Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 43 | 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. I'm torn between being glad it made the top 20 and also being absolutely fuming.

    What an incredible song.
     
  2. The next elim will be the third 11 in this mini-run of dream-crushing... then we'll get a respite from that for a bit. I've started on the write-up for it, but I am behind on a few work things (Like many of us... I wish I could just make pop music musings my full time job...ddd) So it may be a day or two before I get it posted.
     
    ohnostalgia, vague, RUNAWAY and 3 others like this.
  3. Looking Forward is definitely one of the highlights of Wild Hope. I feel a couple of songs could’ve left before it.

    So many different parts of the song stand out. “I’m fine but I’m not ok” being a key one. I love how she sings “let it go, let it go sunshine” and the middle 8 as previously mentioned.
     
    vague likes this.
  4. [​IMG]


    "It's Gonna Be Love" | 8.317



    Rated 19th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 2nd out of 21 from Soundtrack & Extras



    Chart info or stats:

    The 6th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 9th most streamed Mandy song on Spotify



    Liner Notes


    Written by: Anthony Micheal Bruno, Thomas V. Bruno
    Produced by: Tony Bruno, Tommy Bruno


    Track 7 from A Walk To Remember released January 15, 2002




    "My own parade…"

    "Maybe it's everything we're dreaming of
    We've waited long enough"


    A Walk To Remember & A Walk To Remember-era Mandy music is such an odd little pocket in her career. From the weird overlap with Mandy Moore into the soundtrack, to the soundtrack itself, and ultimately how it all became career defining. In some ways, outside of Tangled, A Walk To Remember remains Mandy's most successful period in pop music. While this made me very happy for her, especially at the time, it also became a tad frustrating as a fan in the years that followed, as I personally felt she made music better than this brief era & it all just seemed to evaporate into the pop ether.

    Now, let me be clear, I sorta love everything about A Walk To Remember. Maybe I'm just a sucker. I love the admittedly kinda hokey (but ultimately sweet) movie, I love Mandy as Jamie Sullivan, and I love the soundtrack. I love that it all launched her career into the stratosphere that it did. Had the movie & soundtrack flopped here, Mandy's career could've taken a very different trek. While she had a hardcore group of fans, it was pretty small... and outride of some MTV success & 'I Wanna Be With You', her pop music career had underachieved for the amount of hype around her. I wanted her to succeed so badly, so I was pulling for her.

    The A Walk To Remember era was just such a weird mashup of pop culture, that it made it hard for me to not be interested.

    We’ve already gotten into the completely odd choice of a cover with ‘Someday We’ll Know’. And really, the soundtrack in general was always fascinating to me. I mean, look at the genres even Wikipedia tags in the albums soundtrack descriptions


    Genre
    Pop, contemporary Christian, post-grunge


    That’s a pretty broad scope of musical genres, for a soundtrack of what is inherently a romantic drama with spiritual overtones. This is the kind of randomness I live for in pop... and more specifically in MandyTown.

    Actually, the general cultural vagueness of A Walk To Remember is one of my more favorite things about the whole project. The whole thing is this weird mashup of pop culture. From the vagueness of its setting (like it seems kind of modern, but also kind of old-timey) to the oddly out of time musical choices (The Breeders, a random cover of 'Dancin’ In The Moonlight', The New Radicals, et al) to the edgier rock from bands like Cold & Fuel (for super meta-ness... we even get a song by Shane West's band, Jonny Was, before they had a final name.) And of course the inclusion on of contemporary Christian acts like Switchfoot & Rachel Lampa.

    The thing is, in all its hodge-podge glory, I played this soundtrack to death for the better part of two years. (the original release and then the ‘special edition’.... milk it Epic. Milk. It.) It was so random, that it perfectly captured a certain tone to the movie. It also captured a certain moment in the early 00s zeitgeist. Personally, it just really appealed to my own aesthetic of loving mix tapes or radio stations that play indiscriminate songs.

    Of course, Mandy is why I cared about any of this movie or soundtrack, at all. As such, all this talk of randomness of course leads me to the song itself.

    It such a sweet little shuffle ballad you might think someone like Dianne Warren wrote it. Of course, this is Mandy & A Walk To Remember… so of course the writer has a Metal background. Tony "Bruno" Rey was a member of several Hard Rock/Glam Metal Bands… including Saraya & Danger Danger. He wound as a writer, producer, & session musician through the 90’s & 00’s for tons of artist, notably: Janet Jackson, Taylor Dayne, Joan Jett, & Enrique Iglesias (where we co-wote & produced the song ‘Roamer’ that featured none other than songwriting queen Kara DioGuardi!)

    How he wound up co-writing & producing this random song for a rising pop star on the A Walk To Remember soundtrack, is anyone’s guess. That this career metal artist crossed paths with Mandy Moore and made a song for a spiritual teen romance....Sure! It all seems perfectly on brand for that moment in time. mean, I’m not 100% certain how this whole era shaped out, as 'It's Gonna Be Love' was also included on some international versions of Mandy Moore. Much like ‘Cry’, there’s a weird connection between this song’s existence, the movie synergy, & self-titled.

    In that respect, It's Gonna Be Love did always kinda sound like Mandy Moore B-side. A really good b-side, but something that would’ve been filler on Self Titled (as we’ve pointed out though… even the filler on self-titled was pretty amazing.) I did burn out on the song a bit quicker than some other Mandy songs from the era… and never really came back to it as much in following years.

    This can't be said for how this song is viewed by the public, where it remains one of her most streamed, scrobbled, & loved tracks. While researching this write-up, I even came across this great listicle, I wish I had found sooner. They rated it #3, among Mandy's most underrated songs. It's a good little article, all in all.

    As they state:


    "As far as Mandy Moore albums go, you really can’t count out or go wrong with the A Walk To Remember soundtrack. Moore contributed her voice to nearly one-third of the album’s songs. Some might say the soundtrack surpasses the film, but that’s a different discussion. On “It’s Gonna Be Love,” Mandy Moore goes off vocally, soaring over the love song and taking advantage of her full range like we hadn’t heard before. Everyone needs to know this song."


    I mean, their thoughts aren't wrong.

    While I do find the verses a bit ‘ho hum’, the chorus is just divine. Coming back to this song for the first time in awhile was like a hearing from an old friend.

    Mandy’s vocals are just in top form, here. While I’ll make no bones about personally considering Coverage to be the Mandy album with the best vocals, in the Pop Supreme Court, a legit case could be made for Self Tilted/A Walk To Remember. As far as pure pop vocals go, Mandy started to reach very high levels in my personal pop pantheon at this point and remains a top 5 all time singer in my list to this day. Much of this realization came in this era.

    There’s just a punchy, passionate, & pure clarity to her voice... and she maintains that clarity in multiple octaves. One goal with this rate was to highlight what an underrated artist she is, and I think above all that is highlighted by her voice. She is really one of the best pop vocalists of her generation and as we’ve talked into the meat of this top 20, songs like 'It’s Gonna Be Love' just prove this.


    And this will surely be something that comes up more as we march further with the reveals.





    My Score: 8.5



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @Remorque (11)

    @Zar-Unity (10):
    Wow, another song from A walk to remember! I really like the relaxing sound to this song. The calm melody and beat fits well with Mandy's beautiful voice. How have I never heard this one before? I've been missing out. (Oooh, I'm glad you got to hear this! It's maybe not quite as well know as some of the other A Walk To Remember songs, but a bit of a low-key classic in its own right.)

    @Music Is Life (10):
    This is such a gorgeous ballad, and a serious highlight when I first started listening. That hasn't changed, I still love it so much, especially her voice on this. Honestly, this is an 11 contender for me, I love it that much. (Her vocal is stunning, here. A top 10 Mandy vocal? Quite possibly. One of those songs were the vocal is certainly better than the actual song, to me. This got an 11... so I'm happy you went with yours...ddd!)

    @unnameable (10):
    an amazing love song, but who else gets a dirty mind when she starts singing “It’s gonna be long, it’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be more than I can take”? (Oh, the subversion of Nicolas Sparks! I'm here for it. Haha!)


    @vague (10)


    @LKane (8.2):
    A very cool soundtrack song. Classic Mandy. (It really is. Certainly the best place for this song to wind up was on this soundtrack)


    @VivaForever (8), @Robert (8), @Robsolete (9.5), @chris4862 (8)



    Corner of your eye
    @Sprockrooster (6), @tylerc904 4 (7), @ladylloyd (7), @CasuallyCrazed (7.5)

    @ohnostalgia (7)
    LIES!!!! I hate Nicholas Sparks. (Nicholas sparks be like, 'I didn't even write this song! Can't I get a break". @ohnostalgia be like: 'No".)

    @RUNAWAY (6)
    seriously. I was SO BORED. (I actually almost know what you mean here. It did take me several listens to fall in love with this one back in the day. The first verse really doesn't suck you in. Ultimately, her vocal + the chorus + the synth string outro seal the deal for me.)



    Still Undiscovered


    none!

    [​IMG]





    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    I love pop music. The same guy who wrote It's Gonna Be Love wrote this minor rock/metal hit song & played guitar in the band.



    and this one, too (with Kara DioGuardi)!



    I'll end with some more A Walk To Remember Randomness. Shane West's band.



    And Toploader's cover of Dancin' In The Moonlight






    Whew...How was this for a Popjustice post?!
     
    LKane, Robert, RUNAWAY and 6 others like this.
  5. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Dancing in the Moonlight is one of the great pop songs in any incarnation.
     
    pop3blow2, berserkboi and vague like this.
  6. As stated in the updated thread title with the elimination of It’s Gonna Be Love, only one Soundtrack/Extra song remains now. That is ‘Only Hope’. How far can it go?

    I got started on the write-up for #18 tonight. While it didn’t get any 11s, it did get seven 10s.... so, yeah.
     
  7. I’m a bit surprised It’s Gonna Be Love outlasted some of the other songs. It is a good song and would fit on the Mandy Moore album, but many of the album tracks are better than it. I prefer Feel Me too.

    I’m expecting/hoping Only Hope is top 10, possibly even top 5.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  8. [​IMG]


    "Can We Still Be Friends" | 8.319



    Rated 18th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 5th out of 12 from Coverage



    Chart info or stats:

    The 22nd most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 3rd most scrobbled song from Coverage



    Liner Notes


    Written by: Todd Rundgren
    Produced by: John Fields


    Track 3 from Coverage released October 15, 2003




    "My own parade…"

    " We had something to learn
    Now it's time for the wheel to turn
    Grains of sand, one by one
    Before you know it, all gone"


    Well, here it is.

    Track 3 on Coverage was the moment I was officially swept away to Mandy land... where I still reside.

    Now, to be clear, I was already pretty in deep with my fandom to her before Coverage, but as I’ve discussed this album was where a favorite pop star was made for me… so much so that even a decade without music made her my 40 pointer in the Pop Star rate.

    That fateful day in October when I played Coverage for first the time is etched in my brain. Tracks 1 & 2 literally blew my mind…. so much so I just wanted to stop the album & press repeat on them. I had point of reference for XTC & The Waterboys. In the 90’s, when I got far into the weeds in my music fandom, my love of The Beach Boys had led me to XTC. Likewise, I read a book of music essays in the day 90’s that included The Waterboys (a band I knew little of) and I had sought out there Greatest Hits to become more more versed with them. Hearing Mandy tackle such, fairly obscure by US pop standards, artists was a revelation. I also pretty much immediately thought she had done better versions that the originals... much of this simply because I love her voice.

    'Can We Still Be Friends' was gonna be the test though. I saw it in the track list & was like, 'Oh, boy.'

    Unlike XTC & The Waterboys, who I came to on my own through musical discovery, Todd Rundgren was a bit of a staple in my house as a kid. My dad had several of his albums & many 45s. As such, I had more nostalgic attachment to 'Can We Still Be Friends'. While I was certain she would do good job, I didn’t expect to like Mandy’s more.

    I did.

    From the opening ghostly vocals that John Fields phases in, I had goosebumps. I have goosebumps writing about it here.

    Something about the way Mandy sings the verses here, is just so sad. This is really the first taste of the soulful Wild Hope/Amanda Leigh era vocal stylings… that is still really the hallmark of voice even today. I think this one the first times I felt like Mandy really personally connected with a lyric she was singing. I have nothing but my gut to go with there. I’m not taking anything away from some stellar moments on her first three albums, because there were many. It’s just that i feel like Coverage was the first time singing songs she handpicked & had complete control over. Couple the fact she was little bit older, and there is just a bit raw ‘world weariness’ to the proceedings here.



    ‘We awoke from our dream
    Things are not always what they seem
    Memories linger on
    It's like a sweet, sad old song’



    That’s the key lyric here for me.


    Almost every song on Coverage a has line that speaks loads about Mandy’s whole mindset with the project & some even get slightly meta with her emotions & goals of doing a cover song project full of songs made before she was born (well, except two… we’ll get to that later in the rate.)


    Todd Rundgren’s version of the song is a classic. It's beautiful, marvelous, & fantastic. It’s sadder , more restrained, and certainly captures the emotion of a break-up from one angle. Mandy’s version is bigger & slightly more dramatic. I love it for these reasons. As a 19 year old recording these songs, she adds an emotional layer to many of the songs here; that heightened sense of drama that comes with being younger. It not only makes the songs her own, but made the songs translate to her audience more. It’s almost as if every song on Coverage could’ve been used film trailers of the day… they pack that much concentrated emotional punch.


    While her vocals on the verses are filled with soul, it’s the 'la-la-la' staccato vocal bridge on Mandy’s version, where she just take the original to new heights.

    It was here, three songs into
    Coverage, where Mandy Moore was elevated to the deity status she still lives at in my brain today. The cascading wall of sound with the vocals & strings is one of my favorite moments on one of my favorite albums… so yeah, this one is gonna get high marks from me. John Fields really can't get enough acclaim from me for his production on this album.

    "It's a strange, sad affair"


    Todd Rundgren is oddly fascinating in the whole fabric of this rate. It's not the first time his name has popped up. New Radicals, who Mandy covered, were often compared to Todd. I also can't help but think of Mandy's big Tangled song 'I See The Light' & think of Todd's biggest hit, 'I Saw The Light'. (my brain.)

    The Todd Rundgren impact filtered into later Mandy, most specifically at times on Amanda Leigh. He’s an interesting artist, who was always a bit ahead of the curve in the music industry… and actually underrated in my view. (There's some Mandy connections to made here, for sure.)

    Ironically, he also produced my favorite XTC album Skylarking… so he & Mandy are both XTC fans. This interesting to note, because upon my first listen of Coverage, one the albums it instantly reminded me of sonically was Skylarking. This on its own merit, was enough for me to instantly take Coverage beyond seriously. Skylarking is a masterpiece.

    Recently we lost 'Gardenia' in the rate & I connected the sonics of that song some to Laura Nyro. Doing this write-up reminded me of a fave Todd quote about Laura Nyro:



    Todd Rundgren stated that once he heard her, he "stopped writing songs like The Who and started writing songs like Laura."

    This quote is amazing on several levels. Not only in respect to how admired Laura was in the industry, but also how low key feminist it was for a male dominated rock industry stalwart like Todd to state such a thing publicly.

    I also find this quote interesting in how I’ve personally always felt about Coverage. Once Mandy heard/really connected with the artists she covered here, she decided she didn’t wan’t to make songs like Britney or Christina… she wanted to make songs like Todd Rundgren & XTC.

    It was so exciting watching & hearing this happen. The first three songs on Coverage are the aural equivalent of a caterpillar to a butterfly…. and the final 'la-la-la' staccato vocal fading into "I Feel The Move", is the sound of Mandy moving on, growing up, & making her own decisions.

    Bye-bye teen pop…



    "We can't play this game anymore
    But can we still be friends?
    Things just can't go on like before
    But can we still be friends?"







    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @chris4862 (10)
    This is the song that laminated my stan card. It’s so gloriously lush. (Based on my commentary above, I think we both had the same experience with this song.)

    @RUNAWAY (10)
    I’m still shook that Mandy recorded a Todd Rundgren song for this album. And even more shook that it’s my favorite song from the whole record. (GAWD... these commentaries are giving me life for this song!)


    @vague (10)
    oh, wait i do know this one ddd. Mandy's voice has such a warmth and clarity to it that really sells the vibe of this track... i love her take on this a lot; it's right up there with the original for me. (She really does add her own vibe to most songs on Coverage. It's in full display here.)


    @Zar-Unity (10)
    I knew this song from the Dumb and dumber soundtrack, which was one of the best movie soundtracks ever. Hearing Mandy doing a cover of this song is very nice. Her voice sounds very convincing compared to the original and once again the production is outstanding. This would be a fun one to watch Mandy perform live! The change at 2 minutes in is so captivating, and then Mandy really belts off with her incredible voice and adds even more power to the songs melody. I love this one! (Yes! Glad that Dumb & Dumber got a mention here...haha!)


    @LKane (10)
    Perfect cheesy ballad. For some reason I think about the “Saved” movie with this song. (Fun fact: One of Todd Rundgren's biggest hits was a Beach Boys cover of 'Good Vibrations'. Since Mandy covered Beach Boys for Saved, this seems pertinent!)

    @unnameable (10)
    About the only Todd Rundgren song I remember, she really does amazing things with this. (It's his second or third biggest hit, but maybe his best known song actually. 'Hello Its Me' is a fave of mine by him. Mandy really does do amazing things here, as I'm sure my exuberant write-up makes clear...ha!)


    @Music Is Life (9)
    This is a cute, bittersweet mid-tempo and I really really liked it, this could definitely become a 10 for me. (Is it a 10 now?)


    @Sprockrooster (9)
    That piano is so sweet and she sounds amazing in combination with it. So light and fluffy. Perfect for this album. Also, who is not LA-LA-LA'ing loudly along at the end of this track? (Everyone should be 'la-la-la-ing' at the end. Though based on some of this scores... I am shook!)

    @ohnostalgia (8)
    Definitely more lush than the original, but again, another song I’m not particularly fond of in general. (Second vote for lush! The one word I don't think I used in my write-up that is particularly perfect for this song.)



    @Robsolete (8.5), @Remorque (8), @CasuallyCrazed (8.25)



    Corner of your eye

    @VivaForever (7), @tylerc904 (7), @ladylloyd (6), @Florencia. (7)


    Still Undiscovered

    @Robert (2)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure





    Todd Rundgren's original (the ballet dancer on the piano ducting the 'la la la' section is a nice touch)



    The first cover of the song, by Robert Palmer in 1979. It was a moderate hit.



    A couple of more Todd Faves of mine

    'Hello It's Me' (which I always loved & then was elevated even higher by its use in the Virgin Suicides... as favorite movie of mine.)



    'A Dream Goes On Forever'

     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  9. Listening to it, it's definitely at least a solid 9.5 now. So by the end of the year it'll probably be a 10.
     
    pop3blow2 likes this.
  10. A 2,0? For something so upbeat and lovely?!
     
    Robert, vague and Music Is Death like this.
  11. I'm close to being done with the next write-up. It's for an all-time Mandy fave of mine, but I struggled with some articulating.

    In the meantime.... don't forget her new song is out today!

     
    Robert, Zar-Unity, RUNAWAY and 5 others like this.
  12. [​IMG]


    "Wild Hope" | 8.389



    Rated 17th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 4th out of 12 from Wild Hope



    Chart info or stats:

    The 24th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 4th most scrobbled song from Wild Hope



    Liner Notes


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


    Track 8 from Wild Hope released June 19, 2007




    "My own parade…"

    "Hey man, don't look so angry
    You're real close to figuring me out
    We are a part of a circle, it's like a Mobius strip
    And it goes 'round and 'round until it loses a link"

    - Nelly Furtado (Hey, Man!)

    I was reminded of the Nelly lyric (one of my 00's Holy Trinity) for a couple of reasons while working on the write-up... which will hopefully make more sense as I type here.

    Between the Ultimate Pop Star rate, the opening post of this rate, y’all pretty much know two of my fave Mandy songs already... and probably my 11 for the rate. Let’s just complete that triptych and get my third fave Mandy song out in the open.

    ‘Wild Hope’.

    Actually, a couple of years ago on PJ a zombie thread reappeared asking you to choose your top 3 desert island artists... and three songs by them. I live for lists like that. Mandy was of course one of my three artists (can you guess the other 2 before looking? ddd) and 'Wild Hope' was one of my three Mandy songs. I love it that much.

    Exactly why I love it is both complicated & simple.


    "I catch a glimpse of our reflection
    Beside you, I see myself
    We are the season's new collection
    We look like everybody else"



    As I said in that aforementioned thread I love it because it just makes me properly sad when I hear it. Maybe that’s a weird thing to love, but there can be such comfort in sad songs.

    The complicated part of the song, is that the question is... is it really sad? I mean, Mandy named her album after it and I remember reading some fans thoughts about the song who considered it positive or uplifting. I was like, ‘am i hearing the same song?’ I find the song devastating.

    Yet, oddly as I try to explain here, it does fulfill a certain promise of being 'properly hopeful' in a certain way. I mean, Mandy named her album after it, so there has to be more going here to me.

    The word 'hope' is kind of a loaded word. It’s not surprising Mandy was drawn to it as a title track for the project (though another song was actually the working title for album. More on that later in the rate.)

    Actually ‘hope’ in general is kind of a loaded feeling. It can certainly be positive, but there is also sometimes a desperation & anxiety associated with the emotion. Mandy taps into that part of the concept here, in a very deep way.

    Maybe it’s just because I get Seasonal Affective Disorder, but this song just feels like a random chilly day at the beginning of fall slowly spiraling into the season you so hate. That concept can easily be unfolded out into many metaphors & Mandy is decidedly grey here.


    "Lost inside
    A painting of a city on a hotel wall
    Days go by
    Wasting golden hours in the fall"


    Time is a weird thing. We all tend to want or need more of it, but that idea is at odds with all kinds of shit we actually have to deal with as humans. As such that tension sometimes fills our minds with the wish for some parts of the year or pockets of our life to just be over... so the next thing can begin. Cycle it out, already, please. It might be as ‘simple’ as just wanting a season over so the one you prefer can start or as complicated as whatever personal issues you might be dealing with. Time Goddesess be like, 'make up your mind!'

    There’s a starkness to production & way Mandy sings that just stirs those feelings of ‘I just want to stay in bed today & pull the covers over my head’. The irony being, that songs like this actually make life bearable on days I’m just not sure I can cope.

    The simple, almost one line chorus here, is what diffuses the messaging into either borderline hopeful or a sadly solemn coping mantra.... depending on your mood i suppose:




    “It's a wild hope
    A wild hope
    A wild hope
    Everything will be alright”​




    Actually, this is where things get deep & Mandy Moore’s genius flies understand the radar.

    I was struck by something on a listen to Wild Hope one time. The song ‘Wild Hope’ almost plays like the sad sequel to the effervescent opening of the album ‘Extraordinary’. One song is about general upbeatnedness of starting something new. The other is about the slow death of a once positive force.

    Further playing with the concept of time, what if ‘Looking Forward To Looking Back’ is actually the beginning of the narrative on the album. Mandy has add the album was really about trying to stay positive & get through some tough spots... so that actually seems like the more appropriate jumping off point for the album in some ways. While, I understand, 'Extraordinary' was sort of the perfect mission statement for the album's attitude (and thus its first single)... & even implied by interviews with Mandy about how the song exemplified coming into her own finally, it does seem a bit out of place in some ways. I aways thought it odd that song is most upbeat on the album & then the whole mood slowly digresses (quite possibly to its nadir) with 'Wild Hope'. I’ve listened to the album with 'Looking Forward...' as track one before and played the album almost in a circle from that point (with 'Can't You Just Adore Her' being the last track.). It creates a whole other arc for the emotion of the album. (I'm weird. This is what I do, people.)

    Even the choruses are similar to each other, on 'Wild Hope' & 'Extraordinary'…. just an inverse. I mean, the mantra type, three-peat of one line, choruses are very connected here:



    “And now I'm ready
    And now I'm ready
    And now I'm ready to be
    Extraordinary”​



    Actually, maybe not even an inverse… just saying the same the thing with a different tone & perspective. Both songs (and actually most of the album) had a very push/pull tension & anxiety to them. 'Extraordinary' is one of the more upbeat songs on the album, but even that song… well, it’s brimmed with some Mandy.

    I love all this theory stuff. There’s a chance I’m reading to much into it (but isn’t that kind of the point of art sometimes). The reality is that as we’ve discussed in depth Mandy loves mirrors, reflections, duality, & the like. That Wild Hope delves so much into this mythology & the song cycle itself can even be played cyclicly by starting at the midpoint of the album (with a song called 'Looking Forward To Looking Back'!) is fascinating.

    I mean, the song 'Wild Hope' deals with disappearing into the background in a relationship. The opening lyrics on the album are:




    “I was a daydream
    Quiet and unseen
    I lived in stories
    But inside I kept a mystery

    I was a starling
    Nobody's darling
    Flying in perfect circles
    Just for company”​



    'Flying in perfect circles… just for company'. My goodness.... Möbius Strips, for realz. I'm not saying she invites deeper analysis of her art.... but I'm not not saying that either! As I write this, even today, Mandy has released a new song ‘I’d Rather Lose’. In her own words, she shows how interested she is with some of these ambiguous themes.



    In her own words ‘It’s complicated, but it’s not’. I swear I wrote that part of my sentiment above before I saw her video!

    This is why I love her. Her music is complicated, but it's also kinda not. Songs like 'Wild Hope' strike me to my core & I love trying to figure out why. Trying to figure out why just puts me in an endless circle, much like Mandy in the album. The reality is that it’s a comforting slice of melancholy pop & it makes me feel less alone in world by its existence.


    "In the crazy world
    Anything can happen
    If you will it to
    I'm just a hazy girl
    Blurring all the edges
    Only seeing blue"






    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @LKane (10)
    This one is a great song! Absolutely fabulous! It has a very special atmosphere going around.

    @vague (10)
    beautiful... simply gorgeous.

    @ohnostalgia (10)
    Haunting.

    @Music Is Life (10)
    What an absolutely fucking great title track. I love the lyrics, and the guitar throughout. And her voice of course. What were they thinking with that first album?


    @Zar-Unity (10)

    Great dark moody intro! This sounds like a borrowed melody from another song but I can't place it. This is strangely the one song that you can get away with playing for other people that aren't Mandy fans of her earlier or later music that might like this one. A rare side to Mandy here, so serious and so beautiful. I am completely captivated..this almost sounds like it could have been a song to a movie. Brilliantly produced and lovely changes in the middle of the song. This is what you call a hauntingly beautiful slice of alternative pop. As always, Mandy sounds so pretty singing on this and you almost feel like you are floating on a cloud. Such an amazing voice!

    @ladylloyd (10)

    @Sprockrooster (9)
    A fantastic album title. Also let me shoutout the magnificent album cover when I am at it.

    @unnameable (8)
    beautifully sung, but I don’t engage as fully with the title track of the album as much as the others.

    @RUNAWAY (8.75), @Remorque (9), @CasuallyCrazed (9.25)





    Corner of your eye
    @Robert (6), @Robsolete (6.5), @chris4862 (7.5), @Florencia. (7.5)




    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (4), @tylerc904 (5.5)






    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure




    'This song is my favorite on the album..." A great live version with lots of insight... where she pretty much confirms its a sad, confusing, little song.



    My gawd. This version. And I was there. #OutOfBodyExperience





    Including this, because I referenced it. One of my fave opening tracks ever.




    Möbius Strip: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Möbius_strip



     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  13. Gorgeous write-up @pop3blow2 ! One of your best xxx
     
  14. Thank you so much! I'll admit that as I was writing it, I was like 'I'm getting into some crazy time & space continuum stuff here. Maybe I need to take a step back!' It's one of my fave songs by her though, so of course I had a lot of thoughts & emotions. They came out like they did...I hope they are kind of coherent. The song just does things to me.
     
  15. Why is Wild Hope not top 10?
     
    vague and pop3blow2 like this.
  16. Uno

    Uno

    Awh, I'm sad I missed this!

    Saturate Me, In My Pocket, and I Wanna Be With You for Top 3!
     
  17. [​IMG]


    "Drop The Pilot" | 8.414



    Rated 16th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 4th out of 12 from Coverage



    Chart info or stats:

    The 49th most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The 6th most scrobbled song from Coverage



    Liner Notes


    Written by: Joan Armatrading
    Produced by: John Fields


    Track 6 from Coverage released October 15, 2003




    "My own parade…"

    "Oh I can take you so high that you're never gonna wanna come down"


    So, speaking of the time space continuum… lets talk Mandela Effect & Vapor Singles!

    In the modern 'streaming-era' record industry, album releases are, well let's just say interesting. Pre-release campaigns go on for ages (months or even a year+ in some situations). There are pre-release buzz singles, lyric videos, proper singles, proper videos, acoustic versions, deluxe version, & on & on. It’s both exciting as a pop fan… and all a bit exhausting sometimes, too.

    Eras & campaigns were simpler once upon a time.

    Or were they?

    Coverage was very much Mandy’s first baby, a passion project funded by her with no outside label meddling. ‘Drop The Pilot’ was actually the genesis of the whole concept. Mandy discovered Joan Armatrading’s music and was quite taken by it; more specifically ‘Drop The Pilot’. She pretty much decided she was going to do a cover of the song... even before the concept of what became Coverage was laid out.




    This is from the making of DVD:

    "I'm a huge Joan Armatrading fan! 'Drop The Pilo't was the #1 idea & the first song we recorded. Even if I didn't continue with the project & finish this album as it stands today it probably would've ended up on some record just because I am so in love with the song. I heard 'Drop The Pilot' for the first time maybe 4 years ago & it's been stuck in my mind ever since as something I wanted to be a part of & eventually record one day.

    "I think there's something about these musicians , about these singer-songwriters on the record, that at the end of the day it was most importantly about the music... and that's all that mattered. It wasn't about photo shoots, album packaging, politics of the music industry, it wasn't about video shoots... it was just about the music songs & letting them speak for themselves. That's what makes doing an album like this so special... it's such a throwback."




    Taking all of this to account, I’ve always considered this song the heart of Coverage. It's not my favorite, but I certainly feel it is a cornerstone & and very much the spiritual center of energy on the album. Mandy's love of the song is infectious when she sings it, both on the album & live. I also feel like some of the lyrics were the literal mission statement for the album.



    "I'm right on target, my aim is straight
    Things can change, there's always changes
    I wanna try some rearranging, I say"​





    This was very much Mandy’s musical mindset in 2003.


    I feel like it’s safe to say that between her love of the song, the song being the genesis of the whole project, & the fact that that sang the song several times like when doing promo for Coverage that is was likely going to get a huge single push in her mind.


    Well, it didn’t




    ‘Don’t use your army to fight a losing battle’


    While Mandy paid to make the album…. Epic was still in charge of the promo. To say they were confused & maybe a bit uninspired by their teen pop star dragging out 20 year old 'semi-hits' by XTC, The Waterboys, & Joan Armatrading… well, lets just say they weren’t 100% on board.

    I think Mandy knew they wouldn’t be, to be honest. I have no proof of that, but she was an unbelievably savvy 19 year old. She saw her future on the label (or lack of it) & threw caution to the wind. It’s one of the many reasons I love the album so much. If she was going out, she was going out her way.

    Many people think they remember ’Drop The Pilot’ as a single from Coverage, and for good reason. It never actually was in North America, the UK, or Australia. It was only released as the second single from Coverage in a few select territories (Phillipines & Brazil).

    Further complicating the song’s history is that a very known video was made for the song & used in promotional media for Coverage & even for the film ‘How To Deal’. I even once read a rumor that the song was originally meant to be included in the film/soundtrack, but due to outside reasons that never happened.

    The video itself, is a curious & interesting piece of Mandy lore. It was actually funded & produced by the Kodak company as a demo reel for their new motion picture film. As such, the music video was used at industry trade shows & more, to showcase the technology. The video itself is quite stunning, as the colors really pop. It has this very mid-00’s gloss to it that adds to my whole memory of the era. Whether or not Kodak’s involvement with the video played into it never being ‘officially’ released is something I always found interesting, but could never find exact answers to. (Whenever the video popped in Mandy promos there was a 'property of Eastman Kodak' stamp in the video.)


    The vapor single aspect of ‘Drop The Pilot’ is fascinating to me. All the pieces were there to give it the push it probably deserved, but none of them came together.


    • Movie Tie-in potential. Check.
    • Amazingly glossy video. Check
    • A song that was one few ‘bop’ potential standouts on the record. Check. (I mean, as much as I adore Coverage, I've always admitted it was a hard sell to radio in 2003...ddd.)

    Oh, the irony of how all this played out, in comparison to Mandy's quote above about how she was striving for some level of musical purity with the album. *sigh*

    Look, I don’t want get too deep into the weeds here about label politics or the inherent sexism of the music industry, but I will say this. I have this idea for a book based around of my three favorite albums of the 00’s that all came out in within a year of each other.


    • Folklore: Nelly Furtado
    • Coverage : Mandy Moore
    • Harmonium: Vanessa Carlton

    All three were very strong willed albums that were statements of artistic independence, all three were on major labels, all three were by women who had varying degrees of commercial success (what labels really care about.). All the three ladies were about the same age & were in positions to stretch their wings fly, creatively speaking. In my opinion, all three were clipped by their labels & as such, all three albums flopped horribly (commercially). I want to say this was just a coincidence, but I don’t think it was. I think there has always been an undercurrent of ‘teaching an artists a lesson’ that permeated the music world … and female artists usually got it the worse. There's always been a 'listen to men in suits in the room' dynamic. The whole’ stick to formula & we’ll all get rich’ thing. It's not really nurturing of independent or artistic choices.

    Around the same time as the aloe trifecta of albums, some of their female contemporaries were getting the same label push back. There was just such an attitude of labels though the 00’s against woman of giving them ‘a little freedom’ but not too much. If they demanded too much, I fully believe they were left to die & fail… so they would ‘learn a lesson’, I want to say this crazy conspiracy talk, but I have enough data on the three albums & ladies above… and the whole Kelly Clarkson vs. Clive Davis My December drama a bit later in the decade as all the proof I need. I know Vanessa really got a to of push back from the label about Harmonium & Nelly had all kinds of issues with label merger & getting promo for Folklore (admittedly some due to 'getting lost in the merge shufflle'.)

    To be fair, Epic did put a decent amount of effort behind the Coverage campaign. While all the promo pretty dried up pretty quickly by the end of 2003, it was clear that Mandy & Sony were on different paths. By mid-2004 she was no longer on the label. This of course didn’t stop the several ‘best-of’ compilations that would come over the coming years… most of which, ironically, contained ‘Drop The Pilot’. It would, despite never being a single, become one of the most known songs off the album to many. So maybe be Mandy won that battle.




    “Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
    I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need”




    I’ve written all this & still got really gotten into things such as:

    • The meaning of the song
    • How amazing Joan Armatrading is
    • How fantastic John Fields’ production work is on the song


    All of that is important & matters… and maybe I’ll hammer out some thoughts in a special post one day. Since the song is loaded with ambiguity, it seems kinda prefect to not cover it all here! The thing that really sticks with me about this song though is how important it was to Mandy. It was one of the tentpoles of the album that set the tone for the rest of her music career. The disjointed way in which the song was dealt with, from a the promo point of view, just symbolizes how confused they were with what to do with Mandy & Coverage.

    Both parties ended up free from each other, here…. and it was for the best. No other song was quite as indicative of Mandy’s growth, independence, & ensuing separation from her label that ‘Drop The Pilot’. In less that four years she had gone from rhyming her name with ‘candy’ & feeling bogged down by the weight of her teen pop baggage … to singing a literal song filled with metaphors about getting the monkey off your back.

    She was 19. Whew.




    ‘… come on and try me’







    My Score: 9.5



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky


    @Music Is Life (10)
    A fucking BOP! Really catchy and fun. I love the vocals on this one so much. (I kinda can't believe this is the soul 10 for this song here... but glad you cam though!)

    @CasuallyCrazed (9.75)

    @Zar-Unity (9.7)
    This sounds even more strange as a Mandy cover but I love how poppy and catchy it is. Probably one of the more played tracks from Coverage for me. However I always feel a bit awkward listening to this one because it is so unexpected by her and confusing what the song is expressing exactly. This song has a big sound and pop style to it but it also sounds a bit messy for a Mandy tune. At this point in the album I do start to feel a little lost for where Mandy is trying to go exactly with her new musical approach, as it is a lot to take in. It is great though to hear Mandy maturing as an artist and singing older songs that she loved growing up. (I do think one reason Mandy loves this song much & chose it as the heart of this project is because it is a tad confrontational & challenging. She was bored with the black & white love songs of her generation & wanted to upset the status quo in her own way. I think that's why this song works so well for me in this project.)

    @vague (9.25)
    super catchy and fun. this album is really nothing like i was expecting ddd. (I love that she went from Candy to this in less than 4 years!)

    @unnameable (9)
    very few people could make this work well, but Mandy rocks it. (It's amazing what having some good old-fashioned passion for a song will bring out of artist.)


    @Robert (9)

    @Robsolete (9.5), @chris4865 (9.5)

    @ohnostalgia (8.5)
    So this is a pretty straightforward cover. However I feel both Mandy and Joan have such distinctive voices they lend the song a different vibe despite similar production. Cool, huh? (I like that Mandy made it her own, but still hits a couple of the very distinctive Joan beats like the 'huh, huhs' which kind of need to be there. Also, bonus points to John Fields for adding a sax to this song. I think that makes it a tad better than the original track for me.)



    @VivaForever (8)
    - This goes off but I have literally never thought, ‘You know what I want to listen to right now? Drop the Pilot.’ (This is actually an interesting point. It's a strange little song on a lot of levels. While it is 'bop' Even I'll admit as a Joan fan & possibly the biggest Coverage stan on the planet...the ambiguity & denseness of the lyrics make it a pretty hard sell. I'm here for it, though!)

    @ladylloyd (8), @Florencia. (8)





    Corner of your eye
    @LKane (7)
    This song must be fun to perform. (She just lights up when she talks about & she certainly has fun singing it. It was at this point on the album, where I she had me in her hand... I was like 'I will literally stan anything this woman sings'.)

    @tylerc904 (7), @Remorque (7)


    @RUNAWAY (7.75)
    I still don’t get why she released this song as a single when I Feel the Earth Move and Can We Still Be Friends were right there. I like this song, but I just don’t understand why this one stood out to her so much as single worthy. (Hopefully my write-up hammers some some of why this song got so much love from Mandy. But yeah, I Feel The Earth Move would've been a better single.)





    Still Undiscovered

    @Sprockrooster (5)
    Even Mandy could not save this beige original. (I mean, if Mandy's energy can't save it here... it's just not gonna work for you!)







    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    I really do love this little music video. So perfectly 2003 to me. Right down to Mandy's 'How To Deal' pixie cut. Just probably one of my all-time favorite pop looks/eras for an artist.



    Live from AOL Sessions



    Live on Sharon Osbourne



    Joan Armatrading's Original



     
  18. Awwww I love Drop The Pilot. Was hoping it'd be top 10.
    At least my 11 is still in.
     
    Robert and Zar-Unity like this.
  19. I'm going to read through @pop3blow2 's latest Mandy post later but oh my
    gosh I love Mandy's next new single!



    Also great choice on your legend Pop3blow2!
     
  20. Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how Coverage did in the rate. It was a bit of a wildcard in some ways, to me. I knew self-titled would do great & felt pretty good about Wild Hope, but worried Coverage might get squeezed out some (I just hoped not.) I can completely live with it getting 5 songs in the top 20 (7 in the top 30!)

    You're stanning of the album helped!
     
    Robert, Zar-Unity and Music Is Death like this.
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