Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 45 | 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)
    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. Dalida gets a mention in the Mandy rate and it isn’t my doing? I Stan you for life @pop3blow2 !!! Xxxx
     
  2. I'm a bit surprised it made it so high in the list too. Back when the album was released it was one of my least favourite songs on the album. It has however grown a lot on me since then.
     
    pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  3. So, with ‘One Sided Love’ being eliminated, we now reach the top 11... and things get interesting.

    Three albums/categories only have one song left, so one of them is going to miss the top 10.

    Will it be:

    • The rate favorite & seemingly beloved Wild Hope? It was the strongest album represented for a good chunk of the rate before bleeding off a bunch of songs in the top 20. Only one song remains now: ‘Extraordinary’. Does it make the top 10 or does Wild Slayage miss the top 10 altogether?
    • Soundtracks & Extras has a lone song left, that being the generally beloved ballad ‘Only Hope’ from the A Walk To Remember soundtrack. Is it top 10 worthy?
    • Amanda Leigh struggled in the rate, but the album’s lone single has survived to make it this far. Does Mandy’s album critically acclaimed of quirky folk/pop make the cut here on Popjustice...and represent Amanda Leigh in the top 10?
    So what do you think? One of her albums will not be represented in the top 10.

    Self titled will have 4 songs represented. Coverage 2 songs & debut-era 2 songs.
     
  4. Amanda Leigh sadly has to go, but honestly her self-titled could have lost one more before the top 10. In no just world we are saying goodbye to the album Wild Hope or the masterpiece that is Only Hope.
     
    vague, berserkboi and Robert like this.
  5. Yeah it should be Amanda Leigh, but I would have preferred another Coverage song to go first.
     
    vague and berserkboi like this.
  6. @Robert with their tiny daggers to my soul!
     
  7. [​IMG]

    "I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week" | 8.689



    Rated 11th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 1st out of 10 from Amanda Leigh



    Chart info or stats:

    The 21s most scrobbled Mandy song on Last.fm
    The most scrobbled song from Amanda Leigh

    Released
    a digital single April 1, 2009
    - Peaked at #90 on the Billboard Pop Chart for one week
    - Peaked at #14 on the Ukraine pop chart



    Liner Notes


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


    Track 3 from Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009




    "My own parade…"

    "I'll make this painless
    Try to be sweet
    I could break your heart any day of the week"



    Immediately smitten is this best way I can describe this song the first time I heard it. It set my standard pretty high for Amanda Leigh.... maybe in ways that there was no way Mandy could’ve completely lived up, too. Actually, maybe that’s exactly what she was trying to say to say with song. That the weight of any exceptions we place upon her (or any artist trying to change) is always bound to leave a certain sect of their fans disappointed. While the song is certainly tongue-in-cheek, from a relationship angle, maybe there the typical several layers of Mandy we’ve come to know & love.

    It has to be kinda hard for any artist to shift artistic direction at a point in their career, much more so for a female pop artist mainly known for a couple very sugary pop songs & soundtrack ballads. By the time Mandy got to Amanda Leigh, there was a certain defiance to her that wasn’t quite as subtle as the rebellion Coverage or even Wild Hope. The video for "I Could Break Your Heart..." paints her mindset for the album fairly well, I think. Self-consciously edgy, but still rebelliously melodic, this is the kind of song that would’ve been right at home on a Kacey Musgraves album only a couple of years later. Mandy digging into an alt-Nashville sound a bit before it was going to see a resurgence. Gee, this plot line seems to have occurred before for her.


    "I hold on to you
    You hold on me
    I could break your heart any day of the week"



    I’ve mentioned I grew up in a very musically bumpkin-tinged household. My dad was a radio disc jockey and as such, took jobs at the stations that were available. Since country music is big the state I live in, Kentucky, a lot of jobs he had were at country stations… in the late 70’s & 80s. As such, we had a lot 45s in our house… since the radio stations would clear out excess copies sometimes & the dj’s obviously got first dibs on them. So, I have a soft spot for a lot of ‘cosmopolitan country’ .


    I’ve also already mentioned my love Rosanne Cash in the rate & she was certainly my favorite in the genre. Upon hearing ‘I Could Break Your Heart Anyday Of The Week’ I was immediatley reminded of several Rosanne faves & songs my other 80’s cosmopolitan acts like, Juice Newton, Nicolette Larson, & even some early Mary Chapin Carpenter.


    "Squeeze life out of you
    Wrap you in sheets
    I could break your heart any day of the week"



    Some of this reminiscing is simply due to certain audio cues in a song. This is where being a music a nerd is sometimes a blessing & a curse. I have a certain amount of songwriting & recording experience (both self-taught & via a 12 week sound engineering class I took when I was younger.) So, sometimes when Im listening to & analyzing music I know enough to be dangerous… ddd.

    One thing I love about 80’s country was the the compression they put on the vocals & certain instruments… and the ‘flam’ they put on the drums. (if you're interested, here's more about what I am rambling on about here). But basically 'flam' is just a certain echo effect used on instruments & sometimes even a vocal. The first I heard this song I was quite taken with how they successfully captured that part of the sound from 80’s country. If you listen to a few of the examples below, you might better hear what I mean.



    pop3blow2's 'I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week' cosmopolitan country mini-playlist full of songs that this song makes me think of...

    1. Rosanne Cash : 'Runaway Train'
    2. Rosanne Cash: 'I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'
    3. Juice Newton: 'Queen Of Hearts'
    4. Dolly Parton: '9 To 5'
    5. Barbra Mandrell: 'Sleeping Single In A Double Bed'
    6. Mary Chapin Carpenter: 'Shut Up & Kiss Me'
    7. Nicolette Larson: 'I Only Want To Be With You'
    & many more... ddd (Also, if we're being honest & talking country music, if you changed the production a bit on the song & beefed it up some... the song wouldn't be out of place on a Shania Twain record back in the day & would've been a huge hit._

    "Let the walls talk
    Let the floorboards creak
    I could break your heart any day of the week"


    Making the song even more sonically odd, was the decison to so prominently feature the clavinet. I mean, this is not really an instrument that gets a lot of feature on modern pop songs. (It was probably most famously used by Stevie Wonder on ’Superstition’). Including this instrument along with the other production makes this song uniquely out of place & a completely bold choice for a lead-off single by any artist… much less Mandy Moore.

    All of these reasons make this song a standout, not only Amanda Leigh, but in Mandy’s discography to me. The reality is that if flopped pretty badly. So, was it a good single choice? Absolutely.

    Look, not much on Amanda Leigh was screaming for airplay on any pop format in 2009. So, if you’re Mandy Moore, you might as well pick a bold-statement-bop to introduce the album. In fact, if the single was a bad choice in any regard, it was simply that there wasn’t much else like the song sonically on the album, so I was bit taken a back on my first listen of the album. I thought the album might be some grand 80’s country throwback album in some ways, based on this first singe & some other songs from Wild Hope. What we got was something of altogether different sonic tapestry with Amanda Leigh.



    "Those calendar girls, they got nothing of me
    I could break your heart any day of the week
    I could break your heart any day of the week"



    It’s hard to believe it has been over 10 years since this single was released. Now, on the cusp of Mandy’s first album since 2009, it does seem that we might getting a more pop-cosmopolitan-country album this time around (at least if the if first tow single are any indicator.) She has stated in the last couple of years that is direction she would like to do in, so we’ll see. I'm beyond excited that Mike Viola is back on board with Mandy for some of this upcoming album, as I really think they were on a good track together in 2009 (and just look at their creative chemistry in one of the live versions below!)


    Amanda Leigh does become the first album to lose all of its songs in the rate. It put up a good fight & this song was actually in the top 10 for awhile when the votes were being tallied. A charge by a couple of other songs in the bottom of the top 10 finally separated the top 10 from 11.





    My Score: 10



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Zar-Unity (10)
    - I love how Mandy tried to return and give us a small wink from her earlier quirky pop day's of "Candy" and "Split chick". This song was even a single as well, which showed a confident and very clothed Mandy being the dominate one in a social situation. I pretty much love everything about this song and I love how playful and catchy it sounds. This is pretty much as close to what we will get from the old pure pop Mandy singing about relationships in a cute cheesy way and I love it. Bold move making this a single and I'm sure at this point that releasing a song like this would not do so well late in her music career but I love her so much for trying to revisit some of the old classic Mandy that we all love so much again. With that said there are plenty to love and appreciate with the new sound of Mandy on Amanda Leigh! But in short, this is pop perfection!

    @chris4862 (10)
    - Immensely catchy, it is criminal that this was a flop.

    @Music Is Life (10)
    - WAIT at this total BOP! How was this not huge? It sounds like a hit! And it's so much fun. I love her voice, and those hand claps are so good. I love the production in general actually, this is amazing.

    @Sprockrooster (10)
    - YASSS. Girl!

    @LKane (9.4)
    - Catchy song. It is a great choice as the first single actually. I hope Mandy will continue in this direction for a new record.


    @unnameable (9)

    @Florencia. (10)

    @Robsolete (9.5)


    @tylerc904 (9), @Robert (8), @ladylloyd (8)



    Corner of your eye
    @VivaForever (7.5)
    - The best song on the album (and I predict it will be the highest placing), but still not as good as its title.

    @ohnostalgia (7.5)
    - Hey kids! Vocabulary is fun!

    @RUNAWAY (7.5)
    - this song was never a favorite of mine up to the album release. It’s pretty predictable and boring to me, and absolutely not a standout on this album at all.

    @vague (7.25), @Remorque (7), @CasuallyCrazed (6.75)






    Still Undiscovered

    none! yay!

    [​IMG]







    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    First Live Version with Mike Viola at small show. THIS IS GREAT!



    Live on Ellen



    Acoustic version live at Amoeba Music



    And I feel inclined to again share, one of my favorite musical moments of 2019... the return of Mandy Moore (co-written & produced by Mike Viola)




     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  8. Dang... what an underrated album is Amanda Leigh
     
    chris4862, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  9. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I agree with @RUNAWAY and remain baffled at how this song survived so many superior Amanda Leigh songs.
     
  10. R-2492754-1486878564-9838.jpeg.jpg

    Amanda Leigh
    Final album scores & wrap-up.


    Sparkle In The Sky

    @Zar-Unity (9.950)
    @pop3blow2 (9.380)
    @Music Is Life (9.300)
    @chris4862 (8.950)
    - (included some general thoughts about Amanda Leigh with their commentary)
    Crown jewel. Magnum Opus. This is is *the* album of her career for me. This is “Coverage” but with original material. It doesn’t seem to get the love it deserves from fans, and certainly not the general public, but this is the album she was born to make.
    @LKane (8.760)
    @RUNAWAY (8.500)
    @ohnostalgia (8.450)
    @unnameable (8.150)
    @vague (8.075)



    Corner Of Your Eye

    @Florencia. (7.975)
    @Remorque (7.150)
    @Sprockrooster (7.000)
    @Robsolete (6.950)
    @ladylloyd (6.00)
    - (included some general thoughts about Amanda Leigh) Sadly the follow up just couldn’t compete, I love the snappy first single, and a couple of the tracks are great, but overall I think its missing strong melodies. Some of the production choices I think are actually interesting - some of the more experimental instrumentation used, but there is just not the bare bones of the songs to back it up I can barely sing a chorus from the album after listening’



    Still Undiscovered

    @tylerc904 (5.950)
    @Robert (5.400)
    @VivaForever (5.150)
    @CasuallyCrazed (2.700)



    Song Elimination Order


    Merrimack River (4th of 10 | 43rd of 84 overall)
    Fern Dell (3rd of 10 | 35th of 84 overall)
    I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week (1st of 10 | 11th of 84 overall)
    Pocket Philosopher (7th of 10 | 57th of 84 overall)
    Song About Home (10th of 10 | 77th of 84 overall)
    Everblue (9th of 10 | 71st of 84 overall)
    Love To Love Me Back (2nd of 10 | 23rd of 84 overall)
    Indian Summer (5th of 10 | 49th of 84)
    Nothing Everything (8th of 10 | 61st of 84 overall)
    Bug (6th of 10 | 50th of 84 overall)


    @Zar-Unity was our high scorer here & as such, I'll let them have the final word(s)... as they included a mini-essay with their thoughts about the album.

    My thoughts on Mandy's last album "Amanda Leigh":


    What a wonderful album this was for a return to music after her Wild hope album!

    I think that in every possible way, Mandy has improved her craft on this album. I didn't realize how perfect this album is for how it's produced and how Mandy sings throughout the album with such tender passion and soulful emotion. Next to her debut album, I think this is her best album vocally. And these day's, I am surprised to say now that I prefer

    to hear this album over So real, because Amanda Leigh has more consistent flow and better replay value. Also because So real sounds way more dated, and this album sort of has this magical, timeless sound to it where it could have been recorded at any time really. Hats off to Mandy and her amazing producer and band on this album! I didn't remember how good this album was until hearing it again today while reviewing it for this song rate. I'd even go to say now that Amanda Leigh is her best album ever recorded. What is happening to me? I still love her debut album but it is true that Amanda Leigh is just on a whole new level!


    I love how "I could break your heart" was a single! One of her best songs and so Mandy! Mandy showed us that with this album she was not going to hold back at all and give this album her all, and she did. Quite a wonderful achievement! This album is definitely the most enjoyable to listen to out of all of her albums on a regular basis. I can appreciate how Mandy matured and developed more as a pop artist on this album even more than I can on her Wild hope album. I guess I can ultimately appreciate how Mandy sounds more carefree and happy on this album than she did on Wild hope, and as such led to more uplifting and colorful pop tunes being created for her to sing, which is really my go-to preferred type of pop

    to listen to. Amanda Leigh just has a great flow to it from song to song where even the Merrimack River reprise doesn't sound out of place and fits in nicely. I love the big thematic sound on this album and how it seemed to encourage Mandy to really belt out those vocal performances and make each melody, each note and sound come to life. This is a great alternative pop album and is a good representation of the genre. I like how Mandy sounds a little folky and very soulful on this album at the same time. I love how several songs tell us stories and take us for a fun ride. And I love how Mandy sounds on this album, so free spirited and at a good place in her life.


    I was very surprised just how much of a positive impact this album had on me upon hearing it again after all of her other albums. I seemed to enjoy every single song very much with no interruption this time, which was not even possible on her So real album. So I guess that Amanda Leigh is my favorite album by her now. What a shocker! How am I going to explain this to my good bubblegum pop buddy on last fm who only seems to praise Mandy's older material!? Times have changed and so have I. Don't get me wrong, Amanda Leigh has been one of my secret go-to jam albums by Mandy for several years now and I still remember

    buying the songs digitally when the album came out and previewing some of the tracks on her website. Only now I'm starting to feel more comfortable with hearing Amanda Leigh more often.


    Anyway by the time Mandy had announced that she was coming out with a new album, her fans all over the world were thrilled, including me who was finally keeping in better touch with updates on her musical career. I do remember not taking that fondly of a liking at first to the album, but that quickly changed later when I sat down and heard the album a few more times on special occasions.


    Apparently this album had a bonus track or two and I've never heard them yet. A shocker I know! Well I guess I thought that I rather not ruin a perfect pop album by adding another song or two to it just in case the new songs didn't live up to the remarkable perfection of the rest of the album. As you might have seen head lined on my last fm profile, I seek out and collect "dreamy female pop" and this album, I have to say is some of the finest dreamy female pop you'll ever hear!


    After this Mandy sadly only went on to record the occasional new song for a up coming movie but at least she did leave us with a very strong album as her last one on quite a high note. Here's to hoping that Mandy will come back in the near future and grace us once again with a new amazing album like Emma Bunton has recently done with her new (mostly) covers album. Oh yeah, remember when Mandy had a covers album? That was a special treat wasn't it? Whatever Mandy decides to do if and when she returns with new music, I'll be happy just hearing her incredible voice again.


    No doubt I have so many favorites on Amanda Leigh that you might as well just say that I love every song on the album. But I'll try to narrow it down to a few special select favorites.

    Of course the gorgeous opening track "Merrimack River" is one! Fern dell is absolutely one to note! "I could break your heart" duh. "Pocket Philosopher", "Everblue", "Indian summer" and "nothing everything"! Okay that was kinda hard to narrow that down but I did it. Once again, I can't say enough how much Mandy improved and got right with her last album! I'm still bitter about her feelings of her first album but I so love the new sophisticated Mandy on her last album! I just wish that her last album would have been a bigger hit. Then maybe she would have been more encouraged to keep making more albums and singing more often. Her voice is her best talent, but I don't think she even realizes that, now that she is much more invested in acting.

    On to the top 10!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
    vague, Robert, Robsolete and 6 others like this.
  11. Normally I might fall back on the 'The PJ Rate Single Effect', but it was such a huge flop single, I'm not sure how much weight that has!

    I do love 'I Could Break Your Heart...' a lot. That said, it certainly isn't the best song on the album in my view. It did beat the 2nd place song on the album by a fair margin though... and was the only song from Amanda Leigh to ever even approach the top 10 when tallying scores.
     
    vague, Robert, berserkboi and 2 others like this.
  12. @ohnostalgia I'm assuming you submitted that commentary after that song came out, right?
     
  13. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Haha yes.
     
  14. Okay haha. I was about to be like, "holy shit you're psychic" but then I figured that was the more reasonable assumption.
     
    ohnostalgia and pop3blow2 like this.
  15. I’ll be firing up the top 10 here soon. Almost got the write up for #10 done... so hopefully I’ll get the post put together in the next day or two. Can’t believe we made it here! Thanks so much again for all of your patience & support in this rate.
     
  16. Can we have a quick reminder about what's left?
    Also, so happy my 11 made it.
     
    vague likes this.
  17. Sure.



    So Real/I Wanna Be With You (2 of 16 songs still alive)


    Candy
    I Wanna Be With You



    Mandy Moore (4 of 13 songs still alive)

    In My Pocket
    Saturate Me
    Cry
    Crush



    Coverage 2 of 12 songs still alive)

    Senses Working Overtime
    The Whole Of The Moon



    Wild Hope (1 of 12 songs still alive)

    Extraordinary



    Soundtracks & Extras (1 of 21 songs still alive)

    Only Hope
     
  18. Selftitled could vacate all-together with all the songs within the first 4 cuts and I would not mind.
     
  19. Okay this is pretty great. I wish we had more Coverage though.
     
  20. [​IMG]

    "Only Hope" | 8.981



    Rated 10th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 1st out of 21 from Soundtracks & Extras



    Chart info or stats:

    The #1most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on Last.fm
    The most scrobbled song from A Walk To Remember soundtrack

    The 4th most streamed Mandy Moore song on Spotify



    Liner Notes


    Written by: Jon Foreman
    Produced by: Mervyn Warren


    Track 3 from Amanda Leigh released May 26, 2009

    The song was tapped to follow-up single to 'Cry' but after it didn't chart, the single was canceled. A video was still made the song & it was released to some Asian markets.




    "My own parade…"

    "There's a sing that's inside of my soul
    It's the one that I've tried to write
    Over and over again"


    Where a song (or fandom of an artist) ends & your own story getting wrapped up in that artist begins is a nebulous place sometimes. I mean, do you discover a song/artist... or does it discover you? I think many artists sometimes feel this way about songs they record, as well.

    As I mentioned in another Mandy post, in late 2001 I found myself in a place many people do. I was in my early 20s... broke, jobless, and at the end of a couple of years of complete failure. Depressed and lonely, I retreated into music and pop culture like I hadn’t in many years. It's my ‘Linus Blanket.

    With Mandy one of the central pop things I adored at the time, lots of energy got channeled into her as I kept my head above water. All of this coincided with the A Walk To Remember mini-phenomenon. The timing was interesting for someone in such a state of personal apocalypse.

    Let me honest, as a person who has struggled with the concept of religion pretty much my whole life, it can make consuming certain parts of pop culture a bit more dicey sometimes than you want it to be. So, as pretty much a lifelong agnostic, I was taken by invested I became in the film, characters, and message... despite an overarching spiritual theme I don’t particularly subscribe to. I could never put my finger on it, but there was something comforting about the story, music, & message in the film. Was it all a bit hokey? Yes. Was it also kinda sweet? Ummm, yeah. Most of this was the chemistry & performances of Mandy & Shane West. It's certainly one of my favorite Mandy movies, even though I can't watch it very often because I ugly cry!

    Adding to the oddness of how I felt about in regards to all the proceeding, is this song ‘Only Hope’. While ‘Cry’ may be the most remembered song associated with the film for some, as we all know it was technically just a self-titled song given second life on the soundtrack. ‘Only Hope’ is the complete centerpeice of the soundtrack. Originally recored by the band Switchfoot & written by the group's lead singer Jon Foreman, the song in its arrangement for the film is a tour de force for the purity of Mandy’s voice. Behind a fairly simple arrangement of piano & a string quartet, Mandy lays down one of her most glorious upper range vocals until she was cast as Rapunzel, nearly a decade later.


    "So I lay my head back down
    And I lift my hands and pray
    To be only yours, I pray
    To be only yours
    I know now
    You're my only hope"


    ‘Only Hope’ may be a song with strong spiritual allusions, (written by a band that, whether they wanted to be or not, was strongly associated with contemporary Christian rock) but the way they use the song in the film just adds to the ambiguity of it all.

    It’s used a musical number in an in-movie musical. The way it's painted in the movie too, is that classic trope of ‘nerdy plain-Jane girl coming out of shell as beautiful’ while she sings it. So, in an odd way, it’s low-key the most loaded moment in the movie. From the way Shane West’s character reacts by popping a surprise on our leading lady... to the very over-the-top reaction his ex has to the whole episode. It’s both a sweet moment & pretty much the catalyst for complete teen drama. This oddly subverts the spiritual nature of the song. So yeah, it’s safe to bet the iconoclast in me was living!

    In the early 2000’s pop music & really parts of pop music in general in US were in this interesting place where it was crossing paths with religion. I mean, those two concepts have always crossed paths in modern popular media, but for the most parts they have always basically stayed quarantined from each other from an industry standpoint. I mean, at least in the US, there are are specific Christian music labels, radio channels, & they even get their own chart in Billboard.

    So, just by the very nature of some things in my life, I did grow up around some of that culture & enjoyed some of the music. Hell, even after swearing off religion completely, I still enjoyed the occasional pop crossover hit from Christian pop/rock. Once I got old enough to really understand how the music industry worked, I started to realize that some the gradation between what was considered Christian music & regular music was pretty stupid… as really an artist just being a specific label could be enough to tag them in a certain category. I just liked music because it was good or how it made me feel... and tried to be less concerned with some of the periphery.

    I mean, around this time in the early 00’s, I got really into Stacie Orrico. She was generally tagged ‘a Christian artist’ because of the of the way she handled certain themes in her music & her overall brand. That said, she was just tagged as such for being on the label she was on. This led her to getting airplay on religious specific channels & even winning Grammy’s in said categories. If you look at she lists as influences, though…. things get interesting:



    “When asked about her influences, she responded: "All of my influences are very soulful musicians – my favorite artist is Lauryn Hill, and I've always loved Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Ella Fitzgerald – and I wanted to explore that direction more." She said when she was young, she listened to Nina Simone, Crystal Lewis, Monica[31] and Destiny's Child. Her other musical influences include Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Toni Braxton”


    Except for Crystal Lewis there’s nary a ‘proper Christian’ artist on that list…. from industry standards. I find this an interesting commentary on the whole notion of such manufactured inspirational genres.

    "Sing to me the song of the stars
    Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again

    When it feels like my dreams are so far
    Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again"


    In the early 2000’s some of the lines between the two industries were becoming blurred & I was quite fascinated. Some of this was just my personal mental state, where I was going through a period where I was questioning everything… even what I was sure I believed in (or didn’t believe in.) Some of the fascination was that I also had friends & acquaintances in the Christian music industry around this time, both at labels & in bands, and this was giving me odd perspective of how some things worked.

    While they were giving me free promos & such, I found myself enjoying some of it musically, though I knew undercurrent of a lot of the messaging was not really ‘my thing’. One of those promos was for a band named Switchfoot, who I actually found myself liking. Maybe it was just the low place I was at, maybe it was the general anxiety of the zeitgeist in post-911 America, or whatever… but I found their music oddly comforting & positive. I’m always reminded of this skit from Seinfeld that always makes me chuckle :




    I actually tend to agree with George Constanza on a certain level here. Once I get past my religious hang-ups, if a song is good or a bop... I really don't care about the overall intent of meaning. Of course, I have my lines in the sand, but for most part we all interpret art to mean what we want it to & take from it what we need. So long as the artist isn't really shoving something blatantly at me, that makes me uncomfortable ...so be it.

    Of course , Mandy freaking Moore wound up at the nexus of all this for me. She would be the artist, of all possible artists, making me come to terms with how I feel about a pretty complicated subject. With its religion based music & mix-match sound track of both Christian artists & good old secular pop/rock… the whole A Walk To Remember project/era really found a way to connect with many different kinds of people of faith or ‘unfaith’. I’m not sure any other artist could’ve pulled all of this off at the moment in time, other than Mandy Moore. And I don’t say that with stan googles on. There is literally something about her that bridge the divide between people.

    I guess that lead me here, asking what was the point of all this rambling above... about the semantics of what constitutes Christian music in the industry? Well, just that…. IT IS AN INDUSTRY. One that Mandy briefly crossed over into, from the other direction (from secular pop.. which is certainly different) & had some of the best success of her career.

    At his point it would’ve so easy for her to just follow that direction & possibly continued success in that industry.

    But she didn’t.

    I mean, up A Walk To Remember, Mandy had only one top 40 hit and one album barley scrape platinum (So Real). Pop music really wasn’t working for her, commercially. People adored A Walk To Remember, though & Mandy’s songs help drive the soundtrack. She could have very easily just worked with Switchfoot on her next album. She seemed to have finally found a niche & could've hammered out a formula.

    She did the complete opposite.

    She went from covering Switchfoot, to covering Elton John…. and she coupled that with taking a starring role in a movie where she played the complete opposite of Jamie Sullivan… Hilary Faye in Saved!


    Here's Mandy of her famous Saved! character:


    Hilary Faye is really strong-minded, and very, very religious," says Moore. "She has a really strong sense of faith and knows where she’s going. She’s not afraid of who she is or of spreading the word. On the other hand, she’s very insecure. She doesn’t have an identity outside of Jesus, and you really see throughout the film how she uses her faith to control people and to take advantage of people around her. "The fact is," Moore continues, "Hilary Faye has come from a really loveless family, and she’s escaped that by finding solace in Jesus and by spreading that word to everyone. It’s become such a part of her that when she starts to doubt it a little bit she begins to break apart. You actually see the first glimpse of the true Hilary Faye at the very end of the film. She becomes human. The message of this film is not about mocking Christians. It isn’t anti-anything at all. It is about discovering who you are and what you believe in. It’s about tolerance, acceptance and diversity."



    She did this at her own peril. I remember there being actual websites & posts by some extreme religious zealots running hit pieces on Mandy & adverting that people boycott her work for taking part in Saved! (I think a couple of pieces still exist online today) The talked about how she ‘tricked people’ into becoming her fan with A Walk To Remember only to mock their faith with Saved! It was something. (I even had a work friend at the time who felt this way. It was weird.) I mean, these are characters in a story people, whew! you-need-to-calm-down.mp3

    All of this actually made Mandy more interesting to me than even seemed possible. Literally, her mind.

    Making this even more mind-blowing to me & making Mandy an even harder nut to crack… is that from what I know, Mandy is sort of a spiritual person (at least from I remember of some interviews back in the day. Obviously, I don’t know her…ddd) . I do know she was raised Catholic, but has since developed a what she refers to as "a hodgepodge of things" that she believes. My gawd. I’m right there with you Mandy. She's interested in everything... and this this shows in the music she makes, the roles she takes, & so much more.

    As a person, she’s eternally inquisitive, always questioning everything, & completely fine with destroying the stars quo. This is part of her personality & artistry, I so relate to. Much like her, I constantly challenge myself to try & understand things that may allude me. Mandy herself was, funnily enough, one of these things.

    There is some similarities & glaring differences betweenMandy in real life vs the character she played in A Walk To Remember. There's a quiet resolve to Jamie Sullivan that is sweet and calming... she is Lawful Good. Her faith defines her.. and that is fine for her. She is endlessly curious & full of wonder, though. Mandy plays it perfectly.

    But there's a strong Chaotic Good part of Mandy in real life. Her infinite curiosity is what defines here. She went from 'Only Hope' to 'Wild Hope' in 5 years... and I don't think she would want it any other way.

    I think we're all the better for it.


    "I give you my destiny
    I'm giving you all of me
    I want your symphony
    Singing in all that I am
    At the top of my lungs
    I'm giving it all I have"





    My Score: 9.5



    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"


    Sparkle In The Sky
    @Sprockrooster (10):
    - Part of my Mandy Moore trinity that does not even include Candy. A Walk To Remember is the first movie I watched with my boyfriend. Mandy moved me to tears in this movie (fair enough I am daddy's boy so that movie doesn't have to try hard). Such a fantastic soundtrack song for this movie. Love is indeed like the wind, you can feel it, but can't see it. I felt comfortable enough to cry in front of my boyfriend when this song played in the movie. So that basically cemented the start of our love. A beautiful memory that Mandy has given me. (What a beautiful sentiment! Thanks for this. I do get really choked up at the 'Love is like the wind' moment. It's really true.)

    @ohnostalgia (10)
    - I used to watch this scene on repeat when I was about thirteen-fourteen. Just little bisexual things! (Probably one of my favorite sentences of commentary in whole rate! I got to think Mandy would approve.)

    @unnameable (10)
    - Breathtakingly good, as long as you’re listening to the version without Shane speaking all over it. (Poor Shane! His 'contribution' is a running theme here. The original pressing of the album didn't have his part, but they added it on the special edition... which I think is the only version amiable now.)


    @Robert (10), @ladylloyd (10), @Florencia. (10), @Remorque (10)

    @vague (9.75), @Casually Crazed (9.5)

    @Robsolete (9)

    @Zar-Unity (9)
    - Wow Mandy sounds amazing on this song! I know I'm gonna get hate for this but I've never seen A walk to remember or heard this song before. I never really checked out much of Mandy's movies. I have just been waiting for new albums to come out over the years. However, this song definitely sounds like one of her best ballads! Love the pretty violin that comes in at the songs end. I think that I still prefer other Mandy pop ballads from her actual albums though, sorry. (So glad this was a discovery for you! It's one of her best vocals. I'm right there with you. I love 'Actress Mandy' & have seen almost all her movies, etc.... but my fandom of her is based on like 80%+ her music. I'm always mainly going to be here for that part of her!)

    @Music Is Life (9)
    - A gorgeous ballad. I love the piano melody especially. The male dialogue is weird. (Yeah.... see above. ddd)


    @chris4862 (8.5)
    - Honestly adorable and one of her best, though I do wish there were an edited without the spoken word bits. (Y'all just keep coming for Shane!)

    @RUNAWAY (8.5)

    @LKane (8.4)
    - I kind of got tired of listening to this song. Cheesy as hell… But I have to admit it is a good song. (It is a little cheesy, but so pretty & sweet. I think a bit of the cheese jus comes from how it so oddly used an in-movie-musical number. That always sends me!)


    Corner of your eye

    This is a first, I think!

    [​IMG]






    Still Undiscovered

    @VivaForever (5), @tylerc904 (5.5)







    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure



    Fairly rare live version (with an audience basically losing their mind. I don't blame them.)



    Original Switchfoot version



    I feel obliged to include some Stacie Orrico here. This was fave from her second album.




     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    vague, Robsolete, Robert and 5 others like this.
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