Album: Mandy Moore: The Best Of...(CD/DVD)
Street Date: November 16, 2004
Reviewed by: Joey
You all probably remember Mandy Moore from the late-nighties surge of bubble gum (Britney, Christina, Jessica). You might remember her biggest hit to date, "I Wanna Be With You", from the movie Center Stage. You might even remember her 3rd album or her most recent 4th album, all songs from the 70s and 80s. Mandy Moore is not what you call a superstar, she's fallen out of the limelight. This CD should be called "The Best Of Mandy Moore While She Was Signed With Epic Records" because that's what it is. This doesn't mean the end of her career, it's just Sony milking the teet for all they can, trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of their signing of Mandy Moore. The CD comes with a DVD of all of Mandy's videos, including four Sessions@AOL performances. Overall, the CD is pretty good.
1. Candy - From her first album So Real, this was the song that got her on the map. It's a bubbly, sweet, and enjoyable. A lot of people will hate this song, especially those who appreciate her newer stuff, but this is one of my guilty pleasures. I do remember being younger, singing along to the song. If nothing else, it'll bring back memories. The music video is cool, too. It's funny seeing Mandy with blonde hair again.
2. Walk Me Home - Probably the worst song on the album, this is her ballad that she released. The song is slightly boring and repetitive. It's interesting to see her then, noticing how improved her vocals are now. The music video for this song isn't anything special, just Mandy flirting with some guy. The song could use with some more instuments and less pop-based sound.
3. So Real - My favorite song from her first album. It's extreme bubblegum, but the song still rocks. The base line in the beginning is cool. I didn't know that she released a video for this, or that this song was a single. It's definately a fun song that you will bob to in the car or on the computer or wherever you listen to it. The video for this song is very cheesy, with butterflies and such. But it's still a video that I've never seen, so I watched it.
4. I Wanna Be With You - The only Mandy Moore song I've ever heard on the radio. This song is soft and sweet. It's kind of bland, and could use a full orchestra to really make it an awesome ballad. The music video for this song is boring. It's only Mandy sitting in a ballet school place, singing the song. She doesn't dance, and it only shows clips from the movie "Center Stage". It's listenable, but still not the highlight of the album.
5. In My Pocket - I felt the sudden urge to get up and dance when this song came on. I've always loved this song, but I don't like how they have the dance interlude on the video - that part's awesome. This is the first song from her 3rd CD on this CD, and it's one of my favorites from that CD. Too bad it didn't do too well when it was out. I love the Middle Eastern feel of the song, sort of Indian. The Sitar thing sounds really cool. Sting ripped off the riff from this song in "Send Your Love".
6. Crush - Her biggest hit from the 3rd album, however, it still wasn't a big hit. This song is a nice, little song, but definately a weak spot on the CD because of it's pop-ness, if that's a word. The video is cool. I want to know what Mandy was doing in a bed with some guy only in his boxers. She was 17 when she made this video, I think. The monkeys are random, but they're still cool. And Mandy's in a bath, woohoo!
7. Cry - One of my favorite songs ever. The production on this track is amazing. Her vocals are very strong, and the song is just all around a really good song. The video is cool too, based on her movie A Walk To Remember (which was a good movie, might I add). The song is one of my favorite songs by her, and it's one of the highlights of the album. You'll have this song on repeat.
8. Only Hope - From the movie A Walk To Remember, this song is the song that Jamie (Moore) sings during the school play. It's a very good Piano/Vocal (with some strings, of course) song. Mandy's vocals sound very good here. This is one of her more popular songs ever, but it wasn't released to radios, for some reason. There isn't a video for the song, not even the one of her singing it in the movie, which is disappointing. [Switchfoot cover]
9. Have A Little Faith In Me - The only single released in the USA from her 4th CD Coverage. This is such a great song. The piano is really good, and this is her best song ever vocally, in my humble opinion. The video for this is kinda strange, but it's still my favorite music video from her ever. This is a cover of the John Hiatt song. It has great production, good instruments, amazing vocals, and a cool video. The Sessions@AOL performance is AMAZING, also.
10. Can We Still Be Friends - Originally sung by Todd Rundgren, this is a very good slow song. All of her songs from Coverage are awesome, and this is no exception. I think that this song was released in the Phillipines. Another vocally exceptional song, Mandy does a great job with this. I have heard the original, and think that she does a better job than Todd. There isn't a Sessions @ AOL performance of this song.
11. Senses Working Overtime - Nice and poppy, this song is catchy and fun. I don't know who originally sang it, but it was written by Andy Partridge. The song has a ton of instruments, all complimenting each other, and great production. Mandy's voice sounds good. Her Sessions performance of this song was awesome. The live feeling is really cool, much better than the music videos.
12. I Feel The Earth Move - Like "Senses Working Overtime" this song wasn't ever released, but they decided to throw it on there I guess. She took the song, originally sang by Carole King, and made it a bit more lively. She did a good job, and sings the song very well. Nothing vocally stunning, but it's still a good cover. There isn't a Sessions@AOL performance of this either.
13. Top Of The World - Apparently this song was on the Stuart Little 2 soundtrack. I haven't heard this song before, and it didn't exactly impress me very much. My CD player was giving me problems with it, too. I enjoyed the song, but it wasn't very memorable. The production was good, the vocals were okay, and the instruments were standard - nothing too extremely special. And that's how I would describe the track - nothing too extremely special.
14. Secret Love - This song is weird. It sticks out from every other song on the album. She's got a full orchestra backing her up on this song that appeared on the Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack. Her vocals are good, and the orchestra sounds great, but it just doesn't fit on the album. It sounds almost like a Broadway tune, not that that's bad.
It's cool to watch the DVD in the order that the videos come (which is how they display it) because it's like watching Mandy Moore grow up right in front of you. From little pop princess to a sophisticated, independent young woman. The last three thirds of the CD are the best, because that's her most mature music. I find it interesting that the album that sold the least had the most songs from it on there, but that's for the better because that's her best album. If you like "Best Of" albums, then this is a perfect one for you.
Arrows To Athens:
Kings & Thieves
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