.
    Robert, Music Is Death, vague and 2 others like this.
  7. Joe Jackson's "steppin out" is magical! Lovely fav pick @pop3blow2 !
    I love you including a song from St Etienne's good humor album, just
    for the love of random artist reference.

    You know that St Etienne's cover of "Only love can break your heart
    featured another vocalist other the Moira Lambert version! Sarah Cracknell,
    did a version of it as well! Strangely, I can't find it anywhere online, oh well.

    Breaking us into two is one of Mandy's best songs period, and it
    should have went "way" further! Shame on some of you.
    I love the grand production on Mandy's version and it really does
    showcase just how much of a wonderful singer she is. Underrated
    indeed! The flute is lovely on this song.

    It is pretty amazing that Coverage actually had a making of DVD, I'd
    love to watch it! Indeed Mandy's insight into her artist picks were
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  8. [​IMG]

    "Pocket Philosopher" | 7.192

    Rated 57th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 7th out of 10 from Amanda Leigh

    Chart info or stats:

    The 56th most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 4th most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh on

    Liner Notes

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

    Track 4 on the album Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009

    "My own parade…"
    "Hey, come on let's play a song.
    Two or three or four.
    Five or if you want more.
    Or maybe I'll just sing myself back to sleep."

    Perhaps in the spirit of the song title, I find myself waxing philosophical about a couple of odd musical concepts for a minute here.

    If you start in the industry being pressured to 'sell', does lack of commercial success start to make you a more adventurous artist? I guess it really depends on the artist or situation. In Mandy Moore’s case I feel lack of ‘success’ has fueled her & has taken her music to interesting places.

    Now, whether or not you enjoy the sonic direction she went, is completely up to your preferences I suppose. For me though, when I hear something like ‘Pocket Philosopher’ I hear an artist not only comfortable in her own skin, but an artist completely ‘going for it’ within the style of music she is pursuing.

    ‘Going for it’ is a vague concept I will likely fail at articulating here. I’ve gotten in the discussions with some of my other music friends who give the 'oh boy, here he goes' look when I get on my ‘going for it’ soapbox. It is just a feeling I get about certain artists or a song, though. Normally, I get most excited when a popular artist ‘goes for it’, in terms of writing a song or making album that really takes them to the next level, in respect to their place in the zeitgeist or larger fabric of pop. A lot of times I use this concept in terms of ‘big pop girls’ or big bands. (Like I think Lorde ‘went for for it’ with Melodrama or the back in the day The Killers went for it with Sam’s Town.) Now, to be clear, you can be a big artist > go for it > & fail too (To me, Taylor Swift has done this a couple of times now… and I say that as a big fan of hers.)

    I also get excited when smaller or indie artists go for it. When they do it, it's more of a moment of self-realiztion where they produce a song or album that best represents where they have been heading to. Their going for it moment is less about the spotlight being on them & seeing what they do... and more about how they just develop as an artist independent of what is expected from them. There's a bit of a 'nothing left to lose' element their approach of the concept, rather the 'all eyes on me... make them say wow' aspect of big artists going for it.

    The long & short of it I guess, is that the artist doesn't hold back. Even if you don't like the end result, I can listen & feel as if the artist left it all on the table. As such, there's a couple of times a year where I'm listening to something & think, 'wow, they are really going for it!'

    Mandy has done this quite a few times in her career.

    Now, it's fair to say that sometimes when an artist goes for it, the end result can also be kind of divisive. That seems to be what we have here.

    Mandy has made no bones about the fact that she really loves the music of the 70’s. Coverage was obviously a catalyst for this idea to be set in motion this & Wild Hope arguably built best upon that concept in it’s overall song cycle. There are moments on Amanda Leigh though, where I actually think we hit ‘peak Mandy’ in terms of what she wants to as an artist. ‘Pocket Philosopher’ is one of those moments. She just goes for it.

    As a song its a little bit pop, a little bit folk, a little bit Broadway. It touches up on that jaunty palette of late 60’s early 70’s pop a lot of Mandy’s inspiration perfected. Despite all that though, it doesn't really really sound ‘directly inspired by’ a specific artist. It's all the elements she enjoys about music, filtered through her own style, & put back into the world into a fresh way. That’s a the mark of an artist that has found or is finding their own footing, as far as I’m concerned. Mandy said of the song that her & Mike were shooting for something in the vein of Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson. I think she captured the spirit of this style of music well.

    I mentioned some of my favorite things in pop songs in the ‘Nothing Everything’ write-up a couple weeks back, when that song was eliminated from the rate. ‘Pocket Philosopher’ hits upon some of those too… mainly the non-eponymous song title point.

    Mandy has a handful of non-eponymous songs in her discography; 5 to be exact . In an interesting occurrence, 4 of those songs are on Amanda Leigh… an album that is intentionally eponymously titled after Mandy’s given name. This might just be a coincidence , but I find it artistically fascinating, nonetheless.

    The even odder thing is that 3 of the first first 4 songs we’ve lost off an Amanda Leigh have been 3 of non-eponymous songs:

    • Song About Home
    • Nothing Everything
    • Pocket Philosopher

    … and two of those songs have been people’s 11’s! This is the kind of pop math & random info I love! (I guess technically she 6 non-eponymous songs if you include ‘Healing Incantaion’ from Tanged, but I digress.)

    I would’ve have never guessed 'Nothing Everything' or 'Pocket Philosopher 'for 11’s before the rate, so, all I can say is ‘taste’. Those two songs were always connected in my brain in terms of the song cycle on the albums anyways, as they both seemed like highlights of Mandy becoming the version of herself she wants to be musically.

    Now, you’ll just have to stay tuned & see how the last 2 non-eponymous songs in Mandy’s discography do in the rate.

    My Score: 8.4

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @chris4862 (11):
    It was a tough call, there are several contenders, but this one just does something to me. It’s so joyous and effervescent, it always makes me smile. And my mom loves it too! (Again, this was one of those random 11's that brought great joy to me when entering the scores. So, I guess you can say the effervescent charm of the song lives up the hype in that regard! A worthy 11 that Mandy would be so happy someone picked, I think.)

    @unnameable (10):
    my personal favourite of this album (it seems as if you have some solid company, here.)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    A new quirky side of Mandy that is hopping along like a cute bunny in the beautiful grassy field is sharing a story with us and invites us to come along for this special journey. Yes please!? What's not to like here?
    I love this new side to Mandy! She definitely sounded in a much better place in her life and that she had had a lot of special things to express through a new album. Mandy's main producer did a top job on this album! This song is so pretty and thematic, I love it! Definitely one of my favorites on the album! (Haha! Mandy as an animated bunny is what your commentary is giving me. Sure, I'm on board. The production is spot on, here... you're right.)

    @LKane (9.8):
    One of my fave songs on the record. I think it match perfectly her Coverage album. A bit cheesy but still great in her voice. Feels like a musical. (A definite extension for Coverage... and I think Mandy in some of he preferred elements.)

    @Music Is Life (9):
    This was a fun bop. The ending is weird, but I'm here for it. The lyrics are interesting. (It's a weird little song, for sure.... but it does have some bop-i-bility to it. She said the lyrics are about wanting to stop time when you meet someone new... so that certainly leads to some different lyrics.)

    @ohnostalgia (8)
    A proto Just Another Day, isn’t it? (Is this a Lady Gaga reference in a Mandy Moore rate? We have everything here!)

    @vague (8), @Florencia. (8), @RUNAWAY (8.5)

    Corner of your eye
    @Sprockrooster (7), @tylerc904 (6), @Robsolete (6), @Remorque (7.5)

    Still Undiscovered
    @VivaForever (4):
    This sounds like Regina Spektor doing a children’s song, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. (I'd actually like to hear Regina score an animated film, now... look at you planting seeds in my brain!)

    @ladylloyd (4), @CasuallyCrazed (.75)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Live version from June 2009

    Some of Mandy's inspiration for the song

    Harry Nilsson: Gotta Get Up

    Randy Newman: Simon Smith & The Amazing Dancing Bear

    Robert, Zar-Unity, Florencia. and 8 others like this.
  9. Well damn. I knew it was never going to win, but I'd hoped it would at least make the top 50! Nevertheless, I find solace in the fact that overall her music is so highly rated across the bored that even at #57 its average is 7! Queen of quality.
  10. After a couple of very dicey weeks, in regards to my tech set-up, I think I actually have things mainly settled.

    *my gawd*

    I won't go into all the details, because it doesn't really matter, but lets just say it was a perfect storm of awful. Considering my job requires a 100% working computer, my life has been 'fun' of late. (Anxiety level 1000!)

    Hopefully in the next day to two, I'll be back in a flow of work/life & get back to 4-5 eliminations a week.
  11. I love Pocket Philosopher! I can imagine a music video like Bjork's "It's oh so quiet"
    Zar-Unity, chris4862 and pop3blow2 like this.
  12. There is a real 'musical' element to song, so I can totally see that! I wish Mandy had made some more videos from Coverage on... they are few & far between.

    Working on the write-up for #56 now. It's my lowest rated song in the rate, so there's that.
  13. [​IMG]

    "Not Too Young" | 7.203

    Rated 56th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 8th out of 16 from So Real/I Wanna Be With You

    Chart info or stats:

    The 29th most scrobbled Mandy song on

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Tony Battaglia & Obie Morant
    Produced by: The Wasabees

    Track 9 on the album So Real released December 7, 1999

    "My own parade…"
    "I'm not too young to know
    The right things to do
    And one of those things is not to fall for you"

    Well, here we are. This is my lowest rated Mandy Moore song in her discography. I always considered this song among my least faves by her for the longest time, but maybe (just maybe), its a tad better than I realized & I like it a bit more than I thought.

    Where to start?

    Look, I don’t want to drag ‘Not Too Young' though the mud. By this time, you know my feelings on So Real. This song just always failed on a lot of basic levels for me. It wasn't something I considered very catchy, which to me, which is one of first bars you need to pass. Apart from the ‘la la la la’ part, nothing really sucks me in… depite how hard the hook tried to hit me over the head.

    The song is just sort of all over place, a tad 'schizophoic', if you will… both production wise & vocally. There a bit more of the ‘Britney-try-hard-stuff’ we’ve touched upon on other write-ups here, but to be fair there are some moments where she shines too. You get some hints of some Mandy attitude in spots. It’s kinda fun.

    I’ve just never liked it much though or really even gave it much thought past my surface level annoyances… and here’s where maybe I was wrong.

    Reading the commentary for this song made me realize I’d always been a bit dismissive of it lyrically too. That’s actually not completely fair, as there is some interesting ‘flip-the-script’ narratives floating through the lyrics. Much like the character in the song who dissed Mandy, I think I just originally judged the song by it’s title & immediately lumped it into that ‘oh look, I’m not young, I’m grown up’ pop trope that was done to death at the time (and done to death on other parts of So Real, for that matter.) That initial judgment of the lyrics mixed with not really liking the song's sonics much, didn’t do much to get me excited.

    The song is actually pretty heady in some ways, though. Where as a lot of So Real & other music of the era played up the youth & innocence ages in slightly odd or even problematic ways, 'Not Too Young' gives some control back to the teen girl. Several of you with your commentary below articulate this better than I do here & I enjoyed reading your takes. It's an oddly empowering song & Mandy owns it.

    Like an earlier song on So Real ('I Like It' ), we get another Backstreet Boys connection. Not Too Young was the lone song on the album co-wrtten by Obie Morant. Obie is a prolific musician, who most notably played percussion & saxophone for the Backstreet Boys touring band & as a producer/multi-instrumentalist on Ginuwine's 1999 album 100% Genuwine . This is the only song I can find a writing credit for him on, in his entire career. mentions him as an 'arranger' on Candy, too, But much like the Wasabees produced very little music after Mandy, that's it for Obie's writing credits. (I guess So Real struggled to launch to a lot of careers.)

    Listening 'Not Too Young' several times for the first time is many years for the rate, though, has made me sort of find it oddly charming. I could almost hear it being a musical number in some Disney Channel show or movie back in the day (heck, maybe even now.) It just sounds like it could almost be in some sort of 'Grease Jr' type musical, where the lead girl sings about how she's not gonna fall for an older guy. (My brain.) The cheesy 'storm' sound effects & overall production are something else, though. I guess it was for dramatic effect? I find that production choice sort of random. Calm before the storm, maybe...

    If I was to re-rate all her songs again, 'Not Too Young' would still likely come up towards the very bottom of the list. But taking into account some new points of view, I might rate it a bit higher. Ultimately, it is just a weaker song to me on my least fave Mandy album, so it is what is.

    My Score: 5.5

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @ohnostalgia (10) :
    Society conditions young girls and women to believe relationships with older men are cool. Like we should be grateful that an older man finds us worthy of his attention. And don’t even get me started on those who frame these relationships as “empowering” (I’m thinking of a Sugar Daddy scenario where a young woman getting a man to spend money on them is somehow feminism). Thankfully Mandy shuts it down with this A N T H E M. (This was probably some of my favorite commentary the whole rate. I love when someone gives me a whole new perspective to think about something... especially something I don't particularly like. It actually makes me like this song a lot more.)

    @Music Is Life (10):
    OVE THIS! Drag that older boy Mandy. Know you're worth, and know that just cause he's older doesn't mean he isn't trash. Love the production on this, especially the electric guitar. (Are you & @ohnostalgia in cahoots here! I love both of your commentary here. It kind of is a low-key feminist anthem. I wish I liked the production & such as much as you, though.)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    This one I have some fond history of. I remember other people in my family complementing Mandy's vocal talent on this song and people always thinking that when this track first came on that there was real thunder and a storm brewing outside. Oh yes those are some great thunder cues haha. Now to the song itself. I love how this song showed a more confident side to early Mandy. A Mandy that can handle her own and one girl that you wouldn't want to mess with. The beat is great and makes this one of her best stand out tracks from So real. Another fine tune with a bit of a Latin pop style to the instrumentation, which Mandy always does well with her singing style. This was always one of my favorites to play on repeat from from the CD on my old boombox, way before my last fm day's. No scrobbling back then but oh boy did I enjoy her music on the regular! Mandy's music is like medicine to my ears. (I should've had you do the write-up for this one! Ha! You're right about, if I'd had it back in the day, I would've broken their website with Coverage. I would've gotten an email from the asking if they should send help to me, since I listened to that album every day, sometimes multiple times, for a couple of years.)

    @LKane (8.9):
    Surprisingly I got this song stuck in my head after listening to only a couple of times. I can see some potential here. Guilty pleasure. (It took 20 years, but the 'la la la' pre-chorus gets stuck in my head now. Mandy plays the long game sometimes.)

    @unnameable (8):
    Mandy really shows a strong attitude on this one, and the soft middle eight is amazing. (She really does. We get some more that attitude on some later stuff from her. She's got a lot more attitude in her music than people probably give her credit for.)

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

    Corner of your eye
    @Sprockrooster (7), @tylerc904 (7.5), @Robsolete (7)

    @chris4862 (6)
    It’s trash but I still bopped. (*scream*)


    @vague (7.25)
    the "la la la"~ bits are nice, but otherwise i don't love this. ( Well, we are on the same page here!)

    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (4), @ladylloyd (5),

    @Florencia. (4)
    A boring and unremarkable song (Not even the thunder helped, huh?)

    @RUNAWAY (4):
    blech. Her voice sounds awful on this song and these lyrics are horrendous. (Yeah, her voice is rough in some places here. The lyrics are kinda messy, but I'm coming around to whole overall narrative of it... )

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Ginuwine's 'She's Out My Life' produced by Obie Morant (& featuring him on Saxophone & Flute)

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    Robert, chris4862, Zar-Unity and 8 others like this.
  14. Listening to this song again... I really like it. Specially the chorus and the spanish guitar that sounds just before. It kind of reminds me to some Stacie Orrico songs or style. mmm
    Robert, Zar-Unity and ohnostalgia like this.
  15. Yeah I'm not happy about this.
    Robert, Zar-Unity and ohnostalgia like this.
  16. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    We may be slightly mismatched musical soulmates.
    Music Is Death and pop3blow2 like this.
  17. Working on the next elimination. It's a big write-up for a song, that while I only gave it a 9, is one of the biggest personal daggers for me so far.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  18. [​IMG]

    "When I Talk To You" | 7.208

    Rated 55th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 12th out of 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The 84th most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 9th most scrobbled song from

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Matthew Hager & Mandy Moore
    Produced by: Matthew Hager

    Track 13 on the album Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001

    "My own parade…"
    "I don't understand
    All these changes
    I'm still the same
    No need to pretend"

    Authenticity is a loaded word in many art forms, but especially in music. The general idea that formed at some point (the 60’s) was that artists who write their own music are more authentic than those who don’t. I know I’m painting with some broad strokes here, but in general The Beatles + Bob Dylan + Pet Sounds, were the arguably the Holy Trinity of an industry culture shift towards 'authenticity' in pop. The 70’s the ushered in the singer/songwritter movement & hard rock. The touchstones of these moments was singers writing their own music & playing their own instruments. This dovetailed into Punk towards the end of the decade, which completely embodied a DIY aesthetic. Pop still existed & even sometimes thrived in these eras, but little by little, it was further marginalized as 'fake' by certain sects who think singers need to have written the words they sing ‘to be real’ or artists need to play instrument to be legitimate.

    It's basically bullshit.

    While I generally have railed against the kind of thinking since I was very young, even I fall into trap of getting overexcited when an artist not normally known for writing, playing an instrument, or producing their own music starts down that road. While it puts me at odds with my own logic, it gives me comfort being able to sefl-rightoeusly say, ‘Well they write their own music’ to some hater.

    In reality, as Mandy states in this song, "maybe it just doesn’t matter."

    That said, by the time Mandy’s, now fairly classic, self titled album rolled around, I was getting deep into new fandoms of that era in music : Nelly Furtado, Michelle Branch, & soon Avril & Vanessa would enter my sphere. (Heck, a big deal was even made about Mandy-rate regular mentions M2M, because Marion & Marit wrote all their own songs.)

    Really, on the heels of over 4 years of the seemingly unstoppable teen pop movement, tastes & trends were shifting. There was a bit of a mini-movement taking hold in pop, where women were taking more control of their narrative… and that very much included writing their own music. It was exciting & needed in the industry. While as a big fan of her I didn’t need Mandy Moore to write her own music, I very much liked that she was getting some footing in that zeitgeist. I did have a core group of friends who when I would talk about music would discount most pop. If I mentioned so & so wrote their own they would at least give them the illusion of interest. Mandy was usually no-go for most them when I went on about her. It was frustrating.

    With 'When I Talk To You', I had another point in my favor in my argument that she was a 'legitimate artist', so I was selfishly elated.

    Mandy Moore surprised a lot of people with her third album & one of the more talked about things by critics was that she closed her third album with a song she wrote. Not just an original, but from what I understand, one of the first songs she had ever written. Well actually, it was co-written by the great Matthew Hager (more on him later in the rate, I promise!)

    Thankfully Mandy Moore was huge in Asia & performed an MTV Sessions for the song in 2001. In that performance (embedded below) she give a lot more background & history of the song. Basically, her & Matthew went full indie mode & wrote the song during a soundcheck on a tour. (Mandy already tapping into those Jackson Browne 'The Load Out'/ 70's singer-songwriter vibes. Self-aware queen. Also reminds a bit of one of my fave R.E.M. albums New Adventures In Hi-Fi were they wrote & recored every song on tour.)

    It’s actually a unelivebaly sad song. In some other rates coming up, I talk more about this concept, but basically I’m a sucker for songs that humanize the experience the bad parts of being a celebrity. I actually have a lot of empathy for celebrities & popular artists. As someone who suffers with anxiety, I can't imagine the life they endure. I know they 'sign up' for some of it, but there is a lot of piling on they don't sign up for. I get really frustrated in our culture at how we dehumanize actors, singers, athletes , etc & reduce them down to the commodity of whatever they can give us. The internet has made this worse. Many people act like because they are famous, they have no feelings & are deserving of failure, pain, or abuse when it is bestowed upon them. Now people can actively get on social media and tear down celebrities for literally everything: Having political opinions, putting out a bad movie… whatever. It's hate porn & it's awful.

    Mandy Moore was starting to feel the early effect of this in 2001. 'When I Talk To You' touches on the aspect of celebrity where your circle of true friends can get smaller & smaller due demands on your time. Simple due to the rigors of being ‘Mandy Moore’ or whoever. You lose friends, contact, & more. Some of those same tool I mention that are used for bad, have also proably helped lessen some of this, but ultimately I think few stars (especially young stars) are ever really ready for the foibles that celebrity brings.

    Mandy so purely articulates that concept in this song. And she was 17 years old when she wrote it. Even the title can be read as mission statement for where Mandy was at, not just personally, but musically. She was bracing for realness & wanted to communicate to that her fans : "When I Talk To You. This song is my feelings. This song is my words."

    Look, this isn’t the best song ever written tor anything, but I truly love it. In fact, I might love it even more than my 9 would ever show. It's just that I use this song as the baseline to compare Mandy’s later writing too, so in that regard, its not quite as good as some stuff on Wild Hope or Amanda Leigh. But the seeds were planted here.

    In fact, three of my fave Mandy Moore songs are:
    - 'Wild Hope'
    - 'Gardenia'
    - & 'Bug'

    'When I Talk To You' is very much a rough demo for those songs. Raw emotional ballads about miscommunication, growing apart, & the acknowledgment of celebrity realtiosnhips being commodified. I mean, it even has some sonic callbacks to her biggest hit up to that point (ever) in 'I Wanna Be With You'. Many seems to bookending an era of her career with this song & the moment is rather astonishing. It’s a beautiful album closer to a rather brilliant album & while
    Coverage would delay more tunes from Mandy the writer, this song was the perfect lead-in.

    My Score: 9

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky
    @Zar-Unity (10):
    Now we get some more of beautiful acoustic pop Mandy. I love the way Mandy sings on this one, along with that beautiful violin. For a more raw side to Mandy for a pop ballad, this one is a definite standout! This also works well enough as the closer to her self-titled. I forgot just how gorgeous this song is!
    It is so moving! This side of Mandy certainly returns on her later albums, which is a good thing. Mandy sounds so sincere on this song that you'd think she wrote the whole song herself and she is singing her heart out.

    @ladylloyd (10):
    When I found out Mandy helped write the devastating ‘What I Talk To You’ I was desperate for her to write more, I was well into singer/songwriter types and I just knew she had it in her to create something really special.

    @vague (8.5) :
    very lovely, very simple ballad. Mandy sounds divine on this.

    @Sprockrooster (9), @Florencia. (8.5)

    @Music Is Life (8.5):
    This is cute but kind of underwhelming as an album closer.

    Corner of your eye
    @unnameable (7):
    a pleasant ballad, probably the lowest point on the album for me and still a seven.

    @tylerc904 (7), @Robert (7), @Robsolete (6.5), @chris4862 (7), @RUNAWAY (6), @Remorque (7)

    Still Undiscovered

    @LKane (3): Boring.

    @ohnostalgia (5):
    don’t know why I find most of her early ballads so boring, I’m sorry

    @VivaForever (5):
    Ugh, another mandatory closing ballad - Your Face ha impact. Boring, boring, boring. At least it’s at the end so it’s easy to excise from my listening experience.

    @CasuallyCrazed (5.75)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Live at MTV Asia Sessions

    Divine Live Version with solo violin from her 2001 Shoutback Live Concert

    Because my brain connects weird dots. I mean, these two songs are also closing songs on albums written on tour... so there is a method to my brain's randomness!

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Robert, Zar-Unity, Florencia. and 7 others like this.
  19. [​IMG]

    So, we've now eliminated 30 songs in this rate. Just quick recap of the 'bottom 30' songs as voted by our panel:

    The bottom 20
    #84: Amazing Lucky Scarf
    #83: Healing Incantation
    #82: Singing To The Song Of Life
    #81: Stupid Cupid
    #80: On The Line
    #79: Your Face
    #78: Quit Breaking My Heart
    #77: Song About Home
    #76: Swept Away
    #75: From Loving You
    #74: Love You For Always
    #73: Help Me
    #72: I Like It
    #71: Everblue
    #70: When Will My Life Begin
    #69: Willin'
    #68: Umbrella
    #67: Can't You Just Adore Her
    #66: Let Me Be The One
    #65: Wind In My Hair

    The last batch

    #64: Lock Me In Your Heart
    #63: Love Shot
    #62: Anticipation
    #61: Nothing Everything
    #60: What You Want
    #59: God Only Knows
    #58: Breaking Us In Two
    #57: Pocket Philosopher
    #56: Not Too Young
    #55: When I Talk To You

    This last batch of 10 was a rough patch, (on a personal level for my computer!) & for Mandy with So Real... as it lost 4 songs. In fact, only 7 songs in total remain from debut era now.

    We also lost two surprising 11's from Amanda Leigh this round. Surprising because they got 11s period , but also because they were being eliminated at all yet( & also because both were non-emponymous in title.) We also lost only the second song from self-titled... and the first song in 20 eliminations from that album (since 'From Loving You' left at #75, whew!). Wild Hope proper has still only lost one song so far in this rate @Robsolete. Can its Wild Slayage continue?

    And with that,...Here’s some tea about the next 10 songs we lose.

    > We will lose ONE more 11's in our next 10 songs.
    > One album is safe the next the next run...
    > The next 10 songs are 'a smattering' for lack of a better be prepared.
    > We have out first & only tie in the whole rate in the next 10 songs. Hmmm...

    Just a reminder that there is a running scoreboard on page 1 of the rate. I'm trying to keep it up to date & have added a section for 11's as we lose them. With the recent 'When I Talk To You' elimination badge, I've shifted to 'Brunette-Era' Mandy. It worked out well with my rate theme, since her writing her first song was a huge moment; as was changing her hair color. While superficial, it was hugely symbolic & did signify a marked shift in her taking control of her own image.
    Robert, Zar-Unity, Florencia. and 7 others like this.
  20. Amazing and thoroughly deserved! Let's hope it hangs on for as long as possible.
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