Skip to main content

1. Mandy Moore - Coverage (2003)

It seems an odd choice for my first review, an all-covers album by a minor player in the blonde teen pop invasion of 1999. But take a look at some of the artists Miss Moore covers: Elton John, Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson, Joni Mitchell, and XTC! There was no way I could pass up a list like that, even if the CD only ended up as a dusty curiosity in my collection.

Besides, isn't this every rock nerd's dream…a hot girl with cool taste in music?

Mandy didn't just choose her songs well, she also surrounds herself with good company. Scanning the liner notes we see that the songs feature contributions from Evan Dando, both Rembrandts, Dan Wilson (of Semisonic) and Andy Sturmer (of Jellyfish). The background vocals by the latter two on Can We Still Be Friends are awesome.

The arrangements are good, the players excellent, and the sequencing perfect, but I do have one quibble. While I like her artist selection, I think some of the song choices were too obvious, especially One Way Or Another, I Feel The Earth Move and Senses Working Overtime. While I'm thrilled to hear any XTC covered, this is not anywhere close to their best song, and so many others would have suited her voice better (maybe The Disappointed, or This World Over).

That said, there are two songs on here that I didn't know, but now love. The Whole Of The Moon, originally by The Waterboys, and Drop The Pilot, originally by Joan Armatrading. So if this album is exposing even me to new stuff, imagine the potential to open the minds of thousands of teeny-bopper fans…

Though many critics have dismissed this record as little more than karaoke, they forget that karaoke can be so much fun!

Rating: A-
Fave Song: Can We Still Be Friends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

12 by Weezer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I decided to take an unconventional route for this 12 by, and pretend Weezer have already released a "greatest hits." Here's what I think that would look like:  1) "Buddy Holly", 2) "Undone - the Sweater Song", 3) "My Name Is Jonas", 4) "The Good Life", 5) "El Scorcho", 6) "Hash Pipe", 7) "Island in the Sun", 8) "Dope Nose", 9) "Keep Fishin'", 10) "Beverly Hills", 11) "We Are All On Drugs", 12) "Pork and Beans".  Here's a different take: 1. " Say It Ain't So"  (from Weezer , 1994)  A little bit heavy, a little bit catchy, quiet-loud dynamics. So basically, it's Pixies lite. The song is interesting lyrically because it's basically nonsense until the "Dear daddy..." bridge, which lets out a t

12 by Jenny Lewis

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Completely separate from Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has put together an impressive oeuvre that is very difficult to winnow down to just 12 songs (if you include her work with Rilo Kiley, fuhgeddaboudit). But I've made what I feel is a valiant attempt. Because I admire Jenny's lyrics so much, I'm going to limit my commentary to a favorite couplet from the song. (If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "Rise Up With Fists!!!" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "But you can wake up younger, under the knife / And you can wake up sounder, if you get analyzed." 2. "Melt Your Heart" (from  Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "It's like a valentine from your mother / It's bound to melt your heart." 3. "Born Secular" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "God works in mysterious ways / And God give

12 by Vicious Vicious

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... If you need a reference point for the work of Vicious Vicious mastermind Erik Appelwick, the most appropriate would be Beck. Like Mr. Hansen, Minnesota-based Appelwick has the ability to navigate between making you laugh and making you cry and making you want to dance, and embraces genres from country to R& B to folk to pop.  I've included songs from the two albums Appelwick did under the name Tropical Depression, because honestly there's not a lot of difference between that and Vicious Vicious.  I very literally  wrote the book  on Appelwick, so please feel confident you are hearing from an authority here.  If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen to an alternate version of list here  (sadly, not all of VV's music is on the service). 1. "Shake That Ass on the Dance Floor" (from Blood + Clover , 2003) A loungy, laconic come-on