Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 41 | 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. Screw you for this subtle brag xoxo.
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  2. No worries! I hope you’ve had a great time.
    pop3blow2 and vague like this.

  3. [​IMG]

    "You Remind Me" | 8.008

    Rated 25th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 6th out of 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The 68th most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 5th most scribbled song from Mandy Moore

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Phillip Aaron, Ernrico Cremonesi, & Reza Safina.
    Produced by: Phillip Aaron, Ernrico Cremonesi, & Reza Safina.

    Track 2 from Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001

    "My own parade…"

    "When I first saw you
    I couldn't believe
    The way you smiled
    Took the breath out of me
    And maybe I am seeing things
    But if it's true, don't wake me up from this dream

    Oh, track 2 on classic pop albums, how you got your work cut out for you sometimes. So many times we get that unique or epic opener that sets the tone on album and we wait with bated breath for what an artist does with track 2; as it can be a big choice in whether said album is going to work.

    After such an epic album opener on Mandy Moore, I remember being so curious when I bought the album as to what it was going to sound like. ‘In My Pocket’ was such a dramatic change in her direction, my main question entering the album was ‘what exactly is going on here?’.

    In that respect, ‘You Remind Me’ was a fairly amazing moment in my Mandy journey. Much the way I feel today when I listen to the song, the song is the perfect mid tempo follow-up track to the pure energy of the opener. The one-two-three song of ‘In My Pocket’ > ‘You Remind Me’ > & ‘Saturate Me’ was one of those pop moments of ‘wow’… when I knew there was something different going on with this project & really with her in general.

    Perhaps one of the more amazing things about 'You Remind Me', is how perfect the sonic palette is in context of the album considering a whole different one-off team worked on the song. Most of the ‘world music’ flavored pop on the album was written & produced by the Emilio Estefan team, whereas this song was produced Phillip Aaron, Ernrico Cremonesi, & Reza Safina.

    With the exception one credit for the the 00’s group P.Y.T. for Phillip Aaron, there is literally almost nothing about these guys on discogs. I find that sorta interesting, since this is such a great song & track overall. As far as I can find, this in the only song they all worked on together for an artist. Well, all I can say then is 'well done!'.

    This is one of those songs where it’s all in the little things. I love the stuttering synth intro. I love the way instruments drop out one-by-one at the end. I adore Mandy’s lower register call & response background vocals ‘’breath out of me’. It’s another one those songs that shows how versatile her voice is going back & forth between lower & higher registers. Oh, and I just love the random chiming bells. Actually, this song is filled with with the most random little production flourishes, that all somehow work for me.

    While listening to this album a lot lately, it really hit me how oddly timeless it is. There are a few production things here & there that make it sound of its time in the early 00s, but I think the tracks that used these odder world music approaches make the album sound unique & sort of unplaceable from the era. There’s just this sonic ambiguity to them. I always thought that about the album, but it really gets hammered home the older I get. It was really a gutsy album.

    Ultimately, for me, 'You Remind Me' is just perfectly placed album track on album I love. An especially placed track 2, at that. It’s a really great song, but had it wound up in any other position on the album I’m not sure I would have the quite fondness I have for it.

    My Score: 9.2

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @unnameable (10)
    amazingly sweetly nostalgic and wistful, this also sounds perfectly early 00s pop. (Yes! Also, I'm just ecstatic this song got a couple of 10s.)

    @Remorque (10)

    @CasuallyCrazed (10)

    @Zar-Unity (9.6)
    Pretty nice, exotic intro, love it. Nice beat! Other than Mandy's sugar sweet vocals, the sitar makes this semi pop ballad. Again, this is a new side to Mandy and one that I adore. We surely get more of this sweet affectionate side of Mandy on her Amanda Leigh album, oh just you wait! At this point, the second track in I am starting to get a very nice pleasant vibe for this album. (Oooh.... so excited you were part of my 'amazing track 2 vibes' brigade!)

    @ohnostalgia (9)
    Is that a... panflute? I stan. (Yes, yes it is... well, synth flute, anyways. I stan the bell chimes, myself! If we can get a harpsichord player I feel a PJ super group on the horizon!)

    @Music Is Life (8)
    This was a cute bop. Doesn't really do anything different, but I like the production. (Are you team: sitar, pan flute, or bells!?)

    @vague (8)
    nice little mellow bop. i really like this.

    @tylerc904 (9), @Robert (9), @chris4862 (8), @Robsolete (8)

    Corner of your eye
    @VivaForever (7)
    Elevator music, but it’s so well-produced that I still enjoy it. (Well, you all know how I feel about department store pop, so it's no surprise I love this! ddd)

    @ladylloyd (7), @RUNAWAY (7)

    Still Undiscovered

    @Sprockrooster (5), @Florencia. (5)

    @LKane (4.6)
    Remember that sexualized silly character from the movie “Music and lyrics” with Hugh Grant that was a pop singer?.. She was so plastic and full of this indian sounds, I always thought it was a parody of Britney, and all this pop singers of the time… This song and album is the perfect example of what they were doing to sell an artist as a product. (I actually kinda see what you're saying. I always loved the album, mainly because the songs are so good.. but there was an element to some of the production that did come down on the side of jarring on initial listens. To me, it mostly worked, but does get close to crossing some lines. It kind of falls in line closer the Nelly Furtado 'global kitchen sink' ethos I love, than the plastic world music pop of parody. For some reason it feels less 'producty' now with some distance, but I can certainly see how some of the world music stuff on the album could be perceived as try hard. It all mainly worked for me & one of the more confusing aspects was how they didn't quite go 'all in' with it. Even Epic was like. how about we just do half of the album this way.)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    A random #MetaMandy connection. The only other song I could find written by Phillip Aaron was the P.Y.T. song 'We're Dancing' from Center Stage. A bop.

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  4. Sorry again for the vacation induced delay! I'll get back in the flow again here, so we can get to the top 10 ASAP.

    Haha! This was my first year ever as a Disney World annual passholder, so I've gotten to go a lot. I have friends who live there now, so I've been a bit like a kid in a candy shop because they are also passholders & just keep inviting me to visit! Several trips this year were just little spontaneous 'work/play' trips. This trip was a planned weeklong vacay, though. It was the first time I had ever been to Universal in 30 years of Orlando trips (I'm a Disney Parks snob, haha!) I must say, I quite liked it & as a theme park nerd, Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just amazing.

    Thank you so much, I did!
  5. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Well I guess I’ll take my pan flute elsewhere.
  6. Be like that. I was #teamsitar anyway.
  7. [​IMG]

    "Few Days Down" | 8.014

    Rated 24th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 7th out of 12 from Wild Hope

    Chart info or stats:

    The 32nd most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 6th most scrobbled song from Wild Hope

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Deb Talan, Mandy Moore, & Steve Tannen
    Produced by: John Alagia

    Track 5 from Wild Hope released June 19, 2007

    "My own parade…"

    "It's a take-out weekend
    It's a fake-out smile and pretend
    If nobody sees you cry
    You can say it was raining outside"

    Quite the fitting song to come back to after a vacation. Oh Mandy, you truly are my center.

    In the last write up I commented how ‘You Remind Me’ helped form this perfect triangle to open Mandy Moore. There are serval little musical motifs & lyrical threads that fill the world of Wild Hope. One trinity for me on the album is ‘Extraordinary’ > ‘All Good Things’ > & ‘Few Days Down’.

    This is obviously no accident to me... as they quite possibly are connected in the album's greater narrative & goals.

    All three songs were co-written with indie-folk-pop-super-duo The Weepies. Apparently, Mandy discovered their music via iTunes in the lead up to beginning the Wild Hope project & fell in love with them. She reached out to see if they would be up working on some songs for the album. They agreed & she basically fan-girled out. Relatable queen.

    Working with The Weepies is an important part of the Wild Hope story, as the songs Mandy made with them really set the overall tone for the album in many ways. Not only with three songs listed above, but with two other tracks including the title track.

    I think working with The Weepies were really a perfect match for Mandy both sonically & lytically. Sonically, the three songs in this trinity, really have the same quirky folk vibe to them… adding the idea they are related to me. They are certainly cut from that same bittersweet 70’s singer-songwriter cloth that Mandy is so enamored with. On a slightly odder, but rate-related item, I can’t help but think the ‘boy-girl’ dynamic of The Weepies played into that whole part of the pop zeitgeist Mandy seemed to dabble in deeper with Mike Viola on the Amanda Leigh… as I mentioned in the 'Fern Dell' write-up.

    There’s also the lyrical themes that permeate those songs & ‘A Few Day Down’. The album really does get into some deeper themes of quests self-care & personal independence. Of course, this all handled in very Mandy ways.

    "It's to be expected
    With all the weight you carry ‘round"

    On the surface, ‘Few Days Down’ is such a relatable little songs too so many. Whether drained from the stress of regular life, an introvert in an extroverted world that expects too much from you, or maybe if you're just depressed… wanting a few days away is such a universal theme. I mean, escape is one of the key components of the whole rock & roll mythology.

    Over multiple listens when this album came out & even today, there’s so much more to this little song. I actually find it to be a very complicated notion, that is gloriously at odds with its own logic in places. I love all this, because the idea of escape, even temporary, is more complicated than humans realize. How do you just 'turn it all off & go away?' There's a lot of moving parts, not just to our lives, but even just our abilities to react, adapt, or cope. I love that Mandy addresses some of the messier notions of escape, with this song.

    There's just a such a sadness & desperation to the lyric… and even Mandy’s vocal. An anxiety that seems to wonder that not even a short escape will likely not even completely ease her mind, so is it even worth it? Will this solve my issues? She will still have her ‘lonesome heart complaining’ & there’s even some lines that point to anxiousness or even general xenophobia:

    ‘It's a short vacation
    To a foreign nation
    Oh, nothing familiar here...’

    Lines like this make the song feel less like the typical ‘romantic escape’ that pop/rock often churn out & more like a personal anthem of hazy disillusionment. This isn’t the first time I’ll utter that phrase in the respect to Wild Hope.

    A top 5 fave movie of all time for is Lost In Translation. ‘Few Days Down’ conjures up some of the same emotions in me as that film. Much like that film really doesn't have a lot of dialogue, there’s actually not a lot of lyrics here, but the more you read them, hear them, & process them… you start too realize there is a lot more layers to them. Again, much like that film. Mandy, Deb, & Steve squeeze a lot of emotion & substance out of the lyrics here.

    The line that always gets me is:

    ‘All that you need is a little time to drown’.

    That line is so suffocating & impactful in what appears to be song of escape. It's hauntingly beautiful & gives me a little chill whenever she sings it.

    Like the best of Mandy, though, the song's overall mood is lightened to a more positive place with the bridge:

    “I'm looking out
    Ten stories high
    And like a blanket lifted
    The quiet night
    The city finally waking up
    To the morning light”


    And then a brilliant little guitar solo that lets the song breathe for a minute… because sometimes you don’t get the option of a few days away, so you just need to take a minute to breathe before trying to move forward again.

    My Score: 9.5

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Robsolete (10)

    @chris4862 (10)
    I remember hearing this playing in a store a few years after the album come out, and it just sounded so *right* it definitely should have been a single.

    @unnameable (10)
    Simply beautiful and 100% relatable. We’ve all had the feeling multiple times, and she lovingly sets it to music.

    @RUNAWAY (10)

    @Zar-Unity (9.5)
    One of my favorites on Wild hope. Probably always the song that I most look forward to hearing everytime i play this album. It's catchy, fun and uplifting sounding. Mandy sounds in good spirits on this and like she is reflecting on good memories from her past. I love the melody and the mood that this song puts you in. This is some good quality relaxing alternative pop right here! The only reason that this song didn't receive a perfect 10 is because Mandy doesn't sound as expressive and powerful as she used to. In other words, I'm not super into Mandy's new singing style on this album and as such almost every song suffers from that a little.

    @ohnostalgia (9)
    I’m ascending to: “It’s a short vacation to a foreign nation.” Yeah, I don’t know why either.

    @Music Is Life (8.5)
    A great mid-tempo. The lyrics and production go well together, but this doesn't grab me as much as other songs on here.

    @ladylloyd (9), @Sprockrooster (8), @vague (8)

    Corner of your eye
    @tylerc904 (6.5), @Florencia. (6.5), @Remorque (6.5) , @Robert (6)

    @LKane (7)
    Nice melody, has potential.

    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (5)
    Pretty sure this song was created to be played in Starbucks knockoff cafés for hipsters with better taste in coffee than music.

    @CasuallyCrazed (5.25)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    A couple of live versions

    A couple of songs by The Weepies for good measure

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  8. Another stunner gone before the top 20? Smh.

    Also, I thought I'd given you all more than adequate warning that further cuts to Wild Wig would not be accepted?
  9. Maybe I didn't pay that much attention to the lyrics on "a few day's down" but
    I've always thought of it sounding very uplifting. The melody is so pretty!
    Oh Mandy, so many complex sides all wrapped up like a hershey's kisses.

    That was quite a beautiful write up pop3blow2! You're really good at conveying
    the lyrics deeper meanings and then explaining what Mandy might have been
    thinking when she wrote it.

    Also about the last write up with "you remind me", Cora wasn't all that bad.
    The song may have had some product injected formula to it, but that's nothing
    that Mandy can't ultimately make her own. @ohnostalgia I'm actually team pan
    flute, yay.
  10. Haha! That's perfect.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the overall sentiment & point of the song is meant to be universal & uplifting to anyone just overwhelmed & 'over it'... and it is successful in that regard. There's just an undercurrent of anxiety in the song that makes it uniquely Mandy & some of the lines are certainly loaded. The Weepies music is quite similar.
  11. Oh lucky haha. I'm dying to go to both but I'm too poor.

    By the way, I am also team pan flute.
    ohnostalgia and Zar-Unity like this.

  12. [​IMG]

    "Love To Love Me Back" | 8.042

    Rated 23rd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 2nd out of 10 from Amanda Leigh

    Chart info or stats:

    The 66th most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 6th most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh

    Liner Notes

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

    Track 8 from Amanda Leigh released May 26th, 2009

    "My own parade…"

    "But I could never be that kind of girl
    Who absorbs that kind of suffering and turns it in to some kind of pearl

    Rates have their ups & downs as a host… and even a participant for that matter. One of the fun things is when you’re dealing with an artist like Mandy, who had pretty limited chart or sales success, who never had a full rate on here (or elsewhere online from what I can tell) and who also has a very diverse discography is just being endlessly surprised by how things shake out. I literally had no idea how some of the albums/categories would perform here & what songs would rise from those albums.

    Amanda Leigh was likely the least known album by some here overall. While I find it to be a little gem of an album, I was worried for it, in that regard. I knew it didn’t have the reputation & fandom of Wild Hope, Mandy Moore, or even Coverage. But I did know that its quirkier bumpkin charms & craftsmanship might appeal to some here who were not as familiar with it... or hadn't listened in awhile.

    With the loss of 'Love To Love Me Back', we are down to just one song remaining from the album. The single effect is real!

    That said, as the scores rolled in for the rate, I was elated & a bit surprised at the love this song got. That it ended up the second place song from Amanda Leigh was kind of a shock to me. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. I mean, simply put, 'Love To Love Me Back' is just great song.

    I have no idea what the single strategy for Amanda Leigh was, but I have to think this song was at least discussed. Adding fuel to that fire is the fact Mandy did a stellar live version of the song for a Wal-Mart soundcheck performance upon Amanda Leigh’s release. Actually, I prefer the live version from that promo a bit more than the version we got on the album. In that version, where all the musicians to their cascading harmonies is just glorious & much more heightened than the album version. It’s very ‘Beach Boys-esque’ to me... so, I stan.

    On an album with some generally very quirky folk/pop sonics, 'Love To Love Me Back' one of the songs that sounds a little more straightforward, in its overall structure & purpose. Sonically, It reminds a bit of Linda Rondstadt at her early 70s ‘country-pop-hybrid’ heights. Likewise, the song doesn’t sound like it would be completely out of place on a Kacey Musgraves album, which is about the highest praise I can heap upon a song these days.

    Lyrically, there’s a lot going here. It tackles many of the dichotomies Mandy lives in.

    "I want love to love me back
    I want two-way conversations"

    Many lyrics mirror and echo each other in the song

    • Winter/summer
    • piece together/ripped apart
    • sky full/empty cars

    The line I particularly love is:

    ‘Listening to a distant train
    I wonder where it’s going
    Maybe where it’s coming from, all the same’

    Oh, Mandy. I don't know what I can add past that. It's all just so her.

    And thus... so perfect.

    My Score: 9

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Zar-Unity (10)
    This sounds more like a song that would have been on her previous album, but with a more positive tone to it. Mandy sounds a bit country here but I still love it somehow. I feel like this is one of her best songs ever recorded! She sounds incredible on it and the instrumentation is so rich and beautiful. Oh my gosh, this is quite a good uplifting tune with a great melody and message to it. Since this song is so highly enjoyable for me it's gonna have to get a perfect 10 by me, sorry. I'm not sorry. (Gawd, the agreements I'm having here in the commentary! I really didn't even need to a write-up for this song...dddd.)

    @RUNAWAY (10)
    I love the message to this song. For some reason, to me, it feels like a continuation to Nothing That You Are. (Oooh, I had never thought of it like that, but since I totally could hear this song on Wild Hope, I'm game with that idea. I love a good call & response/ song sequel!)

    @Remorque (10)

    @chris4862 (9.5)
    Country Mandy is something I never though could work, but it does and I wouldn’t mind hearing more. (She really nails the balance of country-folk-pop, pretty good here. I think she'll revisit this sound more in the future, if I had to guess.)

    @LKane (8.5)
    I didn’t liked this song that much at first but after listening to the live version, I understood the beauty in it. The live version is way better. (I really can't argue here! As you'll read above... I too find the live version superior. It's just looser, a bit more raw, & has that glorious ending.)

    @ohnostalgia (8.5)
    The timeline’s probably wrong, but this feels like it’s about Ryan :/ (Actually, since I know a couple of songs about 'relationship miscommunication' on this album are about him, I don't think your hunch is far off. I'm so happy she is away from him.... and so disappointed in the energy I wasted on being a fan of him for 20 years.)

    @Music Is Life (9.5)
    One of the better songs here. I love the lyrics, honestly don't we all want this? And the country pop-ish production is something I enjoy. It's a good thing I'm a Taylor Swift stan, cause honestly I could totally see this being one of hers. (Haha! I swear I didn't re-read this commentary until just now when adding it to the write-up, but ya'll be hammering home all my themes. I love when we're on the same page. I went with Kacey in my comparison, but Tay totally works, too. I've totally compared some of Mandy's stuff to Taylor on some occasions. Mandy really was perfectly staged to enter that pop-country zeitgeist... and was really even a tad ahead of the curve in some ways; had she not gotten derailed. *sigh*)

    @unnameable (9)
    a wistful song many of us can relate to. (Short, sweet, & so completely true.)

    @Robsolete (9), @ladylloyd (8), @vague (8.25)

    Corner of your eye
    @VivaForever (7)
    These Corrs-meet-Everything But the Girl lyrics, yas. It has a nice melody as well, but the production holds it back for me. (Oooh, nice pop math equation, there! The overall production is a bit restrained here ((too perfect, maybe)) so I kinda hear what you mean.)

    @tylerc904 (6.5), @Robert (7), @Florencia. (7.5)

    Still Undiscovered

    @Sprockrooster (5), @CasuallyCrazed (3)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Live from Wal-Mart Soundcheck Sessions

    Acoustic Demo (Maybe the best version? Who can say....)

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  13. Can't believe the whole Amanda Leigh album is gone :( Just having the single yet to come. What an underrated album.

    By the way, the version I love from this song is this one:

    I guess it was a work in progress song back then, but the "I want loooooove, to love me back" sounds so different and lovely for me.
  14. It really is an underrated album... so true. It not my fave by her, but I do think it’s the most perfect representation of her what her true musical self might be... or at least was a decade ago. So excited to see what her new chapter brings!

    That’s a really great version of the song, too. Thanks for tagging it on there. I posted some songs from that show earlier in the rate, but forgot to add that one to the write-up. I feel like the live versions certainly capture a different spirit of that song. Those early live versions of Amanda Leigh material are treasures.
    vague and LKane like this.
  15. These live versions are nice but for me the studio album
    track always sounds the best. I too can't believe that
    Amanda Leigh is almost entirely gone, what a underrated
    album indeed! How many does Wild hope have left?

    You know I sometimes imagine what it would have been
    like for Mandy if she never got picked up by Epic. Would
    she have eventually got signed or would she would have went
    strait into acting? Not likely I think with a talented voice like that!

    One way or another, it was destiny for Mandy to be a singer and
    warm our pop hearts. I went to try and find my own preferred live
    version of want love to love me back and I
    Mandy single!!!

    Has this already been shared here? I love her new pop style
    here, it is so relaxed and beautiful, but still refreshingly
    different to her last album of songs. The comments on this
    new song are quite on point too!

    "No fillers, No boob job, No butt implants, No lousy lyrics just
    same old organic so Real!"

    "I'm glad she is still making music. There is something in her
    voice that brings that early 2000s vibe. And I love what she's
    doing in This is Us. Album, please!"

    How many times has this happened? After a rate starts up
    for a artist that hasn't released anything for years and then
    suddenly they have a new single out! I am so thrilled!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    Music Is Death, berserkboi and LKane like this.
  16. It must be something in the atmosphere and the energy of thinking about this artist that brings us something new. The new single is gold. It reminds me a little bit to Leighton Meester's "Heartstrings". Mandy looks so beautiful now
    vague, unnameable and Zar-Unity like this.
  17. You Remind Me is such an ear worm for me. Sometimes it just appears in my head randomly, and other times not so randomly (eg when I’m reminded of something and then start singing the chorus to myself...).

    Few Days Down and Love to Love Me Back are both great songs, which have grown on me since the rate began. I think if I were rating again I might rate them both slightly higher as they really are great.

    I’d like a few of the Coverage tracks to go next please!
    vague likes this.
  18. I was getting ready to like your post & then you had to add this! Haha!
    Music Is Death, vague and Robert like this.
  19. Yeah, its so good! I randomly shared it a couple pages back, but you might've missed it. She also has a new-ish thread on here now, too, where people are discussing.

    Likewise, we got it to #12 in the monthly PJ chart last month! So, that was exciting.
  20. [​IMG]

    "Yo-Yo" | 8.086

    Rated 22nd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 6th out of 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The 87th most scrobbled Mandy song on
    The 12th most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Anne Preven, Scott Cutler
    Produced by: Anne Preven & Scott Cutler

    Track 10 from Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001

    "My own parade…"

    "Didn't I adore you? Didn't I bend to keep you satisfied? Didn't I?
    Didn't I assure you? For every climb, there is a downward slide that I can't ride"

    Speaking of rates having their ups & downs... *bah-boom-cha* (I would say I'll see myself out, but y'all are stuck with me in this rate.)

    Earlier in the rate, when talking about Mandy Moore, I staring rambling on about how parts of the album reminded me of Natalie Imbruglia-lite (I as trying to save most of it for this write-up). This isn’t a criticism. Personally, one of my favorite things in late 90s early 00s pop was how much impact ‘Torn’ had on the whole pop industry. I loved the sound of pop that it inspired everywhere. That song was such a huge success, that it really did carve out this song alt-pop sound that, while probably did get over-done, I never tired of.

    It was really the prefect sound pallete for someone with Mandy’s particular voice, goals, & general artistic leanings to latch onto. By that token, the alt-pop stuff, while less sonically interesting than the ‘world pop’ angles on Mandy Moore, do come off more ‘on brand’ for me. Mandy is way closer to Natalie on the pop spectrum than Nelly, Shakira, JLo, Britney, or whatever they were chasing with that sound.

    The funny thing is that Natalie comparison on several songs on the album was instant for me... and that was before I even knew who wrote 'Yo-Yo'. Of course, I’m referring to Anne Preven & Scott Cutler. Many on Popjustice I’m sure are familiar with them, but for the sake of the rate & my completionist brain, I should give the un-initiated the quick & dirty.

    Once upon time in 90’s, there was a flop alternative rock band, Ednaswap. They recorded a few albums and found little commercial success, but scraped by touring & stuff. They did happen to write and record a little song for their debut album called ‘Torn’.

    The song was first covered in Dutch and eventually wound up in the lap of up & coming Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia, who recorded it as one the greatest single pop songs in history. I refuse to argue this point. It's just a fact. I mean:

    "Torn" is the 6th most streamed pre-2000 solo female song on Spotify at 240 million streams, behind Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You (501 million), Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (376 million), Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun (326 million), Tracy Chapman's Fast Car (315 million), and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You (251 million).
    - Wikipedia

    Based on its success, Anne & Scott started to get calls for other artists, and the rest as they say, is history(herstory). Much like Leah Haywood earlier in the rate, while Anne & Scott went on to write many songs for a bunch of big names in pop, Mandy was one of their first. In fact, 'Yo-Yo was only second second song Anne produced for another artist... with her work on Sinéad O'Connors 2000 album Faith & Courage being her first foray. That said, just look at that artists & songs she has worked on after. Whew!

    'Can't hear myself singing the same sad song'

    ‘Yo-yo’ certainly has that ‘Torn’-esque feel we’ve spoken of.

    • Acoustic guitar vamp. check
    • Chirpy drum machine programming. check.
    • They are both even played Adante at about 100 BPM. extreme music theory nerdom.. check!

    While few would likely put 'Yo-Yo' in the same tier as 'Torn' on any level (although based on the high scores here... maybe I'm wrong...ddd), it’s a pretty damn good album track.

    Listening to it retrospect , with academic ears, and with the knowledge of the writers... I find the song a fascinating case study in ‘can we do it again-ism’. This is a real thing in pop, I swear. So many times an artist, writer, or producer has lightning strike with a song or sound... and I think they try to make it happen again. Sometimes they maybe aren’t even trying to completely make lightning strike twice, but are honestly just trying to reverse engineer their own hit to see how why it worked so well. I think the latter is what is going on here. 'Yo-Yo' is a reverse engineered 'Torn' by the actual writers of the song... ironically on an album where there are other reverse engineered attempts at 'Torn'.

    In that respect, 'Yo-Yo' kinda feels like flop sequel to 'Torn' to me. A flop sequel I still enjoy, mind you.

    Adding to my meta-fascination with this song on the Natalie Imbruglia level is one word. Australia. Mandy found huge success there out of the gate. Her most consistent chart was there & some of her biggest sales performance also came there, all the way from So Real through Wild Hope. Whether it’s my thoughts about record industry cynicism in regards to geo-targeted marketing , a legitimate interest in broadening her sonic palette, or a mix of both those things... I can’t help but wonder if the Torn-i-fication™ of several songs on Mandy Moore was to make the album even more sonically tailored for the Australia market. If it was, it kind of worked, as Mandy Moore became her highest charting album there.

    In typical push/pull, up/down, Mandy duality, I find the analytics interesting on this one. It's the 12th most scrobbled song from the album there, but came in strong at #5, here. One of the more glaring differences in the rate so far... especially being this far in to the reveals.

    'Yo-Yo'... indeed.

    "I told myself it isn't right, but it isn't wrong
    Yet I found the more you hot and cold me, the more I need protecting..."

    My Score: 8.3

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Music Is Life (10)
    BOP. I love the production, especially the acoustic guitar, and the lyrics are great in a funny way. I also love how this goes back in forth a little between different styles (pop-rock, and dance pop), like a yo-yo. (Your commentary of the production being like a yo-yo between styles brings so much joy to my meta-analytical heart. *tear*)

    @Zar-Unity (10)
    This is pretty much my favorite song on her self-titled album. It's quirky, it's Mandy on fire and so well produced. It's insanely catchy in a special way that we've previously not seen from Mandy yet.
    Of course we get loads more of this kind of quirky catchy flare on her amazing Coverage album. Some of the lyrics are kind of strange yet clever on this song, but just listen to the songs drive in the instrumentation and that fun melody. I confess to playing this one all the time. Yo-yo should have been a single! (I mean, at least a single in Australia! It really is a gloriously quirky little alt-pop songs.)

    @Robsolete (10)
    @CasuallyCrazed (10)

    @VivaForever (9.5)
    I feel like I always forget how much I like this song. (Yeah, I probably underscored this a tad. I should put that on the record.)

    @ohnostalgia (8)
    Do the youths yo-yo these days? (Fun fact about me: I worked at a toy store in '99/'00... when there a was yo-yo boom. Since I was a decent yo-yoer, I chosen to be the host of events & contests in the store. I even got to go on our local tv and promo the event & do a few tricks. Mandy bringing my odd nuggets out of my backstory... haha!)

    @tylerc904 (8), @Robert (9), @ladylloyd (8), @chris4862 (8), @Remorque (8.5)

    Corner of your eye
    @vague (7.5)

    @unnameable (7.5)
    How did the producers find so many great songs to make a filler-free album? (I'm guessing it wasn't cheap.)

    @RUNAWAY (7.75)

    Still Undiscovered

    @Sprockrooster (5)
    Nicola Roberts worked this songtitle better. (She did have a video with Yo-yoers, so I give her bonus points there!)

    @LKane (5)
    The lyrics are just so dumb… I think Mandy deserved something more than this. The song is catchy tho (I actually always sorta liked the lyrics here... now I'm questioning myself! )

    @Florencia. (5.5)

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    I can't not link Torn/Anne Preven stuff after rambling on & on about it. I mean, come on now.

    My gawd, I've hear this song literally thousands of times... and it never gets old. It's one of the most perfect pieces of music ever created.

    Original Ednaswap Version

    My second favorite Anne Preven song, after 'Torn'. Lea Michele's 'Cue The Rain'

    Another one I really like by her. #Talent

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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