"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 Last.fm The 2nd most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore on Last.fm US BILLBOARD HOT 100 : #119 (#19 Bubbling Under) AUSTRALIA (ARIA): #25 US MAINSTREAM POP AIRPLAY: #35 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 Last.fm The 4th most scrobbled song from So Real on Last.fm US BILLBOARD HOT 100 : 41 (#2 Bubbling Under) US BILLBOARD POP AIRPLAY : #27 Actually here's all the chart data! Spoiler 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 Last.fm The most scrobbled song from Mandy Moore on Last.fm 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. Spoiler 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 & Last.fm 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!