Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 35 | 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.

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What's your favorite Mandy Moore album

  1. So Real

    5 vote(s)
    10.0%
  2. I Wanne Be With You

    1 vote(s)
    2.0%
  3. Mandy Moore

    19 vote(s)
    38.0%
  4. Coverage

    8 vote(s)
    16.0%
  5. Wild Hope

    13 vote(s)
    26.0%
  6. Amanda Leigh

    4 vote(s)
    8.0%
  7. Other (soundtrack, etc.)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Thanks for the research into the team behind "Feel me" - it seems she had a top team behind her there.
     
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  2. What a concept that write up took up @pop3blow2 !! A treat to read!! Thank you :)
     
    Robert, pop3blow2 and vague like this.
  3. [​IMG]


    "17" | 7.269




    Rated 51st out of 84 total songs

    Rated 11th out of 13 from Mandy Moore




    Chart info or stats:

    The 70th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 5th most scrobbled song from self-titled.





    Liner Notes


    Written by: Shelly Peiken & Todd Chapman
    Produced by: Todd Chapman


    Track 5 on Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001
    Also released as a double A-side single in Asia with 'Saturate Me'.




    "My own parade…"
    "And I know what makes me happy
    And in my heart, you are it exactly
    "

    So here we have it, our only score tie in the rate: '17' & 'I See the Light'. I broke it by analyzing which song had more high scores (9's & 10's). It was '17'.

    It was a perfect set of songs to tie, though.

    The events of the film Tangled take place on the eve of 17 year-old Rapunzel’s birthday. A girl who has been trapped & held back her entire life and is ready to break out. The fact that 'I See the Light', the song that is the culmination of her journey in that film tied in this rate with the song called '17' from her self titled album (an album that was released when Mandy was seventeen...and is literally part of a collection of songs intended to be her breakout album), well....

    Whew.

    Y’all really trying to melt my meta-Mandy brain in this rate. I really don't need that much help distilling high concept symbolism out of this woman, but thanks!

    If all '17' did was highlight some fun meta-aspects of the overall Mandy narrative I've conjectured in this rate, I’d be fine. But of course, there’s much more to this song. In short, I think it's just a really great piece of pop.

    I guess it should be a good piece of pop, as we get Mandy working with Shelly Peiken again on this song. We’ll revisit Shelly’s brilliance in relation to Mandy more, as the rate unfolds. That said, if you’re unfamiliar with this woman, well, here’s a crash course of songs she has written/co-written :

    • Bitch: Meredith Brooks
    • Almost Doesn’t Count: Brandy
    • What A Girl Wants : Christina Aguilera
    • Out From Under: Joanna Pacitti & Britney Spears
    • Rotten To The Core: Descendants
    • I’m A Mess: Bebe Rexha

    That’s right. This woman has been serving hits & classic album tracks for hundreds of pop artists since Samantha Fox & Taylor Dayne in 1988 all the way through the Veronicas & Bebe Rexha in 2018 (look at this this list!) In an industry where the cards are so stacked against women songwriters, her career longevity is rivaled by very few peers.

    I was worried for this song in the rate & it appears those concerns were founded. Being in part of the that first half of self-titled, probably both helps & hurts the overall mythology of ’17’. The front half of Mandy Moore is so loaded, I sometimes wondered if the song got lost a bit among the absolute crush of ear candy in that part of the album. Being a bit mid-tempo, it does serve as a nice comedown from the very driving ‘One Sided Love’. I like that it leads into 'Cry' on the album, but that was maybe a bit sonically precarious. '17' had some single potential & was supposedly in the running for a US single at one point (though, the fact she didn’t sing it at her semi-famous Shoutback internet concert when promoting Mandy Moore makes this idea seem dubious).

    Where things get interesting, is that Mandy was so big in Asia at this point in 2001, she was able to release a double A-side single… with two songs that weren’t singles in any western markets. This kinda geo-anonally fanbase stuff is so fascinating. There was a double A-side of ’17’ & ’Saturate Me’ released in Asia to moderate success. I always wanted to get a hold a of that physical. Alas, it's not in my collection. (Sadly, I can't even find this release reference on Discogs.com)

    The reality & perhaps even an issue of Mandy Moore is that album is too loaded. Easily over half the songs could’ve been singles. Unlike So Real or even I Wanna Be With You, where the single choices were a bit more dicey, it easier to play revisionist marketing team with self-titled & have opinions about what the strategy should’ve been to make the album succeed more. For the most part, I think they got some things right, but having too many great single choices became a hindrance & I think actually paralyzed the campaign some.

    Complicating matters further, is that while not a huge chart hit ‘Cry’ was so omni-present with the album’s campaign, due to its A Walk To Remember connection. I wonder if that made the label tiptoe around the ballads on the album more, as potential singles in the US. Whatever the case, not enough singles from the album were released. ‘In My Pocket’ & ‘Crush’… and a weird pseudo-single movie soundtrack tie-in with ‘Cry’ were the only true singles. In that respect, I always though ’17’ or ‘Saturate Me’ were certainly missed opportunities as singles from such a fantastic album. The production values of something like '17' while a bit basic in some ways, really fit with some of the sonic fabric of the era of other pop girls & I think would've given this song in particular a chance on radio, etc.

    Mandy Moore wound up becoming a bit of a cult classic album in pop circles. While we drag each other's opinions on everything on PJ, the a poll results for Mandy's discography really show how beloved Mandy Moore is. It's a really good pop album. One more big single push from the album & I wonder where things would've landed for Mandy's music career. The album almost got her over the hump, in many areas. With that out there though, Would she still have made Coverage had Mandy Moore been more successful? Would people have taken more notice of that project, had she made it? Would she have felt compelled to just make more pop in vein of Mandy Moore had it succeeded? Did its relative commercial failure embolden her to do whatever? I love these questions in the arc of any artist, but especially Mandy.




    My Score: 8.8



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Robsolete (10), @RUNAWAY (10), @Remorque (10),

    @unnameable (8) :
    - this ballad is wonderfully gentle in her hands. Imagine Jessica Simpson doing this – all the subtlety would be thrown out in favour of huge notes showing off her vocal range. (So, true. I love how dialed back Mandy can be when she sings. There's a hushed anxiety to her delivery, here.)


    @Music Is Life (8.5)
    - I really enjoyed this cute, slightly relatable, mid-tempo. Her vocals are gorgeous on this. (Spot on commentary. Our scores even almost matched!)

    @Robert (8)





    Corner of your eye

    @vague (7.75):
    a sweet sentiment, and she sounds great ofc, but this is a bit of a letdown for me after the stellar opening run of songs. (Yeah, as I mentioned I always wondered if track placement hurt his song a bit. The album is so loaded though, I'm not sure where else it would've gone.)

    @ohnostalgia (7):
    - If this is a song about falling in love with an older man after she released Not Too Young, I will lose it. (I don't want you to lose it. But also, that would quite the dramatic narrative thread, so that interests me. Oh, boy.)


    @Zar-Unity (7.2):
    - This song sounds like it came right out of the early 00's from a girl pop group or solo singer. Not really a fan of the main melody of this one. It sounds awkward and kind of boring. Also this track sounds mostly like a filler track. You don't seem to get that much originality from Mandy on this song or having Mandy really put out some powerful passion while singing this, it just sounds phoned in. Certainly not Mandy's fault though! (Filler. Filler? There is no filler on self-titled! Sacrilegious.... haha!)


    @LKane (7.6)
    - This sounds so 2001… It’s like a Jojo song or Stacie Orrico. It’s an ok song I guess. (I think this is one reason I always loved this song so much & almost thought it could've/should've been a single. It has a very Stacie/Jojo/or even mild Whoa Nelly production value to it.)


    @VivaForever (6), @tylerc904 (7), @ladylloyd (6), @chris4862 (6), @CasuallyCrazed (6)




    Still Undiscovered


    @Sprockrooster (4):
    - Boring. (Oh no. Not the dreaded 'b' word.)

    @Florencia. (3)









    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure





    A Shelly Peiken Mini-Celebration!


    Christina serving bops



    Brandy serving ballads



    Joanna Pacitti's superior version of this song. I will promote Joanna Pacitti every chance I get on here.



    Descendants! (Get that Disney coin Shelly)



     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  4. My eBay purchase of Super Hits came in Friday and I've played Feel Me a dozen times already. A stone cold smooth-bop!
     
    Robert, pop3blow2 and vague like this.
  5. 17 Wigs not even making it into the top 50?!

    [​IMG]
     
    Sprockrooster, pop3blow2 and vague like this.
  6. Do the liner notes have an official list of who wrote 'Feel Me'? My online research turned up mixed data when working on the write-up.
     
    vague likes this.
  7. This song reminds me to "Get Out (Leave)" by Jojo. But like in a soft version.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.

  8. My brain immediately started tilting a softer, more polite version of 'Get Out'

    'Please Exit (Vacate)'
     
    berserkboi and vague like this.
  9. For being such a passionate Mandy-fan (and possible over-scorer at rates in general sometimes!), surprisingly I've only lost one 10 so far. That's kind of crazy.

    Alas, #50 will see the loss of my second 10... and as we march into the top 50 things start to get real, real fast.
     
    ohnostalgia, vague and Music Is Death like this.
  10. Yup, with the Lisa LaShawn being the confirmed.
     
    vague and pop3blow2 like this.
  11. Interesting. Thanks!
     
    vague likes this.
  12. [​IMG]


    "Bug" | 7.286




    Rated 50th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 6th out of 10 from Amanda Leigh




    Chart info or stats:

    The 75th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 8th most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh





    Liner Notes


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


    Track 11 on Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009




    "My own parade…"
    "All the answers
    Far too many questions
    All the things we said
    Never really put to bed
    Coming around again"

    Thankfully, I don’t think we need to cross the Ryan Adams stream many more times in this rate, as I really don't what to give him more attention that he deserves (0). This trek, though, is a big one... and warranted.

    'Bug' is my favorite song on Amanda Leigh. It was my favorite before the fallout of Mandy & Ryan’s divorce and even in the midst of this year’s revelations it remains my favorite. In fact, maybe rather oddly, the new data gave me a final filter to view this song through making it even more crushing than it already was.

    The short version of all this, is that ‘Bug’ was the nickname Ryan had for Mandy. I used to find this very sweet, in a 'stars in my eyes' kinda way... even though I could tell the overall point of the song belied the sweet nature of such a perfectly cute little nickname given to her by her eccentric rock star husband. On the the surface, titling a song after a nickname by a fellow songwriter/artist/ & partner has all the makings of one of those sweet little ‘in-things’ that again harkens back to 70’s era of singer-songwriters. I went in deep detail on the write-up for ‘Everblue’, about how that song is a pretty intense response to Ryan's song ‘Evergreen’. While that was an artistically round-about way to communicate her feelings to her husband & fellow musician, 'Bug' takes a far more direct approach.

    I mean, ‘Is this the only way for us to communicate’ is such a heartbreaking lyric. As the songs narrator, taking the alter-ego of your husband’s pet name for you to drive the feeling home even more. The sweet occurrence of getting a cute name from a lover, can quickly become used in a patronizing or condescending manner. With 'Bug', I think she's trying to tell him, 'you loved me enough to give me a cute nickname, but is that all I am to you, now?' It really finds Mandy among her most vulnerable & emotionally naked. And this is woman who gave us Wild Hope.

    In a world where the song I gave my 11 to in this rate doesn’t’ exist, ‘Bug’ is a legit contender for my 11. This song checks so many boxes for what I love about music & more specifically, what I love about Mandy.

    First off, I just love short songs. Maybe it’s because I’m rambler, who struggles editing myself & I'm simply amazed at others ability for brevity. Even when I was writing lots of songs, many ran 4, 5, & 6 minutes. It drove me nuts sometimes. As such, (maybe because I struggle doing it) I adore well-written, punchy little songs that clock in under 3 minutes. Under 2:30? Well, those kind of songs blow my mind. How Mandy squeezes so much emotion & storytelling from concentrate into this song of 2:16, is stunning to me. Other than a couple of Tangled songs (which have a different musical goal), I think this is the shortest song in the rate.

    I adore the ‘Paul Simon-esque’ harmony background vocals at the end of each meter. ‘Ahhhhhhmmmm’. So comforting & somehow sad at the same time... like you're trying to mediate away the negativity.

    I think it has come up in this rate, but I know I’ve brought it up in several other rates & threads… I love songs about California or that mention California. I’m a sucker for them, so including some random reference to anything Cali-Related is a low bar to clear for at least an easy 8 from me.

    Oh, & she also completes the bumpkin -quota for me here, because there’s even a fiddle.

    Not just a fiddle, but a fiddle played by multi-talented 90’s alternative rocker Tracy Bonham. Tracy scored a #1 modern rock hit in 1996 with ‘Mother, Mother’ & even got a Grammy nomination. While she never quite matched the commercial success of her first album & dealt with fallout of label mergers, contracts, & industry BS; she continued to produce creative music throughout the 00’s (both on her own as parts of many projects). I have to imagine Mandy & Tracy actually have odd kinship, in how they were both tagged as 'the next big thing', only be quickly disposed of by the pop machine when they didn't quickly produce the numbers expected of them. Regardless, Mandy’s ability to surround herself with such high-levels talent, especially on Wild Hope & Amanda Leigh showed an innate sense of taste. Starting with Coverage, she was a lady on a path of pursuing exactly what she wanted musically.

    Finally, I’ve mentioned how much I love non-eponymous song titles… and that Mandy only has 4 in her repertoire. Three of those songs being on Amanda Leigh, an album actually titled after her real name. Closing the album with one of those songs... & it even being a song titled after a nickname given to her is completely fascinating to me. Amanda Leigh is the declaration of woman trying to finally carve out her place (not just in her music, but her life) & take back ownership of her very name. 'Bug' is sad symbol of how hard that is to do sometimes.

    She is such an artistic puzzle. Some of the pieces of her puzzle are low-key & maybe just even imagined by an overzealous fan. But then, there are moments like ‘Bug’, where she very clearly exhibits artistic sensibilities that she will never fully get credit for.

    Sadly, Mandy couldn’t even get credit from her husband…. and worse was actually creatively stifled by him. Either due to jealousy, control, or worse Ryan Adams reduced her down to a cute pet name & in doing so, ‘Bug’ was the last original song we’ve gotten from Mandy in over decade. Hopefully, one day soon, she’ll completely take her name back & give us the music we know is in her.




    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @chris4862 (10)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    As the closing track to Amanda Leigh, I am still engaged at this point and still enjoying the music here very much. This song is a little less involved than the rest of the album for its grand sound of thematic production but this song is still very moving and pleasant to the ears. Mandy sings here with such tender feeling that you just have to fully appreciate the music for how beautiful and well crafted it is. Honestly I think this serves very well as the closing track to Amanda Leigh and leaves you on a very positive note. Also this just makes me want to hear this whole album all over again. Well done Mandy!

    @Music Is Life (9.5):
    This was a great closing track. Really loved the melody, especially on what I think is the chorus, and the backing vocals really added something special.


    @LKane (8.4):
    Sounds a bit country, but the Mandy makes it almost perfect.

    @unnameable (8):
    her voice is at its sweetest on this fine song.


    @Robsolete (8), @ladylloyd (8), @vague (8), @Remorque (9)



    Corner of your eye

    @ohnostalgia (7)
    - “This is the only way for us to communicate.” Ouch.

    @Sprockrooster (6), @Robert (6), @Florencia. (6.5), @RUNAWAY (7)




    Still Undiscovered


    @VivaForever (4), @tylerc904 (5), @CasuallyCrazed (1.25)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure




    Rare live performance (when will your faves sound this good with such a crappy sound set-up & lo-fi video?)



    I have no idea who these people are, but the fact anyone on YouTube covered 'Bug' makes them clearly great people.



    Oh, & a bit of Tracy Bonham, of course!



     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    Robert, ohnostalgia, vague and 6 others like this.
  13. May get two reveals out this weekend!

    I accidentally started the write-up for #48 & almost finished it before I realized it wasn't #49.

    Also, the images in the reveal badges here for a bit are 'peak Mandy' style for me. Her How To Deal-era Pixie cut & general style during the Coverage era was just it for me. She was killing it. There was this independence & freedom to her whole aesthetic, that I just really adored. It was all kinda low-key, but really no other pop star ever quite connected all the dots like she did in that era, for me. She really did just have her own little thing going.
     
    Robert, ohnostalgia, vague and 2 others like this.
  14. [​IMG]


    "Indian Summer" | 7.292




    Rated 49th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 5th out of 10 from Amanda Leigh




    Chart info or stats:

    The 68th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 7th most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh





    Liner Notes


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


    Track 9 on Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009




    "My own parade…"
    "I want your number so we can talk
    I can't remember the last time I felt so lost
    "

    “In the 1830s Indian summer began to be used figuratively, to refer to any late flowering following a period of decline. It was well enough established as a phrase by 1834 for John Greenleaf Whittier to use the term that way, when in his poem Memories he wrote of "The Indian Summer of the heart!”.”

    Indeed.

    As the rate flowers into the top 50, Amanda Leigh (sadly, but somewhat expectedly to me) declines. We've now lost back-to-back songs from that album & there's not many more left. *sigh*

    Much like ‘Bug’ where I think you hear & witness an artist who just gets it, much could be the same for ‘Indian Summer’. The track, while a completely fleshed song out on the album, is almost cleverly used as an interlude as the album concludes. It's a beautiful reprise leading into the driving ‘Nothing Everything’, which itself is the swan song before the album concludes with the sad musings of 'Bug'.

    Really, the whole experience of Amanda Leigh is a pretty brilliantly sequenced song cycle. Track sequencing is one of those (possibly) petty little things I get hung up on when reviewing albums or even rating songs on PJ or elsewhere. It’s just one of those things that can frustratingly make an album experience a little less great than it could’ve been or take a really good album to the next level. It’s not some end-all, be-all, but I do love the instances when its done right and album flows perfectly. Over the course of my music fandom, I discovered it is an insanely hard thing to achieve.

    Sonically, 'Indian Summer', is the most ‘Brian Wilson-esque’ chamber-pop sounding song in Mandy’s discography. So, as you can imagine, I’m here for that. It's a not wasted choice, either. What a perfect song to inflect that orchestral-California-warmth into. Indian Summers tend to be a short, fleeting reprise of summer after the first signs that the season is actually over. Mandy, Mike Viola’s, & Inara George’s ability to inject all those ideas into both lyrics & sonics of such a short song, is a bit of genius. (It should be noted that Inara also worked with Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks on an album around the same time, so there's certainly an aesthetic being tapped into.)

    Oh, yeah… it’s another short one, too. Clocking in at a mere 2:25, Indian Summer can’t help but be somewhat connected to ‘Bug’ in my brain... and it seems fitting they wound up being eliminated together in the rate. In fact, I considered a dual write-up/reveal for them at one point, but both sort of forgot & ultimately decided that 'Bug' needed its own special attention for various reasons. That said, they have a lot in common in some ways... as both deal with various aspects of personal identity.

    Lyrically, Mandy says the song is about:


    ‘…the idea of talking to another version of yourself, a younger version of yourself. I like the idea of maybe liking the younger version of yourself better.’

    This lady.

    In the track-by-track commentary for Amanda Leigh, Mandy says that she worried that 'Indian Summer' suffered from ‘demo-itits’. That the song was so perfect the first time they wrote & rehearsed it, but that over the process of recording it she was worried some of the rawness of the original may have gotten lost.

    It didn’t.

    It's damn near perfect.





    My Score: 9.5



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Sprockrooster (10):
    Loving the feel and soundscape a lot here. Bonus for being a summer track. (Summertime Sadness in the best possible ways, for sure.)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    A very well crafted pop song that would be perfect to relax to on a late summer afternoon. The musical production on this song is insane! This is absolutely gorgeous and dreamy! Mandy sounds so pure of heart and at ease here singing. You can tell that Mandy was at a very friendly and comfortable place in her life
    when she recorded this album. It shows on pretty much every song here like this one. I actually think that Mandy has never sounded better than on this album with tender, lovely story telling songs like this with such lavish production. (Gorgeous & dreamy... indeed. I love your stanning of this album.)

    @RUNAWAY (10)

    @unnameable (8.5):
    reminds me of a friend who moved towns, and the feeling of being a little lost. (I certainly hear how these lyrics would provoke such feelings. She nails the emotion of the lyric here.)

    @Music Is Life (8.5):
    This is good I guess. Kinda boring, but I feel like it shouldn't be. (... maybe its not!)

    @ladylloyd (8), @chris4862 (8), @vague (8.75), @Remorque (8)





    Corner of your eye

    @LKane (7) :
    I have to admit this is a bit boring… but Mandy’s voice is amazing. (We agree completely on her voice here. Some of the other stuff...)

    @ohnostalgia (7):
    I thought this might be a Beat Happening cover, but alas. (Oooh, an amazing random reference in my dear Mandy's rate. I'm here for that.)

    @Robsolete (7.5), @Florencia. (6.5)




    Still Undiscovered


    @VivaForever (5):
    80% of this album is basically the same damn song. (Some of the sonics & themes are connected, but do you really think they all sound the same?)

    @tylerc904 (4.5), @Robert (3), @CasuallyCrazed (1.5)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure




    Some orchestral-California-Warmth from the originator



    Inara George & Van Dyke Parks: 'Family Tree'



    --------------------

    While her song is not a cover, Mandy would certainly approve of @ohnostalgia 's reference. Also, there's another fun Mandy connection here... as R.E.M. covered Beat Happening's 'Indian Summer' #metaMandy



    And much like with the 'Umbrella' elimination, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my favorite band also has a song called : 'Indian Summer'


     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
    Robert, Zar-Unity, tylerc and 7 others like this.
  15. You know, I hope all these Amanda Leigh losses aren't a sign that I Could Break Your Heart doesn't make top 10. Cause it should.
     
    berserkboi and ohnostalgia like this.
  16. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Ben gibbard also covered Indian Summer, which is how I first discovered it. Watch @pop3blow2 make another meta Mandy connection now.

     
    Robert, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  17. My real struggle of this rate is going to be choosing my fave 10 Mandy pictures from this era for the badges for the next batch of eliminations.... (and also ideally not just using every still I discover from How To Deal.)
     
    Robert, vague, ohnostalgia and 2 others like this.
  18. [​IMG]


    "Top Of The World" | 7.308




    Rated 48th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 8th out of 21 from Soundtracks & Extras




    Chart info or stats:

    The 24th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm



    Liner Notes


    Written by: Leah Haywood & Jeff Cohen
    Produced by: Gregg Wattenburg


    Track 3 on Stuart Little 2 soundtrack released July 16, 2002




    "My own parade…"
    "It's the strength in me
    It seems I have forgotten
    Now I, realize today I'm starting to dream again, again
    Was a matter of when
    I guess we all lose our way now and then"

    Well, the ‘little soundtrack song that could’ finally leaves. I’ll yell you I was pleasantly surprised this lasted as long as it did. Maybe I shouldn't be; it's a really good little song (and a top 25 scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm!)

    There were 7 songs from animated things in the rate. Even though I figured the Tangled stuff would be somewhat divisive (with some adoring it & some being ‘meh’) I still thought one of those songs would be her highest ranked animated song.

    Alas, we have ’Top Of The World’, being the lone animated survivor & squeaking into the top 50.

    Originally part of the Stuart Little 2 soundtrack, the song could probably be easily forgotten. In actuality, both the movie & soundtrack were pretty successful. (A fun random & relevant Disney pop culture connection is that both Stuart Little theatrical releases were directed by Rob Minkoff, who famously directed the original animated Lion King in 1994.) Anyways, the film grossed over $170 million & the soundtrack featured such powerhouses as Celine Dion.

    And with that Celine mention, we get an odd, #MetaMandy segue to the next part of this write-up! (feign surprise, y'all.)

    ‘Top Of The World’ was co-written by Leah Haywood, who not only had semi-successful solo career in Australia in the ealry 00’s, but like many other artists found another like as writer, producer, & even background singer for many other other artists. This included singing back-up on arguably my favorite Celine song, ’That’s The Way It Is’.

    Leah also wrote some real stunners. Notably ‘Rush’ for Aly & AJ & ‘Hit The Lights’ for Selena Gomez. Actually, she wrote a ton of music for the ‘Disney Girls’, as they are. Check out this list. Talent. She’s also been one of the few female go-to producers (she’s part of the pop production team Dreamlab) in an industry where that number is in the single digits (I'll need to add her to @ohnostalgia's list of female producers thread, if she's not there already!). Oh, by-the-way, Dreamlab’s most recent production was a little song called ‘Never Really Over’ for Katy Perry. So, yeah, Leah is doing ok.

    It’s fun to point out though, that while Leah has become a bit of underrrated powerhouse talent in the industry, the first song she wrote & produced outside of her own music was this little song for Mandy. So what of, ‘Top Of The World’?

    I mean this as a compliment, even though it’s going to sound backhanded, but ‘Top Of The World’ is amazingly better than a song from a fairly forgotten animated sequel deserves to be. It has a very clean, adult contemporary, ‘department store background’ sort of sound. So yeah, of course I dig it... as that's my wheelhouse. It wouldn’t have been completely out of place on a Leann Rimes album of the day. It really sonically lays some of the groundwork for how Coverage would sound. It's a nice bridge song between 'teen pop Mandy' & 'mature pop Mandy'. I liked it quite a bit back in the day, but really came to love it more when it was included on Mandy's first 'best of' compilation.

    So, while I was originally a bit upset a song from my beloved Tangled didn’t win the animated race here, ultimately my inner random Mandy inclinations were served by this song doing as well as it did.





    My Score: 9



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @unnameable (10):
    I’ve never seen any of the Stuart Little movies. This song is such a cheery piece of optimism it brightens your day. (It is an oddly upbeat song, that doesn't come cloying. Not easy to do, always.)

    @Music Is Life (9.5):
    Not sure what this is from, but it sounds very similar to the stuff from Coverage so obviously I love it. If it's a cover, it should have been on the album. (I was super excited you picked up on the Coverage sonics!)


    @VivaForever (9):
    WaiT at this actually being a huge bop I never acknowledged. (It's never too late to discover a lost bop!)

    @vague (8.25), @Remorque (9),




    Corner of your eye
    @LKane (7.8):
    Catchy one. This could have been a cool single. Why was she so underrated? (It actually would've been a good single. I'm afraid Celine sucked all the budget up for that album, though.)

    @Zar-Unity (7):

    I'm not really crazy about this one but Mandy does sound pretty good on this song. This feels like a slow grower. So this is from the best of Mandy comp, nice. I haven't dived into that comp fully yet but I might do so later if I like the chosen list of songs picked. This song almost sounds like something you'd hear from her self-titled or I wanna be with you releases. Wow, does Mandy ever not sound completely amazing on her songs? (I think it's the perfect bridge song, for where she was at in her career. Hopefully, it grows in your more.)


    @Sprockrooster (6), @tylerc904 (6.5), @Robert (6), @ladylloyd (6), @chris4862 (7), @Florencia. (6), @RUNAWAY (6.5), @CasuallyCrazed (6.5)




    Still Undiscovered


    @ohnostalgia (4.5)
    I thought this was a Dixie Chicks cover and now I feel BETRAYED. (We were so close to our first song with no voters 'still undiscovered'! I feel BETRAYED. haha, you know, I'm just dragging you. At least we have another female producer to stan.)







    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure






    A Leah Haywood mini-celebration


    We Think It's Love




    Aly & AJ: Rush





    Selena Gomez: Hit The Lights





    Katy Perry: Never Really Over



     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  19. I stan Leah Haywood but cannot recall how Top of the World goes. Let me replay it!
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  20. Not to derail things but Hit The Lights is a Selena-11
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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