Mandy Moore Discography Rate - Complete! (Stream 'Silver Landings' on March 6th!) | Page 48 | 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. [​IMG]

    "Crush" | 9.194

    Rated 5th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 3rd out 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The #5th most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on
    The 2nd most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore on

    US BILLBOARD HOT 100 : #119 (#19 Bubbling Under)

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Kenny Gioia & Shep Goodman
    Produced by: Kenny Gioia & Shep Goodman

    Track 7 from Wild Hope released June 19, 2001

    The single was released on August 28, 2001


    "Candy" | 9.211

    Rated 4th out of 84 total songs

    Rated 2nd out 16 from Debut Era

    Chart info or stats:

    The 3rd most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on
    The 4th most scrobbled song from So Real on

    US BILLBOARD HOT 100 : 41 (#2 Bubbling Under)

    Actually here's all the chart data!

    Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 2.59.37 PM.png

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Denise Rich, Dave Katz, Denny Kleiman
    Produced by: Jive Jones, Tony Battaglia, Shaun Fisher

    Track 2 from So Real released December 7, 1999

    The single was released on August 17, 1999
    The video stayed on the TRL chart for over 4 months once it debuted in October of 1999.


    "Cry" | 9.511

    Rated 3rd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 2nd out 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The 2nd most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on
    The most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore on

    The most streamed 'proper single' in Mandy's discog on Spotify .

    It officially never charted anywhere (though it was apparently a huge hit in parts of Asia). You will never understand how this melts my brain.

    Liner Notes

    Written by: James Renald
    Produced by: James Renald & Peter Mokran

    Track 6 from Mandy Moore released June 19, 2001

    The single was released on November 4, 2001 & also appeared on the A Walk To Remember soundtrack in January 2002.

    "My own parade…"

    The laugh I let out when these three songs wound up together on the final scoreboard. Well, you’ll just have to imagine.

    Maybe it’s because I love aliteration and these are three one word titles that all start with ‘C’. Maybe it’s my love triads & tryptychs? Maybe it’s that these are all one word singles, so they are connected in my brain somehow . I just don’t know, it's some Mandy voodoo. The reality is that they form a sort of trinity in my head & always have.

    This is a good thing, as this is one of those times that sum is better than it’s parts , to me. By forming these songs into trinity, even a mini-narrative, over the years, it helped me enjoy ‘Candy’ more ... and even ‘Crush’ for that matter. Once ripping cds became a thing, one of the first cds I made was an 'Ultimate Mandy Mix'. These three songs were together.... and so they end up together here.


    Going in elimination order here, we will start with #5... 'Crush'.

    "You know, everything that I'm afraid of
    You do, everything I wish I did
    Everybody wants you, everybody loves you"

    'Crush' is the most complicated of the songs in this triad and quite honestly has always been the most complicated single in Mandy’s discog for me. This is sussed out some by my score. I’ve never disliked the song, but always found it an underwhelming single choice. Overly safe. I've also always possibly underestimated the song... sussed out by its fairly surprise top 5 finish here to me & other reasons.

    Earlier in the rate I really got into how several of the tracks on Self-Titled are very ‘Natalie Imbruglia-lite’. Heck, Mandy even got the writers of 'Torn' for a track. Well, ‘Crush’ is one of the only songs that suffers from that approach to me. One my other fave pop songs of the era was Jenifer Page’s classic, also titled ‘Crush’. To me, Mandy’s song was always ‘Torn’ meets Jennifer’s ‘Crush’. As such, I always measured the song against those two in my head, and it very much falls well short. One of my issues with this song is the chorus, which has always a bit weak to me and not super sticky.

    I don’t dislike the song by any stretch, though. I quite like the verses & the song really plays nicely as a companion piece to 'Cry', thematically. I love Mandy’s vocal, which is very sweet. It’s fun to hear her upper register on a more upbeat track. I also really liked the video... and always found it more low key iconic than 'Candy' to be honest. (Interestingly enough, despite 'Candy's' epic run on MTV's TRL, it never hit #1. 'Crush' did.)

    This all brings us to the great irony of my thinking it was a weak single choice... it damn near broke through!

    Of all all singles off of Mandy Moore, Crush was one the single and more importantly video that really seemed to resonate. It performed very well in MTV’s TRL and got some decent airplay on pop charts. While it wasn’t my first choice for a single at the time, seeing Mandy get any traction at all in the era had me rooting for ‘Crush’ hard. It did still fail to really make a huge Billboard 100 chart impact, though.

    Being big on MTV or in other capacities other than actual Billboard chart success is a theme of this write-up (and really Mandy’s career). Of course, it was a career that began with a dreamy music box intro and camera pan across a suburban street... right into room of a 15 year old Mandy.


    So, yeah... 'Candy'.

    "So baby, come to me
    Show me who you are
    Sweet to me
    Like sugar to my heart"

    Look, if you read the first post in this rate, you know I how feel about 'Candy'. It wasn’t my thing. My score here speaks for itself. It’s one of my lowest scores in the rate, but considering this song was 0 to me in 1999, you Candy lovers can will take my 6.1 here and like it! ddd (It actually is a bit a fitting scream that I, among the biggest Mandy stans on the forum have given 'Candy' the lowest score in the rate. Haha!)

    If you read that post and others in the rate, you learn that it dramatically turned me off of Mandy from the get go, but that dislike was so visceral it made her somehow interesting to me regardless.

    So, I'll digress for second here. I'm a huge Star Wars fan & reading some reviews for the recent trilogy the last few years actually reminds me of 'Candy' sometimes. Some fans love the new films. Others hate them with a visceral passion. A third category falls into the worst of all, by my lifelong estimation in any fandom, they feel nothing towards the films. That's the worst! At least having a piece of art stir a negative reaction in you is something & mean it at least connected with some part of your being. Many times, if a piece of art at least does that, the very fuel it can generate will make you question why you dislike it so much can lead you down interesting paths of discovery. That is what 'Candy' did for me, so in that respect I ma grateful to it as a Mandy fan.

    Even then, it wasn’t all bad though. Even I must admit I was immediately smitten by the dreamy, Beach Boys, ‘California-girls-esque intro to the song (an intro that actor John Goodman supposedly played on!). After that intro though, the song broke down into some cheesy r&b pop, that always sounded it wanted to be 'big', but they ran out of budget. Even the actual song wasn’t as catchy as it thought it was, in my opinion. (Though, I can sing it on demand, so this song will just forever be at odds with my own pop logic.)

    ‘Candy’ though, is nothing if not iconic. How Mandy was able to parlay a flop top 40 single into a 5 months MTV TRL video hit and ensuing MTV personality career speaks to the elusive talents we’ve discussed about her in this rate. She’s an enigma.

    As I’ve said, over the years, I softened greatly on the song. I do find it somewhat charming now and gererally understand why it was so beloved. Is it really a top 10 Mandy song though? For me, that’s a big no, though I knew there was little chance of of the song not being in the top 10 before the rate started... so I made my piece. I do take a twinge of self-righteous glee in the fact that it got no 11s, though.

    The last sonf here did, very rightfully get an 11 for @Florencia.

    So, we’ll end this unique Mandy 3-fer on a high note , as I feel like I’m being overly critical of the other two songs here (not really the plan, but they are among my least fave Mandy singles, so I’m just keeping it real.) he jump in score from #4 to #3 here is quite significant.

    "I'll always remember
    It was late afternoon
    It lasted forever
    And ended so soon"

    ‘Cry’... Well, I find ‘Cry’ as amazing as the first day I heard it, maybe more so over the years. Earlier in rate we got deep into the weeds talking about the impact James Renald of the Canadian group Sky had on Mandy’s artistry & trajectory, and it all started here. It's kind of hard to understate how important this song is to the Mandy Moore story.

    Simply put, I consider 'Cry' a mid-tempo masterpiece in every sense of the word. How it did not become a Mandy chart success as a single, is just beyond me (and we still have songs left in the rate that send me over the edge even more!). As a song writer myself (not so much now, but when I was younger) I obsessed over this song. It is basically perfect & I was always elated that Mandy was the (lowercase)big Pop Girl that got it.

    Through label connections and fate, ‘Cry’ wound up in Mandy’s lap in 2000. From what I understand, she may have even had it when work had begun on I Wanna Be With You. The consummate artist even then, she adored the song, and didn’t think she could sing the way it needed to but sing yet. So, she held onto it for a year, when time came to record Mandy Moore. Diving even deeper to how her mind works & what strong artist she was being at 17, it was her idea to include the song in A Walk To Remember, adding more weight the ideas we've discussed about her career & artistry blurs the lines between her various forms.

    “Because the song was set to be released around the same time as the film and they had a remarkably similar theme, Moore felt that "Cry" would be perfect to be included in the film's soundtrack. The song is one of Moore's favorites on her third self-titled studio album.

    Moore said in a Billboard interview that she carried around a copy of the song for over a year before she recorded it. "It felt like my ace in the hole. It's such a beautiful song on every level. I couldn't wait to get into the studio and sing it." She also said that James Renald, the co-writer and co-producer of the song, had to "peel her out of the booth because she wanted to sing it over and over again.” -Wikipedia

    To this day, I listen to ‘Cry’ and am taken a back at what an original sounding song it not only was at the time, but sounds like even today. It certainly has a pop feel, sonically speaking of the time, but lyrically & even vocally there is an emo-girl sensibility that makes in very unique among other big pop girl ballads. Some of this can simply be traced back to the nuanced ways in which James Renald tackled writing about emotions in pop songs & how he created these amazing little ambiguous narratives. The production on this song is quite fantastic, too. James Renald & Peter Mokran created a very interesting soundscape, for what quite frankly is on of Mandy’s greatest vocals of all-time. If someone wanted to argue ‘Cry’ is Mandy’s signature song, some points could be made.

    The production on 'Cry' even always seemed to inform parts of Coverage, more specifically, 'Have A Little Faith In Me'. With it's synthesized instruments meets organic feel, that song always felt like a direct descdenadt of some of the vibe she was going for.... and it always made 'Have A Little Faith Me' (while admittedly a bit of an odd first single from Coverage) have a bit more grounding in knowing where her mind was at.

    "I'll always remember
    It was late afternoon
    In places no one will find"

    This trifecta of songs is mindblowing in their meta-mandyness, in the fact that all three were huge MTV hits (Total Request Live staples), are considered among Mandy’s most known (and even most beloved ‘hits’), and literally not a single one officially cracked the to US Billboard top 40.

    ‘Candy’ sold well as a cd single, got some decent airplay, & had an epically popular video in the US, but failed to make the top 40. To say Epic was alarmed, was probably an understatement. It did chart very well in the UK, Scotland, & #2 in Australia... so all was not lost. Over time, it has become a quinesstaial song assoclaited with early 00’s pop…. and even Mandy, after once hating the song, will acknowledge & perform it at times.

    The legacy of ‘Crush’ & ‘Cry’ are more complicated. ‘Crush’ had a weaker overall chart performance than ‘Candy (or really even ‘In My Pocket’). Still, the song did creep into the pop top 40 in several regions & the video did well on both MTV & VH1. To this day, ‘Crush’ is oddly the only song I occasionally still here from Mandy Moore her in the States (usually in grocery store or department store type environments). Even the mild blip 'Crush' made got it onto the eighth installment of the U.S. compilation series, Now That's What I Call Music!, released in November 2001.

    ‘Cry’, well, that song just deserved better. Its 'failure' is odd, because in some ways I don’t think it failed at all. Released as the last single of fairly flop album campaign… it was also technically the first single/promo song for A Walk To Remember. (Oh, Mandy… and your complicated road.). In that sense, the song was a huge success & it arguably helped drive the sales of a soundtrack that eventually sold over 2 million copies. To put that in perspective, A Walk To Remember soundtrack sold more than So Real, I Wanna Be With You, & Mandy Moore combined.

    Eventually it even crept onto pop radio & got recurrent airplay... way after its shelf life. Looking at both its Spotify steaming data & scrobbles, the song was a huge hit by all accounts, yet never even charted. Measuring the success on Mandy's 'pure pop' years (1999-2004) is one of the more fascinating facets of her cultural impact. She had almost no chart impact, yet is remembered for such gems as 'Cry'. It just makes her so bizarrely endearing in the fabric of 00's pop.

    My Scores:
    Crush (8.5) | Candy (6.1) | Cry (10)

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    CRUSH | Sparkle In The Sky
    @tylerc904 (10), @Robert (10), @Florencia. (10), @Remorque (10)

    @chris4862 (10)
    - This, along with “Cry” are the kinds of songs that just perfectly encapsulate a moment in time for me. These breezy bops were IT in 2001/2002, and “Crush” is one of the very best. I still hear it on the radio every now and then.

    @vague (10)
    - another sweet, acousticy pop song where she just shines vocally. this was a big time fave when i was a kid, and it still holds up.

    @unnameable (10)
    - such a perfect sugar rush! This song encapsulates those first feelings where you really don’t have a clue if this will be requited or not. Mandy has an amazing voice for teen-pop, and there’s no-one who could have done this song better. This really hits “Call me maybe” levels of crushing on someone intensity.

    @Music Is Life (10)
    - This is great, I love the lyrics especially for the production and the bright, hopeful feel in the production.

    @VivaForever (10)
    - So underappreciated! To think she gave us this AC-gone-teen-pop delight and it peaked at fucking #119. This was one of my high school crush anthems, actually. It’s so smooth while still being catchy.

    @LKane (9)
    - They should have followed this direction for the album, more pop, instead of that indian sounds that seemed forced.

    @Zar-Unity (9)
    - This song and video makes Mandy look like your typical pop star of the early 2000's, but this song is actually really well done. I enjoy this one more the more I listen to it. The flow of energetic instrumentation along with Mandy's sweet vocals make this song a highlight on her self-titled. It also works coming on after cry. It's weird that this sounds so early Hilary Duff before Hilary even started recording cute acoustic pop ballads like this. This may sound a bit watered down for what Mandy can do with her voice but this is still a very pleasant tune to relax to.

    @Robsolete (9), @RUNAWAY (9)

    @ohnostalgia (8)
    - Cute, but I’ve heard this song a hundred times from a hundred different artists. All the points are for Mandy’s voice.

    @Sprockrooster (8), @CasuallyCrazed (8)

    CRUSH | Corner of your eye
    @ladylloyd (7)

    CRUSH | Still Undiscovered

    NONE! YAY!

    CANDY | Sparkle In The Sky

    @Sprockrooster (10)
    - A sweet addictive sugar rush. And I am talking about the song. Let's discuss favourite candies: mine is allsorts liquorice. So rich in colours, flavour and texture.

    @tylerc904 (10)
    - Truly one of the “Classics” from my childhood. Whether or not the rumor of this being offered to Brandy is true, it’s amazing to ponder.

    @vague (10)
    - that spoken middle 8 is the peak of '90s teen pop.

    @Music Is Life (10)
    - What a fucking debut single. Love this, in all it's sickly sweetness. Love the spoken middle-8. How was this not a number one hit?

    @Remorque (10)
    - I remember seeing the music video to Candy one sunny morning before going to school and everything just fucking clicked. That same day I went to the local record store and bought the single. There wasn't a single other song I listened to that weekend. A classic.

    @RUNAWAY (10)
    - this song just gets better with age. the lyrics are so corny, but I’m just drawn to it for some reason. Mandy’s vocal prowess was evident from this first single, and it still holds up 20 years later.

    @unnameable (10)
    - the video for this was all over music TV channels back then, it felt worthy competition to the Britney, Christina, and the rest at the time. Even my rock-loving friends watched the video to this one. I personally love the song because I’m a sucker for a good spoken-word bit, and “love always, Mandy” is done to perfection.

    @Florencia. (10)
    - Nasality or not, this song is pop perfection. It is very...sweet and sugar-y, , and I can’t help but love it even after all these years.

    @VivaForever (10)
    - This is one of those songs like the A*Teens version of Mamma Mia that is just totally exhilarating and makes me feel like I’m having a party, wherever I am when I hear it. It’s the jubilant side of late-’90s teen-pop, perfectly epitomized in one song.

    @Robert (10), @Robsolete (10), @CasuallyCrazed (10)

    @Zar-Unity (9.7)
    - Oh my god, Mandy's vocals in this song is the best thing about it! She completely owns this song! The lyrics are somewhat clever but at the same time a bit cringy. The main melody definitely borrows the main one from a 1995 single by Robyn. You probably know the one Mandy looks amazing as usual in the music video but what really sells this as her best hit single is her vocal performance, which is just incredible! The beat is so
    bubblegum and so much fun, and the overall production to this song is just great! Also gotta love those cute Mandy voice overs toward the songs end.

    @chris4862 (9)
    - Pretty Much undeniable. A classic.

    CANDY | Corner of your eye
    @LKane (7.5)
    - I just listened to the new version she sang in her latest concerts, and it is way better than this.

    @ladylloyd (7)

    @ohnostalgia (6.5)
    - Listening to Mandy copying her nasally pop princess contemporaries is killing me (in a bad, murder-y way). This is the song people want to win? Oh... Kay.

    CANDY | Still Undiscovered

    NONE! Well, alright!

    CRY | Sparkle In The Sky
    @Florencia. (11)
    (*this 11 brought me such joy!*)

    @chris4862 (10)
    - One of the best pop songs of all time. I’ve never given much thought to chart success, but it honestly baffles me to learn that it wasn’t a global smash hit. This long was literally inescapable from the time of its single release until mid-late 2003, yet apparently didn’t even enter the Billboard charts, like, anywhere? I still hear it on the radio regularly.

    @ohnostalgia (10)


    @vague (10)
    - big, sparkly, beautiful pop song. one of her very best tracks (at least at this point of her career). if Britney, et al. had released this, it would've been huge. that makes me a little sad, but i can't imagine anyone delivering this quite like Mandy does.

    @unnameable (10)
    - this song sometimes brings an actual tear to my eyes, it is that powerful. Her little “yeah” is perfectly timed, the chorus delivered passionately, and the middle eight really hits the spot.

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

    @VivaForever (10)
    - This was very nearly my 11. It would have been if her vocals on my actual 11 weren’t so goddamn immaculate. Great plot in the lyrics, great music, great production.

    @Zar-Unity (9.5)
    - Mandy's vocals sound incredible on this song! A very good semi pop ballad! Very well produced with that special early 2000's pop sound. Definitely one of Mandy's better pop ballads! This one stands out from all of the rest! Even the lyrics are very touching. Well done Mandy! I love the music video for Cry as well. Mandy looks so beautiful and already very grown up at this point. She had blossomed into a seriouslybeautiful woman! The only reason this song didn't end up receiving a perfect 10 from me is because I still prefer other pop ballads to hear more often by her.

    @Music Is Life (9.5)
    - This is a gorgeous mid-tempo, that also gets a little upbeat. I really like this, can see myself loving it. I love the guitar throughout.

    @LKane (9.2)
    - ‘Cry’ is a chessy song but maybe it is because of the movie… Anyway, I think it was a good choice as a single. Such a classic Mandy Moore song.

    @tylerc904 (8), @ladylloyd (8)

    CRY | Corner of your eye

    @Sprockrooster (6)

    CRY | Still Undiscovered

    NONE! Woot!!

    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    This post spiraled out of control... so I'll add some relevant embeds in a couple of posts below!​
    Robert, LKane, Robsolete and 8 others like this.
  2. ...

    Crush (Acoustic Live on Miss Teen USA 2001... which she also hosted.)

    Crush (Live on Jay Leno 2001)

    Crush (Live Acoustic on MTV 2001)

    Another live version (she really plugged this one!)

    Live from Channel V

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  3. ...

    Candy live on The House Hits 2000 (Girl almost always sang live & sounded great. Pretty rare talent, to be honest.)

    Candy: Top Of The Pops (early 2000)

    One of my favorite versions ever, from MadTV in early 2000. She was already mixing it up then. Her mind. (This is actually probably the best version of this song ever.)

    The 'rockier/bluesier' version she sand in later years. She's just one the best things ever...

    Another way she did it live in later years (Wild Hope & Amanda Leigh tours)

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
    Robert, Robsolete, tylerc and 7 others like this.
  4. Yikes! So, after a one at a time reveal strategy the whole rate, I went a whole other way with this last reveal. Truth us, that once I saw these songs were together I decided I would likely tackle a '3-in-1' type post... since they are connected in my brain. That was a bit more ambitious in the format I had set-up, than I realized it would be! In the spirit of Mandy's ambitious ways, once I started, I just went for it. It might be sort of a mess, sorry, you all know I meant well. There's a couple of typos to fix & I need to add some playlists to the empty posts I reserved above (I didn't take into consideration the '5 embed rule' of PJ posts. Live & learn.)

    Anyways, getting this 3 song reveal done does set up the two song finale, which is exciting. I hope to get completed by the end of the year. I'll add some more info when I think I have final time & date set in stone.

    I also have some more thoughts about these three songs.... as I'm sure many of you will, too!

    Everyone have a great holiday, too (if that's something you celebrate.)
    Robert, Robsolete, tylerc and 5 others like this.
  5. A wonderful surprise of a post, written brilliantly as ever! We love a Xmas gift this good!

    Also - this is a godly Top 2 and very likely contenders for my 11 from the songs I know. One of them actually was in a previous rate too! :D
  6. I added some great live versions of 'Crush' & 'Candy' above. (I was working earlier & ran out of time to get them posted after I got that 3-part reveal done! Then I went to go see Star Wars again.)

    Here's some for 'Cry', too:

    'Cry': Live Shoutback Live performance

    'Cry': from Rosie O'Donnell show in 2002

    'Cry': Live from Regis & Kelly in 2002. My gawd, her voice

    'Cry' from the MTV Asia awards 2002

    Music Is Death, Robert, vague and 5 others like this.
  7. Honestly shocked "Cry" didn't make it to the final 2, but somewhat pleased that "Candy" didn't.
    vague and pop3blow2 like this.
  8. Fucking hell, I actually thought Cry had this in the bag? What a song!

    Mandy sounds absolutely fantastic, the production only compliments that and the sonic landscape the song paints is something nostalgia and melancholy are made of.

    I'm genuinely disappointed.
    vague, berserkboi and pop3blow2 like this.
  9. Uno


    In My Pocket and I Wanna Be With You - PHEW.

    What a top 2.
    Music Is Death, Robert, vague and 3 others like this.
  10. Genuinely shook that my two favorite Mandy tracks are duking it out for the win!

    Also that MadTV performance is everything.
    vague, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  11. I'm working on these last two write-ups... I promise!

    Things got off schedule with the holidays this week, so I'm getting back on track personally. Just want to make sure these last two tracks get the send off they deserve... so I don't just want to chuck them out. Will hopefully have them up together in the next couple of days.
  12. Just catching up again. The Wild Hope album was a rediscovery for me, as I've mentioned before. I loved Mandy from Candy, but by the time Wild Hope came around I had it but hardly gave it a listen and it was only really Gardenia that stuck with me. However, this year because of the rate I really gave it a proper go and I absolutely love it and keep coming back to it. The track I have been coming back to the most has been Extraordinary. I gave it a 9 back when I rated it, but I think if I had to rate again it'd be a 10. I really took the time to listen to the lyrics and wow. It really does feel like a "you got this" in song form. It also resonates with me too since I'm introverted more in the background type person, and I feel the lyrics some this up beautifully.

    I gave Crush, Candy and Cry all 10s, it's hard for me to rank them in any kind of order but I'm really glad they all made the top 5. I Wanna Be with You and In My Pocket are both amazing too, so much so that I don't really know which one I'm rooting for to win.

    I also wanted to add that I've started watching This Is Us recently as I found season 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime UK, and season 3 was added on Christmas Day. I'm enjoying it very very much so far and Mandy does a great job in it!
  13. [​IMG]

    "In My Pocket" | 9.750

    Rated 2nd out of 84 total songs

    Rated 1st out 13 from Mandy Moore

    Chart info or stats:

    The #10 most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on
    The 3rd most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore on

    #11 Australia
    #26 New Zealand
    (Bless her fans down there! Taste!)

    #102 Billboard Hot 100 (#2 Bubbling under... it still hurts to type that)
    #21: US Mainstream Top 40

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Randall Barlow, Emilio Estefan, Liza Quintana, Gian Marco
    Produced by: Estefan, Barlow, Quintana

    Track 1 from Mandy Moore
    Single released May 29, 2001

    "My own parade…"

    " my eyes, you're revealing
    You'll find out what you're needing"

    The last two songs here are both 10s from me & both present interesting jumping off points for topics in both my Mandy-fandom journey & just the general pop fandoms we all have.

    The main thesis behind my thoughts on 'In My Pocket' is that of:

    ‘Holy Crap! How did this song flop? And other ideas on modern media failures. by: pop3blow2.’

    We’ve all been there as pop fans. Mandy has sent me to that point several times, but never as much as this song. Let’s take a look & talk about this... as it’s been on my mind for 18 years.

    After So Real really underperformed and ‘I Wanna Be With You’ was a surprise hit, Epic was at a crossroads with Mandy for her third album in 2001. The teen pop climate had started to shift dramatically and Mandy herself had matured. She tired of the super sweet bubblegum direction she was on pretty quickly and while the I Wanna Be With You album had gone some new directions with her sound (acoustic-y Euro-pop and AC friendly ballads) Mandy wanted to try some new stuff. Based on the rather lackluster sales of her first two attempts, it’s safe to say the label was ok with that.

    In some way, it’s a testament to Epic that after two low selling albums from Mandy , they threw so much money & energy into album 3 Mandy Moore. As much as I drag her label at times, I do think they realized how talented she was and wanted her succeed... as much for their own financial gain, sure, but for her too. They just never figured out her path. That said, 'I Wanna Be With You' becoming a hit had brought her some goodwill & extra time to prove herself. With Mandy Moore she got the production talent she deserved, a whole album of great songs, some creative leeway, and an initial promotion it did is nothing short of amazing.

    While Mandy Moore was still an album created by committee, the overall talent involved was at a higher level than her debut & Mandy herself was able to start voicing her opinion more. She was able to start providing some input into her own direction. The new tracks for I Wanna Be With You tried to inject some fresh blood into a dead era, but it was a clear that the page needed wiped and Mandy needed a bit of a soft-reboot.

    Emilio Estefan was both an odd choice and completely perfect for Mandy. With a tendency to lean into more more ethnic & world soundscapes, he definitely outlined a sonic signature for half of the album that was distinctive. This is what Mandy wanted: to stand-out & differentiate herself. Being that he and Mandy were both Florida natives, there was a sense of comfort in some of these new 'Miami-Sound-Machine' sounds, which quite honestly were a bit jarring coming from Mandy Moore… especially after her first two records.

    We can argue whether or not this new direction suited her at all, or whether she should have just gone all-in with the sound on the whole record (and diverging into AC pop makes the album seem ‘unfocused’) or whether or not splitting the record’s sonics the way did was actually a commercially brilliant strategy that failed. What is hard to argue against is how ‘In My Pocket’ seemingly came out of nowhere in early 2001 and for lack of a better description pretty much knocked a lot pop fans back on their heels. Whatever your opinion of Mandy... it was a bop & it was different.

    I say ‘a lot’ in that last sentence and not all, as the single did prove a bit more contentious with critics and some audiences, than maybe Mandy or the label thought it would. Oddly, even though I find some of the lyrical allusions on So Real a bit more dicey considering her age at the time (15), many took issue with lyrical content of the song and Mandy’s more mature image turn in the video. This isn’t something that I really want to get into, because I don’t think it matters. I do bring it up for two reasons, though. One, is that I will just never understand our culture’s weird views on what is age appropriate in regards to certain things. Personally, I thought a 17 year old Mandy taking more control over her image, sound, & narrative was empowering. Maybe that was some people’s issue, but I digress.

    The other reason I bring it up is more relevant to this write up and my sanity. Why did this amazing pop song flop so hard and does any of the above have anything to with it?

    Without sounding dramatic, I was pretty upset when' In My Pocket' failed. It blew me way the first time I heard it. It was fresh sounding, the production was mind-blowingly perfect, Mandy’s vocal was unreal, and more importantly to my consumption of pop music.... it was catchy as hell.

    To top it off, it had a pretty visually stunning video attached and it all seemed like a perfect launch heading into summer. I was 100% certain this was it for her: she has arrived and this song/album/era would catapult to her international super-reign.

    Then, nothing.

    "Among the many muted faces
    You try to find me in the spaces
    You're drawn to my song, oh"

    The video did ok on MTV's TRL, but faded pretty fast. It limped onto to pop airplay chart in the US, but never made the Billboard Hot 100. I really didn’t know what universe I was living in where a perfect pop song like ‘In My Pocket’ couldn’t even make the top 100. I really and truly thought it was going to be a huge breakout moment for her. Not a #1 or anything, but surely a top 10 or top 20 at the worst. I questioned my taste & what I was missing. Maybe I understood pop & music way less that I thought I did!

    What went wrong?

    This is something I mulled over for years (not on a daily basis or anything. You’d don’t have to send help....ddd.) But it is something that pops into my head whenever I listen to the song it even others from Mandy Moore. Why didn’t this song and really even the whole album connect more with the pop world?

    Maybe I’m blinded with my own fandom in regards to Mandy, here. Perhaps the song and image change were just to jarring to some. It wasn’t like I completely was blind to it, I knew her shift was a going to make some to double-takes, but it all worked pretty well for me so I was on board out of the gate. It seems way more people at the time perhaps just shrugged instead of being shocked. I mean, 'shock' wasn't the point of anything with 'In My Pocket', but it's safe to say Mandy was certainly trying to make a statement and many just weren't interested.

    I’ve often wondered if a different single and video would’ve been a better lead off to era over the years. In the last post I talked about how ‘Crush’ actually did well & damn near broke the album. While I find that song and video eons safer & bit more boring than ‘In My Pocket’... maybe ‘Crush’ actually dovetails better against the world and sound of ‘I Wanna Be With You’ her biggest hit heading into the album. In that respect, it's not insane to think that would've worked.

    That's not what Mandy or the label wanted, though. They wanted big & bold. Maybe this is one of the cases where my (and maybe even Mandy’s similar personality) of tearing it all down & being overly bold backfired a bit. Of course it all appealed to me... I love jarring artistic turns & subverting expectations. But maybe it wasn't the best strategy here.

    Of course, one reason ‘In My Pocket’ was likely the first single is something a bit more cynical and boring. I imagine the Emilio Estefan productions cost more on the album and the label wanted to try and get a return their investment. Heck, there could have even been an agreement that one his songs had to a single or even the lead single. Record label politics, especially in the pop world of the 00s were... ummm... something.

    "You only move to keep from sinking
    You close your eyes as if you're thinking
    Afraid all along"

    Ultimately, I was actually talking pop music one time and bought this song and Mandy Moore up. While waxing poetic about it I hammered upon something that maybe I knew in the back of my mind, but skated around as a fan. Perhaps on reason ‘In My Pocket’ flopped and subsequently Mandy Moore, was because it was just all too perfect, glossy, and calculated. It could almost be argued some of the album feels like Mandy is playing the character of a pop star. If this is the case, for me at least, she is such a good actress it all works. For some, there is certainly a disconnect from the purity & warmth she radiated on her first two albums. I think some of this is simply symbolic of that fact that Mandy, like most of us, had no idea who she was at 17. The scattershot nature of all the different things she tries on the album on the album is perfectly on brand for how I know I felt at that age & ties into the greater narrative of the rate: Mandy in interested in & tries everything. I adore that so much about her.

    Even though I think many of the decisions on the project were organic, when you start breaking them down, there is a calculated big-pop girl checklist that becomes visible within the album & campaign. Maybe this turned some people off. Mandy had already cast aside as a fine pop star, but sort of also-ran to her peers my many. The mature image change, the world infused sonics (but not committing to too much world infused stuff), mixed with the more safe approach of the AC angles of the rest of album all left this slight feeling of things being a little too on brand. Ironically, in the spirit of adventure Mandy was going for, pehaps it all came off a bit redundant or worse: desperate.

    This is just of course the random musings of an uber fan, who spent way too many hours trying to figure out why their beloved pop princess flopped with a song as amazing as 'In My Pocket'. I actually had an idea for a podcast one time that would be called Pop: CSI, where people could discuss why something that shouldn’t have flopped, actually did. Let me tell you, I have a list and some Mandy stuff is at the top!

    "Hoping the melody will leave you
    You walked here where I might not see you
    Reach out to the wind
    Looking to catch it for a minute
    But just to hold it, not be in it
    I've been where you've been"

    In the end, I’m so glad this song did so well here. While I love Coverage, Wild Hope, & maybe even Amanda Leigh more than Mandy Moore, the reality is I know all three of those are niche albums. As such, while they sold less than they deserved to in my opinion, I get that their audience was limited from the get go. Mandy Moore on the other hand, has always frustrated me, not just as a Mandy fan, but a pop fan in general. It was tailor made for general public levels of multi-platinum sales success and still has a such innate artistic sensibilities to have also appealed to ‘pop connoisseurs’ like me. That it wasn’t more huge has always baffled me... so to see so many songs make the top 10 here was oddly ok with me, as it has finally gotten some pop justice in my mind.

    "Nothing but faith to keep me warm
    Well, baby, wouldn't I be broke without it?
    Tell me, how much for your love?"

    My Score: 10

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @tylerc904 (11)
    - A no brainer really, though Candy and I Wanna Be With You are worthy winners in my eyes. I was obsessed with this once I heard it on Now 7. I could not believe it did so poorly on the charts when I looked back. (Yeah, my head canon focuses on the Australia chart, where it got to #11, when I think about this one. It's how I cope! A great 11 choice, for sure.)

    @vague (11)
    - this is so glossy and polished in every. single. way. she sounds incredible, the production is gorgeous, and it feels like a huge step forward for her in terms of her artistry. it's still teen pop, but there's a maturity here that was lacking in her debut. this felt like a real turning point for her, and is like the first step forward for a woman discovering who she is and what she wants to say. plus, it fucking slaps! a masterpiece... literally a masterpiece. (All of this! She's only 17 here, but I never even think about that - except for maybe the song titled that...ddd. She is so mature not just vocally but even in the themes of the songs. The only thing I can compare it to off the top of my head is Carly Rae's transition from Kiss to Emotion. The songs are still about love, relationships, & basic 'pop' things, but the concept & approach is so elevated with lyrically, musically, & vocally.)

    @Sprockrooster (10)
    - Phew, my wig is torn already before the first chorus ends and than we still have to go through the middle-8. (Yeah, and then they add that little phased out tag at the end that and Mandy comes back and slaps us one last time. #102 in the US. We don't deserve anything good here.)

    @chris4862 (10)
    - Definitely aiming for Britney's fanbase with this. Looking back it's weird to associate a song like this with Mandy, but issabawp nonetheless. (Yeah, pop music fandom is weird. It irritated me when she chased Britney's fanbase on So Real, but it's hard to think some of that was going on here & I love it in this situation. I don't understand my own logic. sometime. I think some of the reason I'm more on board here is simply I love the song more & there is a confidence to her.)

    @ohnostalgia (10)
    A perfect slice of Pop! Mandy.
    (I mean, there does seem to be some astro-physic level math going on here. I still just smile & shake my in disbelief at the song sometimes.)

    @Music Is Life (10)
    What a BOP. What an OPENER. What a LEAD SINGLE. Honestly how was this not huge? I don't get it, it sounds exactly like the kind of thing that would've at least hit top 10 at the time. Hopefully we will correct this mistake. I couldn't stop moving listening to this. (You ask such great questions here music is life. Some of the pop culture sins of my generation are simply unforgivable.)

    @unnameable (10)
    - the instrumentation on this makes a decent love song into an absolute stormer. (Speaking of instrumentals, Epic randomly put out out a super collection of all the remixes of this song this year. The instrumental track for this song on there. Whew!)

    @RUNAWAY (10)
    -this was a total no-brainer for me. This song is a classic and still sounds so good all these years later. (I actually argue it sounds better today then it did in 2001. I don't know how that is possible, but we love a forward looking queen.)

    @Robert (10), @Robsolete (10), @ladylloyd (10), @Florencia. (10), @Remorque (10), @CasuallyCrazed (10)
    @LKane (8.5)
    - The only reason of why I really like this song is because of that amazing music video, those lights, environment, colors, just wow. Amazing music video… the song is kind of ok. (*Scream* I'll be honest, the music video was way jarring than the sonf the first time I saw it. It grew on me over time, but there were some choices in there. haha! It actually is a very visually stunning video, though.)

    @Zar-Unity (8)
    This is a good pop tune, don't get me wrong. I just don't think it really fits Mandy that well. The singing verses are pretty solid as is the firey production to this jam. But at this point, this overproduced opener sounds like it was made for a totally different artist. The change at 2 minutes in is pretty cool. I remember Mandy also looking really different in the music video for this single. At least she said that she had a good time filming the video and I think she even met a guy she liked while filming the video for In my pocket. I may not be too crazy for this song but I already suspect this one will become a PJ favorite. (Yeah, you mention more directly some things I bring up in my 'why did this flop?' argument. I know some Mandy fans from her first two albums just didn't completely 'get it' with track 1 on Mandy Moore. That made things tricky for the album from a commercial standpoint, right out of the gate.)

    Corner of your eye
    @VivaForever (7)
    - Not Mandy predicting the path Hilary would take on the Dignity album! Yeah, this sound didn’t fit her any better than it fit Hilary - worse, probably. Pity, as the good sis Emilio Estefan can write some bops, and a Latin-influenced Mandy might have been better. (Yeah, this is fair. I never knew if the world sonics they went with Mandy were 100% the the best choice, but just always admired the creativity.)

    Still Undiscovered



    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Live from her ShoutBack concert

    Live on V By Demand in Australia

    Live from MTV summer of 2001

    Here's something fun not many people know about, but Emilo Estefan believed in the song enough to record a version for the Miami Vice soundtrack in 2006

    Robert, LKane, Music Is Death and 6 others like this.
  14. So... the write-up for #1 is pretty much complete & will be incoming (hopefully later!). I couldn't decide how I wanted to end the rate, but ultimately the write-up for 'I Wanna Be With You' bookends a lot of things for me with the rate, so I wanted to reveal it last.

    Either case, these were two worthy #1 & #2 picks.
  15. [​IMG]

    "I Wanna Be With You" | 9.944

    Rated 1st out of 84 total songs

    Rated 1st out 16 from So Real/I Wanna Be With You

    Chart info or stats:

    The #4 most scrobbled Mandy song of all-time on

    #13 Australia
    #24 Canada Top Singles
    #68 European Hot 100
    #34 Ireland
    #19 Scotland
    #21 UK Singles
    #24 Billboard Hot 100
    #11 Billboard US Mainstream Top 40

    Certified gold in Australia

    Liner Notes

    Written by: Tiffany Arbuckle, Shelly Peiken, Keith Thomas
    Produced by: Keith Thomas

    Track 1 from I Wanna Be With You
    Single released April 11, 2000 (One day after Mandy's 16th birthday)

    The song was also fractured in the movie Center Stage & was on the soundtrack released May 12, 2000. #Synergy

    "My own parade…"

    A couple of years ago an old zombie thread (quoted above) started by @WhatKindOfKylie? got randomly bumped here on PJ with the topic, ‘Your Desert Island 3’, which was based around the concept of making you pick your top 3 artists and 3 songs by them for your eternal desert island listening. I live for lists like this, so I dove in!

    My artists were Mandy, Vanessa, & Nelly (though, I must admit Nelly may finally be being threatened by another fellow Canadian for my third spot, now. The personal drama & anxiety of pop fandom is real!)

    The three songs I went with for Mandy were: ‘Wild Hope’, ‘The Whole Of The Moon’ (duh), and ‘I Wanna Be With You’.

    I mean this is no small way, ‘I Wanna Be With You’ is one of the most perfect pop ballads I’ve ever heard. It was goosebump inducing the first time I heard it in 2000 and it is goosebump inducing now.

    As we've discussed, in early 2000, I did not like Mandy Moore. The ire ‘Candy’ had inflicted on my opinion of her had softened some due to me watching her VJ of MTV & getting sucked into her sweet personality, but as a recording artist I cared about... she was a zero in my binary world of pop attention. Then, that changed pretty much over night.

    "I try, but I can't seem to get myself to think of anything but you"

    I distinctly remember both seeing the video for the first time and hearing the song within a week of each other in May of 2000. The pop cultural whiplash this gave me is not something you easily forget as a music fan. It’s not an exaggeration that in the course of a few weeks I went from not giving a hoot about Mandy Moore’s music, to thinking she was possibly the best singer from her crop teen pop princesses.

    On the surface, like the best of pop music, ‘I Wanna Be With You’ is decidedly simple. The acoustic versions of the song showcase its elegant simplicity. But there is so much to it, when you delve deeper.

    Within the sonic fabric of the early 00s is where the real magic of the song shines through. While it fits into the era, it also somehow sounds really different than most other ballads by some of her contemporaries. Sometimes, as a pop fan, you can’t help but compare songs to others that have had a huge impact in you. Such comparisons can be rooted in very personal emotions or nostalgia, but there can also just be some weird echoes that makes your brain make such comparisons.

    For me the song that 'I Wanna Be With You' echoes is ‘Too Many Walls’ by Cathy Dennis. Both songs are such unique ballads within their specific eras. They both somehow fit sonically with what was going on by their contemporaries, but somehow 'level up' what said contemporaries were doing. There were great ballads being made my Cathy's contemporaries in 1990 (bigger names such as Janet, Madonna, Paula, & more). But there is something decidedly personal & special that she brings to 'Too Many Walls' that no other singer in her era could've done. There's just such a heartbreaking sincerity to how she reads the lyric.

    For me, both songs just create such an overwhelming sense of emotion and sense of place. Some of this is due to both songs coming at the beginning of their respective decades. I love pop songs (especially from the past when production eras were a bit more defined by decades) that come at the very beginning/end of a decade. There’s this weird residual carryover from the sound of that decade, but sometimes mixed with some indicators of where the sound of the next decade is heading. There's an unease & tension to them, that seeps in from the periphery of the industry not completely knowing what the 'next big sound' is gonna be. In this space, some completely classic songs tend to get recorded.

    I can’t imagine another big pop girl of the day doing this song like Mandy. Vocally, while it’s not technically her most amazing vocal ever, she does something only truly great singers do: she reads the lyric & tailors her voice to give it what it needs. Another singer of the era might’ve just sang this in their normal tone or over-emoted to show of their range and acrobatics. Mandy’s control and instincts here are what make this so special.

    From the way she talk/sings parts of the verses in a very conversational tone. To the way she her heavenly harmony adlibs mirror the break after the chorus, and of course the fairly epic ending where everthing in production is stacked on top each other.... ending with Mandy’s hushed ASMR spoken ‘I wanna be with you’.

    "Your breath on my face, your warm gentle kiss, I taste the truth
    I taste the truth"

    As I stated, some comparisons you make to a song are always going to be rooted in your own experience, nostalgia, & even musical knowledge. That said, you can sometime connect some of that stuff to academic dissections of a song, too. On that level, 'I Wanna Be With You, is an intriguing song... because it's just technically speaking a really, really good song.

    Look, this is gonna seem gushy, but since we’re ending this rate & after some of places I’ve gone this year in the rate, I might as well go all the way with not only a Mandy fave of mine, but all of your's too. I consider ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded (their version... not Mandy’s...ddd). There are moments in this song that send me to that frame of mind musically.

    ‘God Only Knows’ is clearly the superior song/production on every level, but there are some really musically clever things in this song that songwriters can study to make great music. From the way a few notes from the chorus/break are tagged onto the end of each verse, to the actual break itself (which is right out of the Brian Wilson) songbook as far as I’m concerned, Shelly Peiken, Tiffany Arbuckle, & Keith Thomas were in rare form when the stars aligned for the writing of this one.

    It really is that recurring 12 note synth/string break-riff thing that gives this song something special. It almost serves as a leitmotif for the whole song. So much great stuff in the song stems from its inclusion. It's quite fascinating as a songwriter, because it's not technically not part of main melody of the lyric or even a particular section. It just floats in & out at seemingly random times... almost serving as what we consider a 'tag' in common pop parlance in certain places of the song.

    From its use at the end of certain bars in the chorus to how it informs the cry in Mandy’s vocal on the chorus and outro, it is simply one of my favorite little moments in a song of the 00s and maybe ever. It grounds the song and serves as some sort of anti-chorus. I hum it all the time until this day. It’s just beautiful music. (Also, in some acoustic versions when that part is played by violins rather thus synths just adds to this magic...and ‘Too Many Walls’ comparisons in my head!)

    I mean this is the best way, but 'I Wanna Be With You' is just a brilliantly weird little song, especially for a ballad. The fact that I compare it to two of the best songs I consider ever written in this write-up speaks to it merit, in my little corner of the world.

    "How beautiful it is
    Just to be like this"

    The production is immaculate here, with every part being mixed in a way that makes everything sound heightened. Even towards then end when everthing is going full tilt, nothing gets drowned out. It’s some of the best pop mixing of the day. While I get frustrated Mandy ever had one top 30 single in the US, I’m at at least glad it’s something as perfect as this.

    There really was just so many magical pieces that came together in this song. It's rare case where something is just undeniable. These pieces all came together to turn me into a Mandy fan, then into a complete stan, & into the philosophical pop mess & Mandy historian I am now. I couldn't thank Mandy & the team of pop alchemists that made this song more for that, in all honesty.


    So we've come to the end of the rate. Wow. I do have a 'tag' of my own here for this write-up, that works so well with not only this song, but the journey I went on with this rate.

    I didn’t want to mention his name anymore this rate (or ever again for that matter), but it’s valid to how I want to end this rate, so here goes.

    When the detail of the emotional abuse came out this year, in regards to what Mandy dealt with in her relationship to Ryan Adams, lots of things upset me. One thing she said in passing may have made me the angriest. While a seemingly small thing, apparently in his quest to repress her attempts to make music he would tell her things like ‘you’re not a real musician, you can’t even play an instrument’, etc. That kind of stuff is awful, because it’s the kind of thing a narcissist does to slowly tear you down. It might even seem ‘jokey’ to someone at first, because 'I mean they love me, right?' but over time you hear it enough and start to question you worth... either towards a specific pursuit or even as a person. The people who 'love' us, should aim to support & inspire.

    Not only is awful that someone she loved did that to her over years, thus slowly killing her spirit to create, the reality is that it is complete bullshit. Not only is it some of the complete bullshit I’ve railed against for 30+ years as a pop fan in regards to all the artistry involved in making music outside of the typical ‘playing an instrument & writing your own songs’ kind of surface level authenticity a lot of culture demands from music; but it’s bullshit in particular to Mandy.

    While she admits to her lack of skill in all aspects of her artistry and music, the reality is that one of the main reasons I love her is that she is always challenging herself to to try something new & better herself. This includes learning to play guitar.

    As such, this makes this video the perfect ending to this rate. In one fail swoop it captures everything I wanted this rate to highlight about Mandy.

    'Can't You Just Adore/I Wanna Be With You' medley

    That video is so great because it really shows how far she has come as an artist... and it’s the ultimate FU to people like Ryan Adams. Mandy standing on a stage playing a song she wrote with Lori McKenna > that was then also the first song she wrote that was covered by someone else > that she then artistically has the wherewithal to medley with her only top 30 hit of all time... > oh, all while playing guitar live on stage for one of the first times ever. Not a real musician or artist, my ass.

    I realize this rate took longer than it should have. (Thanks so much for staying the course, if you have). Since Mandy is my favorite pop thing of all time, I knew it was already going to be an investment on many levels when I started. Then when the story broke in February about the abuse she suffered & how it made her stop making music the last decade... the rate became something else to me, too. I wanted to not just have rate, but felt compelled to really highlight & celebrate her complete artistry & how inspired & helped personally over the years. Her entire discogograpy is an interesting reflection of the last 20 years of pop music, culure, & my life for that matter. Her artistic motives are everywhere in her journey & this whole thing just became as much a dissection of her career through multiple lenses, as anything . I also just wanted in some small way to put some energy out into world that would let her or anyone in her position know how much their work touches people & matters.

    Maybe the emotionality of a lot of things just sort of came to a head and this led me down a more reflective path than I expected, but in short, I just wanted to really support her. I truly believe she has been consistently underestimated by many people and by her respective industries her whole career. The word 'underrated' gets thrown around a lot, including myself, but she really is.

    She’s not just been an important pop cultural constant in my journey through life and this lenses for me filter other ideas through, she has perhaps most importantly inspired me. Hopefully, all of the work in this rate has done Amanda Leigh Moore the justice she so deserves. I do know it felt really good to get out some of the thoughts I've had pent-up inside for 20 years in regards to her & that some have come together in some sort of sense.

    It was very weird timing that so much Mandy stuff happened in unison once I announced the rate. It's made for the most memorable year of my Mandy fandom in a long time & quite honestly one of the most personally fulfilling things I've accomplished in awhile.

    In the end with this rate, much like Mandy with 'I Wanna Be With You', I felt compelled to read to the lyric & just inject my all. I hope you've enjoyed some of it & thanks for letting my love of this amazing artist go off the rails a bit in places.

    "There's nothing more to say
    There's nothing else I want more than to feel this way"

    My Score: 10

    "Kicking up confetti leaves…"

    Sparkle In The Sky

    @VivaForever (11)
    - This wasn’t even on my shortlist of 11’s at first glance, but ultimately it had to go here. This is far and away the best Mandy’s voice has ever sounded. Her lower register is nice, but her upper register has a real purity and clarity to it that her peers always lacked, and the way she coos ‘You’re what I came here for, so I won’t ask for more’ is wonderful. I know this came from a movie, but it’s appalling that it hasn’t been used in every movie and TV series made since. (For instance, surely it would have been a better backdrop to Lizzie McGuire’s first kiss than bloody Walk Me Home?!) It’s very cinematic. Plus, co-written by the Christian rock/mainstream dance legend that is Plumb, whose background vocals you can hear a bit (toward the top of her range) on the whispered ‘I wanna be with you’s in the chorus.

    @unnameable (11)
    - this is where I fell in love with Mandy’s voice.

    @Sprockrooster (10)
    - This is teenpopballad-perfection. A blueprint for how it should be done.

    @tylerc904 (10)
    - This was quite big in the U.S. from what I remember. It was a staple on the 8:30-9pm radio since that’s what I used to listen to when trying to fall asleep.

    @Zar-Unity (10)
    - What a fantastic pop ballad by Mandy! This is not only one of Mandy's best pop ballads ever recorded, but it is one of the best pop ballads ever released by any pop artist! Already at this point, I initially fell off of the Mandy updates to what she had released the next year because I was still completely obsessed with So real. I actually didn't discover this single until several years later, and even then I didn't listen to it as much as her So real pop ballads, Walk me home and quit breaking my heart. But later on when I was ready to discover more of her songs I fell in love with this one. I remember thinking, never has Mandy sounded so pure of heart and gorgeous singing on a pop ballad. This song was absolute pop perfection and I loved the way she looked in the music video as well. 2000 also marked the year that Mandy had her first breakthrough movie I believe, so it makes since that she ended up only releasing a hit single under a EP style release with a few other new tracks. I wanna be with you is definitely the big stand out song to this release! By this point, Mandy had already improved her voice and ballad singing range. She was a force to be reckoned with! Unstoppable! This is one of those songs that you could play all day long and never get tired of because it's so captivating and beautiful. Absolutely incredible vocal performance by Mandy here! I feel like this was the turning point where more people that previously hated on Mandy started to be more impressed by her as a singer and show her more respect. Rightfully deserved!

    @chris4862 (10)
    - I was aware of “I Wanna Be With You” at the time of its release, but it was just kind of lost in the cacophony of early 2000’s pop for me. Even after becoming a Mandy fan I sort of inadvertently ignored it, as with much of her pre-self titled material, but this is honestly one of the crown jewels of early Mandy for me. Despite the legacy of “Candy” this feels like the first proper introduction to Mandy, and her first truly excellent song.

    @Florencia. (10)
    - I love this song, I can't help it. I am sucker for Mandy singing ballads

    @ohnostalgia (10)
    - Now this sounds like the Mandy I know and love. Crystal clear.

    @Music Is Life (10)
    A gorgeous, mature, beautiful, adult pop ballad. I definitely get why this caused @pop3blow2 to stan. It's a perfect pop song, and deserved so much more.

    @RUNAWAY (10)
    - I still love this song so much. It’s one of those rare incredible moments from her early discography. It really really holds up.

    @Robert (10), @Robsolete (10), @ladylloyd (10), @Remorque (10)

    @vague (9.5)
    - this is lovely, and the vocal growth between "So Real" and this is amazing.

    @LKane (9)
    Classic Mandy <3. This i s a lovely song.

    @CasuallyCrazed (8.5)

    Corner of your eye



    I should note, too, that this song had an over 10.000 average until our last voter...ddd!

    Still Undiscovered



    For Your Viewing & Listening Pleasure

    Live Acoustic (with violins playing the leitmotif *swoon*)

    Acoustic Live from MTV Asia with short interview

    The video quality is rough here, but I remember watching this live on MTV the summer of 2000 & it was 'the moment' as they in fandom. And here I am 20 years later concluding a rate where I jotted down a few thoughts about her over the last year. ddd

    A few more versions below...​
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  16. ...

    Live from MusicMania

    Live from MTV Spring Break 2000

    Live from The Late Late Show (I remember watching this live, too. Gawd the memories.)

    Live from Fox Family

    For posterity... the Soul Solution Remix (I always had mixed feeling about this remix.)

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
    Robert, ohnostalgia, LKane and 7 others like this.
  17. I Wanna Be With You is such a stunner (though I prefer In My Pocket) and definitely a worthy winner.
    vague, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  18. A classic won! Not that it was hard with this rate!!
    vague, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
  19. The work and dedication that went into this, @pop3blow2 was just mind blowing! Your love shone through the whole way too! Amazing rate and winner!!
    Robert, vague and pop3blow2 like this.
  20. Thank you PJ for not letting me down! A deserving winner, true PopJustice.

    Time to celebrate by starting 2020 watching a Mandy Moore movie - but should I rewatch Saved or American Dreamz again, or watch How Do I Deal (which I finally *ahem* procured this year after this rate started)?
    vague, pop3blow2 and berserkboi like this.
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